Ghibli Park, a large theme park devoted entirely to the works of Japanese animation giants Studio Ghibli, opened late last year. And it wasn’t long before people started being weird about some of the statues found in the park, prompting calls from local authorities to stop them.
As CNN reportLast week, the governor of Aichi Prefecture (where the park is located), Hideaki Ōmura, held a press conference and discussed the issue of adults taking “lewd” photos with the attractions. It seems that grown men have not only been taking inappropriate photos with the Ghibli character statues, but sharing them on social media, prompting reactions not in keeping with the strict family vibes that Ōmura would have expected.
“Frankly speaking, posting photos like that on social media is highly inappropriate,” Ōmura said. “From adults to children, people go to Park Ghibli to enter the Ghibli world and have fun. Clearly this action upset many people,” she added, saying local authorities have since told park staff that they “need to firmly stop such actions once detected and confirmed”.
“For those who come to the park to do this kind of thing, I would prefer that they not come at all. Of course, we must take tougher action against this type of behavior. This is basically destruction of property.”
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You might think that this reaction is a a little bit much, but Japanese staff and authorities don’t usually waste their time when it comes to taking photos in places you’re not supposed to take photos. The Tokyo Game Show staff have been stricter about the use of cameras than security at famous museums, and I felt like the star of a oceans film the day I managed to take a photo of my son playing on the luxurious Catbus at the Ghibli Muesum in Tokyo. They’re usually super tight, so Ōmura’s frustrations may stem in part from the fact that he expects security to be tighter at these exhibits than they are.
Ghibli Park opened last year after numerous delays, but it’s not actually finished; while selling tickets, and there are three areas to explore (including the house of totoro), two other spaces (including a Mononoke-theme forest) are still under construction and will not be completed for another year or two.