After In This Corner of the World‘s first crowdfunding success – earning 36,224,000 yen (about $321,905 US) from 3,374 supporters, which allowed the movie a theatrical release in Japan – the anime adaptation of Fumiyo Konou’s celebrated manga has been garnering much admiration of its own since it opened on November 12th. It’s even gone on to win the Hiroshima Peace Award at the 3rd Hiroshima International Film Festival, due in part to its direct exploration of the Hiroshima bombing in 1945.
Director Sunao Katabuchi had plans to visit other countries screening the film, including the UK, France, Germany and South America, so he could see for himself how we receive the film overseas. So, a new crowdfunding campaign was launched to raise his travel expenses on November 22nd. In an unprecedented stroke of enthusiasm, however, backers got Katabuchi to his goal of 10,800,000 yen (roughly $96,000 US) in just one day.
Thanks to all those generous folk, Katabuchi will be putting together a report on how foreign viewers feel towards Japan as the sole country that’s been the victim of a nuclear weapon, based on our responses to the film. He will capture all of these emotions and bring them back to Japan, comparing and contrasting them with how his home country has come to terms with the legacy of that devastation. The backer rewards include a written account by Katabuchi of his experiences in these countries, attending screenings and related events.
The film’s committee have now announced that they need to limit the number of supporters for the campaign, and that more report meetings by Katabuchi will now be held. Katabuchi joked on Twitter that if people keep adding to the fund as they have, “I might be sent to the moon”.
In This Corner of the World (Kono Sekai no Katasumi ni) tells the story of the adolescent Suzu, who in 1944 moves to the small town of Kure in Hiroshima to live with her husband’s family. Suzu’s life is thrown into chaos when her town is bombed during World War II. Her perseverance and courage, however, underpin this heart-warming and inspirational tale of the everyday challenges faced by the Japanese in the midst of a violent, war-torn country.