At Ghibli Park there are many statues of Studio Ghibli characters that fans can admire or take pictures with. However, some people have been using the statues for reasons other than their intended purposes. One problem is that some people have been sexually groping statues, and others have been taking up-skirt pictures. How do we know this? Because the same people post those pictures online for the world to see.
— mayu (@lemonade_u_u) March 9, 2023
It’s become enough of an issue that Japanese media is covering it. Ghibli Park has not given a statement on the matter, and it turns out they had the same issue at Ghibli Museum previously. The media reported on the lack of response from the park, which seems to have bothered the already-bothered people even more. Since the park is meant for all ages, and since some of these statues are images of underage girls, there have been requests that something be done to the people behind these images.
Ghibli Park is situated in Aichi Prefecture, and the prefecture’s governor, Hideaki Omura, gave this public statement on March 9:
“These displays are there so that everyone, from children to adults, can immerse themselves in the works of Studio Ghibli. It’s extremely unpleasant for photos like these to be uploaded to social media. It’s extremely regrettable and I sincerely want it to stop.”
The governor has requested that Ghibli Park clamp down on anyone seen doing these things in the future, asked witnesses to report it, told people if they want to do these photos they should not to come to Ghibli Park, and has said that there will be consequences for anyone continuing these actions against the statues. It remains to be seen if his words scare off any future possibilities and if the problem gets resolved.
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.