Stunned fans spot ‘Hayao Miyazaki’ strolling around Ghibli Park in news report

  • Izumi Pao, a Hayao Miyazaki impersonator for over 15 years, became an instant celebrity at Ghibli Park during its opening day on Nov. 1.
  • Ghibli fans watching local news coverage of the opening were perplexed after the long-time Miyazaki impersonator was shown walking around the park.
  • The park was announced in 2017, and construction began in 2020.

A Hayao Miyazaki impersonator has left many fans scratching their heads after local news coverage of the recently opened Ghibli Park showed him walking around the park last week.

The long-time impersonator, later identified as Izumi Pao on Twitter, was briefly spotted by TBS News Dig outside the Grand Warehouse entrance on Nov. 1, the park’s opening day.

Footage shows Pao casually strolling around donning the legendary Japanese director’s iconic cream-colored apron while holding an umbrella.

Several fans realized that the man was an impersonator and not Miyazaki after Japanese actor Takeshi Tsuruno uploaded a picture of himself standing beside Pao on Twitter on Nov. 1.

As it turns out, Pao became quite the celebrity at Ghibli Park on opening day, as seen in a recent CBC News video.

Pao’s dedication to dressing up as Miyazaki goes way beyond cosplaying. According to SoraNews24, the impersonator has been dressing up as the director – complete with the iconic apron, beard, wig and glasses – for over 15 years now.

Plans for Studio Ghibli’s new theme park, which is located in the city of Nagakute in Japan’s Aichi prefecture, were first announced in 2017. The park’s construction, which started in 2020, ultimately replaced Aichi Prefecture’s EXPO Park. In August, Miyazaki teamed up with legendary composer Joe Hisaishi to create a vibrant animation trailer for the park.

Featured Image via TBS NEWS DIG Powered by JNNCBCニュース【CBCテレビ公式】

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