Hayao Miyazaki is opening a nature sanctuary for children on a remote Japanese island

The 74-year-old film maker is perhaps best known for Spirited Away, which won an Oscar in 2001

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The Independent Online

Legendary Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki has revealed his plans to build a nature sanctuary for children on a remote Japanese island.

The 74-year-old filmmaker is expected to spend 300 million yen, or $2.5million, of his personal finances on the project. It is due to be completed in 2018 on Kume Island.

Kydo News reports that the facility will seek to encourage children to appreciate the natural world and develop a closer bond with nature.

Mr Miyazaki’s films often explore themes of childhood, imagination and nature. 

He has previously spoken of his concerns that children’s lives are becoming increasingly exposed to consumerism and technology. He has said that: “Utopia exists only in one’s childhood life.”

The director is perhaps best known for his Oscar winning film Spirited Away which was released in 2001. It was the first ever anime film to win an Oscar and broke box office records in Japan.

He announced in 2013 that he was retiring from his cinematic career to focus on other projects.