Anime studio’s love for traditional processes extends to its newest merchandise offering.

Studio Ghibli is known for its famous anime films, but these days it’s becoming just as renowned for its ever-expanding range of merchandise, some of which are made in collaboration with traditional Japanese artisans, in keeping with director Hayao Miyazaki’s love for all things artisanally handmade.

The latest item to showcase some stunning craftsmanship is the Large Totoro Brass Wind Chime, made by foundry manufacturer Nousaku in Takaoka City, Toyama Prefecture.

Wind chimes are synonymous with summer in Japan, as the ringing sounds they make are said to have a refreshing, cooling effect on the body. You’ll see them hanging from the eaves of houses and shopfronts around Japan, particularly in rural areas, so they evoke a sense of seasonal, rural nostalgia, making them the perfect partner for a film like My Neighbour Totoro, which is set in countryside Japan.

For this special wind chime, the giant Totoro from My Neighbour Totoro has been beautifully crafted in brass by Nousaku, conveying the magical creature’s “soft form and gentle expression”.

Nousaku was founded 107 years ago in Takaoka City, a manufacturing city where “tradition and innovation are fused”. The craftsmanship that went into the wind chime’s construction is clearly evident not only in the beautiful-looking brass, but in the sound it makes, as you can hear in the video below.

The wind chime is only being sold at the Ghibli Museum, a fact that’s proudly stated on the paper slip that hangs beneath the metal. These hard paper slips are a feature of many traditional wind chimes as they help to catch the wind and make them ring.

The boar, complete with the katakana character “イ” (“i”) for both “inoshishi” (“boar”) and “Inokashira Park”, where the museum is located, is one of the characters on the museum’s coat of arms.

▼ The attention to detail extends to the gift box, which tips its hat to Nousaku on the top lid.

The wind chime is available at the Ghibli Museum shop and online, priced at 9,460 yen (US$67.85). It’s an investment piece that’s pricier than most, but still significantly cheaper than the US$2,450 wooden Totoros that made our jaws drop earlier this year!

Source: Ghibli Museum online shop
Top image: Twitter/@GhibliML
Insert images: Ghibli Museum online shop  
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