If this year’s numerous business closures are anything to go by, it’s no question that Tokyo has been hit hard by the pandemic. Unfortunately, the famed Ghibli Museum is no exception. Without overseas tourists, visitor numbers have dropped drastically. To make matters worse, the museum closed down for five months in 2020 and only reopened in September 2020 with new Covid-19 safety measures in place.
To help keep the beloved museum afloat, the city of Mitaka started a donation campaign this July for people in Japan, and has now opened the campaign up to Ghibli fans overseas. The museum is asking for donations of ¥5,000 or more, which is roughly USD$44. Japanese residents who donate may be eligible to claim a tax deduction based on Japan’s furusato tax system.
As a reward for your contribution, the museum is sending out thank you cards with illustrations by Ghibli’s very own Hayao Miyazaki. In the museum’s tweet above, the postcard features an illustration of one of the robots from 'Laputa: Castle in the Sky'.
As of December 6, the campaign has already racked up over ¥35,000,000 (USD$300,000) in donations. Currently, the museum can only accept international donations from the US, Canada, Australia and Singapore, as there are some legal complications with receiving donations from European countries and elsewhere. To donate, you can access instructions in English on the campaign website (you’ll need to scroll to the bottom of the page).
Fingers crossed, with enough pledges, the museum will still be operating by the time Japan reopens to the world.
Want more Ghibli? Check out our Ghibli lover’s guide to Tokyo.
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