Hayao Miyazaki has kept busy since his supposed retirement, but his newest project is as historical as it is new. On May 30, the Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum will open a new exhibit featuring artwork by Miyazaki inspired by Ghost Tower, a 1939 mystery novel by Edogawa Ranpo.

Ghibli is expecting massive crowds, so you may have to bribe a few guards if you want to get in!

Rampo_EdogawaWikipedia (Mainichi Newspaper, public domain)

Edogawa Ranpo, pictured above, was a prolific 20th-century writer who played a large role in the development of modern Japanese mystery novels. The author was a big fan of Western writers like Sir Arthur Conan Doyale and Edgar Allen Poe, from whom he derived his pen name. Though he wrote a dizzying number of novels, Edogawa Ranpo’s 1936 Ghost Tower (Yurei-to) was the one Miyazaki has cited as a major inspiration.

The exhibit, which will be called “Welcome to the Ghost Tower” (or in Japanese Yurei-to he yokoso), will feature artwork by Miyazaki and introduce Edogawa Ranpo’s novel through manga. Though Edogawa Ranpo was a prolific and original writer, Ghost Tower was actually based on Ruikō Kuroiwa’s adaption of A Woman in Grey, published in 1898 and written by British author Alice Muriel Williamson. Miyazaki, who first encountered Edogawa Ranpo’s Ghost Tower in middle school, took inspiration from the novel for his 1979 film The Castle of Cagliostro.

Miyazaki, who was in charge of planning and curating the exhibit in addition to illustrating some manga, said that he thought the book had a huge impact on pop culture. In addition to Miyazaki’s comics explaining his view of the book’s role pop culture, the clock tower from the novel (also designed by Miyazaki), as well as a diorama from The Castle of Cagliostro and a maze, will also be featured


With Miyazaki’s heavy involvement, you can expect the exhibit to be packed all day. every day, so all tickets must be booked in advance. This is apparently to avoid people show up and not being able to get tickets. The event is scheduled to run for a full year, until May 2016.

Tickets will be available at Lawson convenience stores on the 10th of each month for the subsequent month and can be ordered at Lawson branches, over the phone, online or using Loppi. For the 2015 summer season only, advance tickets will be sold ahead of general tickets via a lottery system. The advance lottery tickets for July will be available starting May 25 and tickets for August will be available June 25, online or over the phone.

For more information, be sure to visit the Ghibli Museum website (currently information about the exhibit is in Japanese only). Good luck!

Sources: Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum, Anime! Anime!, Edogawa Ranpo (Wikipedia)
Images: Mitaka no Mori Ghibli Museum