Update (11/1/21): Just before Christmas, a story emerged about a torii gate on the real Tsushima island that had been damaged during a typhoon. A crowdfunding campaign was set up to raise money for repairs, and Ghost of Tsushima fans are partly responsible for helping make it a success. Now, the campaign is done, and the final amount raised is just over 27 million yen — 542 per cent of the initial goal.
According to a new report from Siliconera, repairs to the torii gate are estimated to begin in April of this year, and should be completed sometime in August. That's if COVID-19 doesn't disturb the schedule, of course. Additionally, a stone monument will be put in place, bearing the names of backers who donated at least 10,000 yen. A great end to a lovely story.
Original Story: Though the story and characters are fictional, Ghost of Tsushima is set in a real place. As has been well established, Sucker Punch's open world samurai adventure takes place on the titular island, which really was invaded by the Mongol army in 1274. Much (much!) more recently, the hit game has popularised the location, and Japan is fully aware of this; the Tsushima tourism website heavily features the PlayStation 4 exclusive, after all.
The island's popularity has raised dramatically over the past few months, to the extent that fans of the game are getting involved with events happening in the real world. Earlier this year, a typhoon hit Tsushima, and one of the island's torii gates was heavily damaged as a result. Ghost players will know that these gates lead to Shinto shrines (although the real ones don't grant you powerful Charms). Resident shrine priest Yuichi Hirayama started a Campfire campaign, which is essentially a Kickstarter, in order to raise funds for repairs to the torii.
Asking for 5 million yen, the campaign began on 27th November. With a few weeks still to go, the crowdfunding page has now raised over 20 million yen, more than four times the initial goal. In a Famitsu report (translated by Twinfinite), Yuichi Hirayama writes in an update that a big part of this immense support is down to Ghost of Tsushima fans.
It's great to hear that passionate players have been able to channel their love of the game into something that makes an impact on the real world. Hopefully, once it's safe to travel once again, people will be able to visit Tsushima and see the restored torii gate in all its glory.
How's that for a feel-good story to get you in the holiday spirit?