The pandemic has harmed all kinds of companies; however, museum owners have suffered the most since no one visits them, and it’s costly to keep a museum. And right now, Japan’s Ghibli Museum is the latest institution to face the pandemic’s economic horror.
The enchanting facility hosts retrospectives of the anime from director Hayao Miyazaki and his Studio Ghibli co-workers and short anime movies that aren’t available in the wild, typically drawing in visitors from all over Japan and overseas.
In the wake of official closures during times of high infection and a general slowdown in tourist numbers and leisure trips during the last two years, the numbers of visitors have fallen to a small fraction from what it used to be, and the timing of the downturn in visitors is particularly troubling.
The museum, which has been in operation for 20 years, requires a range of repairs and major maintenance projects. The situation is so bad that the museum is now asking for donations, stating, “Currently we’re operating in the red…and should the museum continues to draw upon our reserves of cash, we believe that the operations of the museum and scheduled maintenance is at risk.”
The campaign for donations began in July to allow donors from outside Japan; however, Studio Ghibli sent out a message on its official account in the LINE messaging and social network app that it’s accepting donations from fans outside of Japan.
Donors are requested to donate at least 5,000 yen (US$43.50) at least. To acknowledge Ghibli’s appreciation, they will receive a thank you card designed by Hayao Miyazaki himself. It features one of the Laputa: Castle in the Sky robots, a statue on the museum’s top.
The donation is managed by the system known as “furusato nozei” (“hometown tax”) that allows the funds given to local businesses may be used in tax-deductible forms when you file tax in Japan. If the donations can be tax-deductible for foreign fans is dependent on the tax authorities of their respective country; however, even if not, the program provides an opportunity to contribute directly to the stability of Studio Ghibli’s finances and to ensure that the museum is available for visitors when Japan’s borders finally allow international travel.
Donations can be accepted by Ghibli supporters from countries like the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Singapore. However, those in the U.K., China, EU member states, and some other European countries cannot donate due to legal issues.
The full details are available on the campaign’s website (continue scrolling down to find English information). It is generated 34.6 million yen versus an initial goal of 10 million, is scheduled to run until the close of January.
Also read about 16 reasons why you must visit Japan