Famed Animator Hayao Miyazaki to Build Island Retreat for Kids

Kume Creation
Kume Creation / Kume Creation

If you’ve ever wanted to step inside one of Hayao Miyazaki’s lush animated forests, in a few years you can do the next best thing: visit the recently retired Japanese filmmaker’s real-life nature retreat for children.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Miyazaki will spend $2.5 million to build a 10,000-square-foot sanctuary for youth on Japan’s remote Kumejima Island. Local design and construction firms have already started planning the facilities—a two-story dormitory and library built on an older playground, surrounded by natural forest. 

As for the retreat’s name, it’s just as evocative as one of Miyazaki’s film titles: “The Forest Where the Wind Returns.” But don’t book plane tickets for the entire family just yet. Construction won’t begin until April 2016, and the facility won’t be completed until 2018.

Miyazaki films like Princess Mononoke and Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind champion environmentalism and humanity’s relationship with the Earth. In past interviews, the director has expressed his concern that technology is eroding children's emotional lives. It makes sense that Miyazaki's next move would be to literally bring children to nature now that he’s no longer making movies that bring nature to them. 

[h/t The Hollywood Reporter]