The Ghost Art Museum 5: Much Ado about the Ghost Amusement Park

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The Ghost Art Museum 5: Much Ado about the Ghost Amusement Park
Author: Sachiko Kashiwaba
Illustrator: Takako Hirai
Specifications: ISBN  978-4591153956
127 pages
15.5 x 20.5 cm / 6.2 x 8.2 in (WxH)
Category: Children & YA
Ages: 10+
Publisher: Poplar Publishing Co., Ltd.
Tokyo, 2017
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In Welcome to the Ghost Art Museum!, the inaugural volume of what has now become a popular series, a fifth-grade girl named Mahiru became the director of the eponymous museum in accordance with the original founder’s last wishes. The many ghosts that come out of the paintings on display at the museum are visible only to children. In each installment, of which this is the fifth, the wishes of various objects cause them to transmogrify into ghosts that Mahiru can see because she is still a child.

Recently there have been reports of mysterious sounds emanating from the museum at night—sounds of a human baby crying and of ghosts singing lullabies to console him. Mahiru learns that the ghosts from the museum had been out strolling in the park one night when a boy in green Chinese clothing asked them to take care of a baby boy named Sunao until morning. They had taken the baby back to the museum that night and returned to the park with him the next day. The boy in Chinese clothing had bowed his thanks and disappeared—but then the same thing began happening every night.

So whose child is Sunao, and why does the boy in Chinese clothing bring him to the park at night? When Mahiru begins looking for answers, clues lead her to a recently closed local amusement park called Sunny Land and the family that own it. Admissions at Sunny Land had been dwindling for a number of years until they finally reached the point where the park could no longer remain in business. Then, almost immediately after the park closed, the brother and his wife who had managed the business for the family died in a traffic accident, leaving their infant son, Sunao, to be cared for by his twenty-something uncle, Yūya. Previously an idler, Yūya now feels guilty for not helping out with the family business and begins working night and day to look after Sunao’s needs while also trying to find a way to reopen the park.

Then one day the Sunny Land attractions assume the form of a pirate and several animals and accost the boy in Chinese clothing while he is waiting for the museum ghosts to arrive, demanding that he turn Sunao over to them instead. With an eye to generating funds for reopening the park, they want to use Sunao to gain access to a treasured green celadon bowl that has been passed down through the generations in Yūya’s family. It turns out that the boy in green Chinese clothing is actually a transmogrification of that very celadon bowl, which has shifted its shape in order to protect Sunao from the pirate and animals that are trying to get him.

The bowl already had a crack in it, but now it actually breaks. As a result, the boy in Chinese clothing stops appearing. When the amusement park ghosts realize they can no longer obtain the bowl, they give up all hope of reviving the park and disappear. After they are gone, Mahiru and the museum ghosts are at a loss what to do.

One day Mahiru and the museum ghosts visit Yūya at his home and discover that the celadon bowl has been repaired. Mahiru also learns that a buyer has been found for Sunny Land, and the amusement park is on its way to reopening. The Sunny Land ghosts’ fervent hopes are fulfilled and all ends happily.