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Hayao Miyazaki’s Enchanted Nature Sanctuary for Children

Hayao Miyazaki’s Enchanted Nature Sanctuary for Children

When I’m retired, I think it’s fairly safe to say I won’t be as busy as Hayao Miyazaki. The celebrated Japanese animator and writer/director of such favorites as Spirited Away (to date the only Studio Ghibli animated film to win an Oscar) and Howl’s Moving Castle is soon to delight his fans by introducing a glorious nature retreat on the remote island of Kumejima in Japan.

The concept is that, in this world where children are spending increasingly more time “playing” indoors on their iPads, iPhones, and game consoles, Miyazaki wants to encourage them to forge a more meaningful and rich relationship with nature.

Work on the project is set to begin in 2016 by local design and construction firms on Kumejima, and they’ll utilize two an a half acres of virgin forest land. Oh, and since Miyazaki is truly a gift that keeps on giving, he’s funding the entire project himself.

Notice the building in the concept art that looks like a dormitory? I wasn’t kidding when I said it’s a retreat – word on the street is that up to 30 children will be able to stay on the island, giving them a chance to bond while they get out and about in the natural world. Um, this sounds way better than Summer Camp!

The retreat will be up and running in 2018, and we’ll report on more news as it trickles in. For now, what sort of features would you like to see on the island? Let us know in the comments below.

HT: The Mary Sue

IMAGE: Hayao Miyazaki

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