Japanese grandpa creates giant Totoro
A Japanese grandfather's two young grandchildren just moved back to Japan from Canada. To ease their transition to their new home, the loving grandpa decided to make a giant, 10-foot-tall Totoro, complete with all the details just like in the famous anime fantasy film, My Neighbor Totoro.
59-year-old Hidebochi has had his udon shop for 32 years and is also quite an experienced weekend carpenter. His granddaughters are 6-year-old Ringo and 3-year-old Mei. Since Mei's name is identical to the Mei in the famous My Neighbor Totoro film, Hidebochi was inspired to construct a life-size giant Totoro for his grandkids.
The award-winning 1988 film, written and directed by the famed Hayao Miyazaki, tells the story of two young sisters, Satsuko and Mei, who had to move to an unfamiliar home in the countryside and were comforted by a friendly spirit named Totoro. In a memorable scene, Totoro appeared in a rainy night to stand with the sisters as they waited for their father's bus to arrive. Seeing that the large creature only had a single leaf on his head to shield from the rain, Satsuko gave Totoro the umbrella meant for her father. Totoro was very happy to receive the kind gift.
Grandpa Hidebochi decided to recreate the smiling Totoro with the umbrella from the warmhearted rain scene. Armed with his carpentry tools, he set out to construct the giant, 10-foot-tall Totoro with materials such as water pipes, wood, netting, and rugs. The completed Totoro has a leaf on his head and holds an umbrella. His granddaughters were delighted and amazed.
Here's the DIY video uploaded by the loving grandpa to show us how he made the giant Totoro. It is very thoroughly documented from the design through construction.
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Hidebochi placed Totoro next to the udon shop so that Ringo and Mei can always see him from their room above the shop. You can see the smiling granddaughters with their Totoro by the end of the video.
Judging from the smiling faces of the young girls, Hidebochi must be one happy grandfather for having created this amazing gift for his beloved granddaughters.
Totoro is secured with a concrete block in front of the Teuchi Udon Ōishi-ya shop located in Mihama, Mie Prefecture. People who want to meet and take photos with Totoro can visit him in front of the udon shop until 5:30 pm during sunny days. On rainy days, he is protected under a plastic tarp because the umbrella is still not big enough for him. But, also on rainy days, a hot bowl of udon sounds like just the comfort food to enjoy while chatting with Hideboshi about his DIY achievement.