Garden of Words

by: Graciella Marie Golingan

How to walk among life and words..


What mood does the rain putyou in? For many, a rainy day is a sign of gloom and sadness, akin to tears covering up an otherwise bright day. For some, it casts an image of peace and clarity in its cleansing waters, allowing the world to start fresh. For two such people, it represents of meeting one another. The Garden of Words or “Kotonoha no Niwa” in Japanese is an anime drama film directed by Makoto Shinkai in 2013.


The film is about a boy named Akizuki, an aspiring shoemaker who tends skip class during rainy mornings; and Yukino, a woman who Akizuki met on a porch where he usually stops by to kill time. The two share a common dilemma: What does it take to walk one’s life? As time went by, the two became friends, to a point where Akizuki begins to have feelings for Yukino. Yukino became Akizuki’s inspiration and motivation to become a shoemaker someday. But conflict strikes when Akizuki discovers that Yukino is a classic literature teacher in their school. He begins to wonder why Yukino didn’t tell him the truth, in which Yukino intends to keep it to herself due to personal problems involving her work. When Akizuki confessed to Yukino about his feelings, Yukino rejected him, telling him that she’ll be leaving for Shikoku next month and trying to maintain this “student and teacher” relationship.


What I can say about the movie is that it teaches us how to walk our life with the people who inspire us to and motivate us. In the movie, the director showed a heavy symbolism regarding shoes; it symbolizes how one cannot walk properly without a shoe. Philosophically speaking, the shoe represents the people who motivate and inspire us, and unconsciously teaches us how to walk our life to become somebody in yet to come. Also, what I liked about the movie is the aesthetics, especially the animation and the scenery of what rain can contribute to the beauty of Japan’s gardens. The film’s theme is, of course, love and motivation; the character development focuses on the dilemma the two main characters are experiencing, and as the story grows, they finally realized each other’s true feelings, despite their ages (Yukino being 27 and Akizuki being 15). Overall, the movie is a real masterpiece Japan can offer due to it’s sad yet heartwarming theme, and colorful aesthetics implemented upon the movie.


Checkout Trailer



Director Makoto Shinkai

Genre Animation, Drama, Romance

Year 2013 Time 46 minutes


Takao, who is training to become a shoemaker, skipped school and is sketching shoes in a Japanese-style garden. He meets a mysterious woman, Yukino, who is older than him. Then, without arranging the times, the two start to see each other again and again, but only on rainy days. They deepen their relationship and open up to each other. But the end of the rainy season soon approaches…






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