Miyazaki Volunteers at Forest That Inspired “My Neighbour Totoro”.

Last Sunday, legendary Ghibli director Hayao Miyazaki showed his green fingers and green spirit by joining 200 other volunteers to help maintain a piece of local woodland.

The Fuchi no Mori forest, near Tokyo, is famed for, amongst other things, having inspired the scenery in Miyazaki’s 1988 film, My Neighbour Totoro. In 2007, Miyazaki joined with local residents, and with support from all over Japan, helped to prevent developers building a housing complex near the site. He then helped to raise 73 million yen, which was presented to the city of Higashimurayama to make the forest a preservation area. He has since continued to make large donations to keep the forest alive and protected from deforestation.

Fuchi no Mori has an expanse of 5,700 square meters. As part of the campaign to protect it, a charity shop in the popular game Second Life has also been set up, where you can donate money and buy products for your avatars, including a t-shirt with Miyazaki’s signature on it. At present, this is the only way for people outside of Japan to donate money to the preservation campaign.

For more information about the Fuchi no Mori charity shop, and making donations through Second Life, click HERE.

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