Hayao Miyazaki and Toshio Suzuki share the accolade with a heartwarming gesture for fans.

On 11 March, Studio Ghibli’s The Boy and the Heron won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature, marking the second Academy Award win for the studio, after Spirited Away took home the statuette in 2003.

▼ This year, Ghibli chief operating officer Kiyofumi Nakajima was in L.A. to accept the award on behalf of the studio.

Now, nine days after winning the award, the Oscar has finally landed in Japan. While most Academy Award winners would waste no time in finding a spot for their gleaming award in their home or office, Studio Ghibli has chosen to take a different route, instead sharing the joy of the award with fans by putting it on public display.

The studio has set up a special place for it inside the Grand Warehouse at Ghibli Park, where it’s set to be displayed until August.

The Oscar statuette, or “Oscar Zou” as it’s known in Japanese (“zou” means “statue” or “figure”), went on display at the park on 20 March, with Nakajima attending to address the assembled press. In the video above, he can be seen talking about the placement of the statuette, saying, “Even from far away, it looks big, and is shiny — I hope people can get a sense of that“.

In the clip below, Nakajima shares details of what happened when he received the award on behalf of the studio, and how it came to find a temporary home at Ghibli Park. “As soon as we received the award, we all started messaging each other“, Nakajima shared. “Within those messages, Goro Miyazaki suggested that we bring it to Ghibli Park“.

▼ Nakajima speaks to the press towards the end of this report below.

Hayao Miyazaki’s eldest son Goro helped to construct the Ghibli Museum in Tokyo at the turn of the century and was put in charge of the construction at Ghibli Park, so his suggestion quickly received the go-ahead from the studio’s head honchos.

Goro’s famous father is one of those head honchos, whose name appears on the statuette as the movie’s director, alongside the producer, Toshio Suzuki. It’s heartwarming to see the two big names sharing the statuette with the public, rather than squirelling it away from view in Miyazaki’s private atelier, and the Oscar has been given pride of place in the “Radio Room”, surrounded by red curtains and fabric to give it a red carpet look.

▼ Understandably, visitors aren’t allowed to touch the statuette, but they are allowed to photograph it.

Movie posters sit on either side of the Oscar, with one promoting the Japanese version of the film and the other promoting the English dubbed version, which is now being shown with Japanese subtitles at theatres around Japan from 20 March.

It’s a rare feat for a Japanese team to win an Academy Award and an even rarer treat to see one on display in Japan, especially just over a week after it was received, so now’s the time to head on over to Ghibli Park to view it in person. With the Catbuses now in operation and the new Valley of Witches area finally open, complete with a replica of Howl’s Castle and Kiki’s bakery, where you can buy breads, there’s never been a better time to visit!

Source, images: Ghibli Park
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