Tokyo's famed Ghibli Museum is asking for donations to stay afloat

Ghibli Museum in west Tokyo is a magical place dedicated to the anime produced by Studio Ghibli, which was co-founded in 1985 by director Hayao Miyazaki. The museum opened in October 2001. It contains exhibits based on Studio Ghibli feature films and screens short Studio Ghibli films not seen elsewhere. it also has a wonderful cafe and a gift shop with wallet-emptying temptations. I've been there twice and I plan to visit every time I go to Japan.

I just learned that the pandemic has caused Ghibli Museum severe financial hardship, and it is asking for people to donate money to keep the light on.

From Sora News 24:

The message from the official Ghibli Museum Twitter account, accompanied by a link to the donation page, reads:

"We have begun a furusato nozei campaign asking for funds to support the operations of the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka. We humbly ask for your support."

Ordinarily, the Ghibli Museum is essentially a license to print money. Though tickets are very modestly priced at just 1,000 yen (US$9) for adults and attendance is capped to prevent overcrowding, the on-site cafe does a brisk business, and the museum's gift shop is quite capable of leaving an anime fan's wallet empty but also their heart full of joy.

However, the museum has been through multiple temporary closures during the pandemic, and tough it's currently accepting guests once again, attendance for the year is a fraction of what it usually would be, prompting the museum to issue the following statement:

"Currently, we are operating very much in the red. In March, we received a grant from Mitaka City to support our operating expenses, but even with that, we are having to eat into funds that we had planned to use for large-scale large-scale repairs and maintenance. The coronavirus pandemic is expected to continue for some time, and if we continue to draw on our financial reserves, we believe the operation of the facility and planned maintenance will be in jeopardy."

The good news is that the museum has already beaten its funding goal of $90,000. Museum lovers have donated over $121,000 so far.

[images: Mark Frauenfelder]