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Children Who Chase Lost Voices

The Garden of Words

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The Garden of Words (言の葉の庭, Kotonoha no Niwa) is a 2013 Japanese anime drama film written, written and directed by Makoto Shinkai. It is his fourth feature film.

The film was released on May 31, 2013.


🕒 Timeline in The Garden of Words
Takao in the park

Takao Akizuki studies shoemaking in the park.

At the start of the rainy season in Tokyo with Takao Akizuki, a 15-year-old student and aspiring shoemaker, opting to skip his first class and sketch shoe designs in the garden at Shinjuku Gyo-en. There he encounters Yukari Yukino, a 27-year-old woman who is skipping work and enjoying beer and chocolate. When she notices the school crest on his uniform, Yukari bids him farewell with a poem, leaving Takao puzzled as to its origin and meaning. The two continue to encounter each other and socialize in the park on rainy mornings, but never formally introduce themselves. After Yukari expresses an interest in Takao's shoemaking, he decides to make a pair of shoes in her size. With the end of the rainy season, Takao stops visiting the park and focuses on his work.

Takao shocked

Takao shocked to see Yukino in his school.

Following summer break, Takao returns to school and spots Yukari. His friends inform him that she is a literature teacher and that she had been the target of gossip and bullying. Out of kindness and to avoid further confrontation, Yukari opted to avoid work and retreat to the park, hoping she would learn to overcome her fears and be able to "walk" again. However, Yukari quits her job and leaves the school. That afternoon, Takao meets Yukari at the park and greets her by reciting the 2,514th poem from the Man'yōshū Japanese poetry collection, the correct response to her poem, which he found in a classic Japanese literature textbook. After getting soaked by a sudden thunderstorm, both head to Yukari's apartment and spend the afternoon together. When Takao confesses his love following dinner, Yukari is visibly moved, but then reminds him that she is a teacher and tells him that she is moving back to her home town on Shikoku. After Takao abruptly excuses himself, Yukari realizes her mistake and runs after him, finding him in the stairwell. Still upset, Takao angrily takes back what he had said and criticizes her for being so secretive and never opening up to him. Yukari embraces him and the two cry while she explains that their time together in the park had saved her.

Takao in winter

Takao visits the park in the winter.

The credits show Takao barely passing his final exams, but still working towards his goals, while Yukari moves back to Shikoku and resumes her teaching career. In a post-credits scene, Takao revisits the park that winter, reads a letter from Yukari, places her finished shoes on the bench and then vows that he will find her after he has made progress with his career.


►►► List of The Garden of Words characters


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