This was a gift to my band director, celebrating a recent trip he and my high school concert band took to Japan. (We have a sister school there and the band plays in a couple cities, tours northern Japan for two weeks, good fun.)
I'd been wanting to make a cake for him for a very long time, and Totoro seemed like a good fit (happy, musically inclined, watches over kids...plus the bonus of the Japan them.) What it came down to was me desperately carving the figure out of cake at some ungodly hour of the night, and waging a war with the very last of my fondant. (The Totoro and the red banner are fondant, the cake itself and the writing on the banner--which translates to "Music Knows No Borders"--are frosted in buttercream.)
For reasons of time I ended up incorporating some small non-edible bits--the whiskers and musical note coming from the occarina are made from wire.
Nevertheless, it turned out to be one of my favorite cakes, so huzzah!
Totoro belongs to Hayao Miyazaki. If you don't know who that is, shame shame shame.