Ghost of Tsushima Fans Help Restore Torii Toppled by Typhoon in Real-World Tsushima

Video games often influence things beyond the screen of our consoles. Sucker Punch's Ghost of Tsushima had an unexpected effect.

Ghost of Tsushima

Video games are a form of entertainment, but often their influence can extend far beyond the screen of our consoles. Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima had that effect in a rather unexpected way.

Back in September, a typhoon toppled a torii (the iconic sacred gates of Shinto shrines) at Watatsumi Shrine on the real island of Tsushima.

One of the priests at the shrine launched a Campfire campaign (basically the Japanese version of Kickstarter, as reported by Famitsu) to gather funds for the Torii’s restoration.

The campaign was launched less than a month ago (on November 27) and currently has 20 days to go. Yet, its original target of 5,000,000 yen (just north of $48,000) has already been overtaken four times with 20,177,777 yen donated at the moment of this writing by 1,513 supporters.

Below you can see the Torii in its original condition and after it was toppled, as portrayed in the Campfire campaign. Torii are most commonly seen at the entrance of Shinto shrines to help mark the transition from the mundane world to consecrated soil. If you have played Ghost of Tsushima, you have likely seen and crossed quite a few.

The organizer of the campaign, Yuichi Hirayama from Watatsumi Shrine, mentioned in its updates that a lot of support has been granted by the fans of Ghost of Tsushima, and he feels that this is also thanks to the Gods’ guidance.

He also hopes that after the pandemic ends, many will enjoy visiting Tsushima.

Despite being developed by a western studio, Ghost of Tsushima has found a lot of supporters in Japan, with local fans praising its portrayal of Japanese history and culture. Its popularity led to renewed interest in the real island of Tsushima, even sparking a special episode of the well-known “Sekai Fushigi Hakken!” (Discover the World’s Mysteries) show.

Ghost of Tsushima is currently available exclusively for PS4 and you can read our review. We recently heard that the game sold over five million copies and is the fastest-selling first-party original PS4 game of all time.

About the author

Giuseppe Nelva

Proud weeb hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long-standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality), MMORPGs, and visual novels are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans on Earth of the flight simulator genre.