In 1988, an animated movie-turned-TV series, My Neighbor Totoro, instantly became popular around the world since its first day of release. It has been the classic work of Japanese national treasure animation master Hayao Miyazaki. Not only was the movie so popular that it was expanded into a TV series, but the production has released various souvenirs for sale, and the show has become a childhood memory of both children and adults alike.
Since they love the animated series so much, an elderly couple, both aged 70, decided to put their skills to use after they have retired. The couple, from Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, used to be employed building sculptures out of cement. They had an idea to surprise the new generation with what was popular in their time during the 80’s era.
Grandpa made a sturdy concrete base using wooden strips that were nailed together to prevent it from being blown away by the strong winds.
When the wooden strips bound together were sturdy enough, Grandpa covered them with a layer of concrete, making the shape look like the form of Totoro.
During the process, some people nearby gathered to help the couple. Most of the people who helped were fans of the animated series, hence, they enjoyed building the statue.
They added an extra layer of bricks and cement on the base and around the statue to “hold” it into place.
Grandma then carved the pattern of Totoro on the cement for finishing touches. The statue of the animated character is nearly complete.
And finally, it’s time to color the finished statue. The couple patiently designs the last layer into a replica of Totoro.
Grandma did not forget the trademark design on Totoro’s belly.
The statue is done! The design to look exactly like Totoro is complete!
The couple did not forget to add the stop sign beside the statue to pay homage to the scene in the movie when Totoro was with the children while waiting for the bus. Children are excited to take photos with the giant Totoro statue together with their parents.
The place of the statue has immediately become a famous scenic spot. The scenery of Totoro waiting at the bus station and made into a replica is really amazing!
If you are a fan of the animated series, My Neighbor Totoro, and will be traveling to Japan soon, do not miss the opportunity to visit this tourist attraction. Family and friends back home who are also fans may be envious!
The replica of the animated character in My Neighbor Totoro is located at 7538-6, Kamuta, Dazi, Kogen Town, Miyazaki Prefecture, though the spot is located at the rice fields and near private houses. If you may have the opportunity to visit the place, you may get close to the statue and have some photos taken. But please be careful not to step on the crops nearby. Thanks!
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Images credits: Boredpanda and It is Looker