Today the Department of Awesome (Grand)parenting salutes 59-year-old grandpa Hidebochi. For 32 years he’s run an udon shop in Mihama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. He’s also been a “weekend carpenter” for 52 years. Those carpentry skills came in very handy when he learned that his two young granddaughters, Ringo (6 years old) and Mei (3 years old), would be moving from Vancouver, Canada to live with him above the udon shop. Just like the little girls in My Neighbor Totoro, Ringo and Mei were moving far away from their first home to a new home out in the country.
In effort to welcome them and prevent them from feeling homesick, Hidebochi decided to recreate the rain scene from My Neighbor Totoro right outside their new home. He constructed a 10-foot-tall Totoro using materials such as wood, water pipes and rugs. Hidebochi’s Totoro stands at the Catbus stop with an umbrella in hand and a welcoming grin on his face.
"A concrete block keeps Totoro secure in front of the Teuchi Udon Ōishi-ka shop. A camera in Totoro’s nose lets Hidebochi’s family know when visitors come to meet the iconic character. Totoro can play music from the film when people visit him.
Totoro waits next to the Kōshiyama Eki Mae catbus stop near the Kōshiyama train station in Mihama. Visitors who want to ride the catbus may be out of luck because it only comes at night from about midnight to 5:00 a.m., according to Hidebochi’s catbus stop sign.”
What’s more, Hidebochi positioned Totoro so that his granddaughters can always see him, smiling up at them, from their room above the udon shop.
Click here to watch a brief video in which Hidebochi shows how he created this awesome Totoro. You’ll also get to see Ringo and Mei help recreate the rain scene. Judging by the smiles on their faces, it seems they’re pretty pleased with their new home and, of course, their awesome grandpa.
Visit RocketNews24 for additional photos and info about Hidebochi’s heartwarming homemade Totoro.