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Hayao Miyazaki’s New Project is a Nature Retreat for Kids

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There’s been a lot of news in the theme park sphere like Disneyland’s new Star Wars and Marvel attractions or even Dismaland, but have you heard about Miyazaki-land? Hayao Miyazaki’s new project isn’t animation but a nature sanctuary on Kumejima Island in Japan.

The island will be a nature retreat to promote appreciation toward nature in children. So while it’s not exactly Ghibli Land, it definitely fits in with his body of work. Miyazaki’s films like My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke explore themes about our connection with nature. He’s also made statements regarding modern technology and his belief that it takes away from the childhood experience (although films like The Wind Rises and Howl’s Moving Castle also reveal an appreciation for machinery, innovation, and its aesthetics). I love that despite being retired, Miyazaki continues to do amazing work.

The artist is reportedly spending $2.5 million of his own money on the project and working with the local townspeople of Kumejima and local design firms. Construction should begin in April 2016 and the retreat is scheduled for completion in 2018. This drawing of the sanctuary is definitely giving me some Totoro vibes:

miyazaki_nature_sanctuary

So far, we know that a “two-story dormitory to accommodate 30 kids will be built on the site of a disused playground in a small clearing, which the town of Kumejima has donated for the project.” I’m incredibly jealous of the children who’ll be able to stay at the sanctuary, but hopefully it’ll be open for adults as well. If anything, there’s always the Ghibli Museum. Anyone want to re-watch Princess Mononoke with me?

(via The Hollywood Reporter)

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