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Castle in the Sky robot tribute.

Big Japanese Robot

Field review by the editors.

Seattle, Washington

In 2014 designer Darrell Toland built a towering, full-size replica of the robot from Hayao Miyazaki's 1986 animated film, "Castle In The Sky," and stood it in his small front yard. Miyazaki did not name the robot, but Toland calls it "The Gardener" because in the film it was left to tend the gardens of a long-dead civilization.

Castle in the Sky robot tribute.

The robot is made of fiberglass and styrene over a steel frame, and augmented with lights and sound effects like the robot in the film. When asked why he built it, Toland answered, "Because it's cool."

Seattle weather -- i.e., water damage -- forced Toland to perform extensive repair work on the robot in 2018. Repeated makeovers are inevitable.

Visitors often place offerings in the robot's outstretched hand: usually flowers, small toys, and pebbles, but occasionally handwritten notes as well. Toland came home one day and found that someone had knitted the robot a mitten.

Big Japanese Robot

6706 28th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA
Northwest side of the city, in the residential Ballard neighborhood. The statue stands outside a house, on the east side of 28th Ave. NW, between NW 67th and 68th Sts.
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