A Hiroshima court ruled in favor of local citizens opposed to a landfill and bridge project that would substantially alter a local scenic fishermen’s port — with the megahit Hayao Miyazaki toon “Ponyo” helping to sway the decision.
Miyazaki conceived the idea for “Ponyo,” which earned $170 million at the Japanese B.O. last year, in a two-month stay at Tomonoura port and his animators used it as a setting for the toon. It has since become a mecca for “Ponyo” fans, boosting revenues of local businesses.
The International Council on Monuments and Sites has named Tomonoura as an endangered historical area because of the project.
Miyazaki applauded the ruling at a press conference in Tokyo on Thursday, calling it a “big and good step forward when we think about the future of Japan, not only Tomonoura.” He also derided the decades-long rush to cover Japan in concrete from public works projects. He said, “We should all consider how we can make Japan a calmer and easier place to live in.”