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Hayao Miyazaki to build children's nature retreat

Hayao Miyazaki, the famed filmmaker behind such beloved anime as My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke, is spearheading the construction of a nature retreat for children.

According to The Japan Times, the project will be built in a virgin forest on Kumejima Island, about 56 miles west of Okinawa Island. Expected to be completed in 2018, the project will replace existing playground equipment and include a two-story building that can accommodate up to 30 people.

The town of Kumejima is providing about two and a half acres of forest for the project. However, Miyazaki, whose works often center on humanity's relationship with nature, will bear the cost of construction, expected to run about $2.5 million.

Construction is expected to begin in April.

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