Japanese film company Studio Ghibli is associated with wholesome and stunning animations such as My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away, yet the actions of some visitors to Ghibli Park have prompted the local governor to issue a strong word of caution.
The theme park, which is located within the Expo 2005 Aichi Commemorative Park in the city of Nagakute and opened in November, doesn’t have any rides or attractions. Instead, it has real-life replicas of locations from beloved films, as well as figures of well-known characters.
However, it’s these figures which have been at the centre of recent condemnation after images surfaced online of individuals ‘upskirting’ and touching the breasts of female figures.
The actions were slammed as “vile” and “creepy” by Twitter users, with one pointing out that one of the characters, Marnie (of When Marnie Was There) is an actual child:
Last week, the governor of Aitchi, Hideaki Omura, intervened and said he would speak to the operating company behind the theme park to take action on inappropriate behaviour.
In a press conference, he said: “It is extremely regrettable. We will take firm action because [Ghibli Park] is located within the prefectural park.
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“Ghibli Park is a place for adults and children to have fun while experiencing Ghibli films. I don’t want people who do things that many find offensive to come to the park.
“It is extremely malicious, just like the inappropriate behaviour at conveyor belt sushi restaurants.”
Mr Omura is referring to a viral trend, dubbed “sushi terrorism”, in which individuals would lick items used by other customers in a sushi restaurant – such as a soy sauce bottle – and touching food with fingers they had just put in their mouths.
One Japanese sushi chain filed a damages claim against one customer earlier this year when they performed the unsanitary prank.
Ghibli Park have repeatedly declined to comment on the alleged behaviour in the park.
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