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Several fragments of a comet fall through the sky. Most of them won’t collide with Earth, but one breaks off and hurtles directly towards the town of Itomori. Soon, everybody there will be vanquished. The parents, the children, the teachers, the politicians, the businessmen will all be gone.
And that includes Mitsuha Miyamizu.
During these opening moments of Your Name (Kimi no Na wa), we don’t realize Mitsuha is going to lose her life. All we know is that Mitsuha and Taki Tachibana, despite not knowing each other and being miles away from one another, have somehow bonded over this celestial event that has captivated Japan. Together, they recite these opening lines:
“Once in a while when I wake up, I find myself crying. The dream I must have had I can never recall. But the sensation that I’ve lost something lingers for a long time after I wake up. I’m always searching for something, for someone. This feeling has possessed me I think from that day when the stars came falling. It was almost as if a scene from a dream. Nothing more, nothing less than a beautiful view.”
Immediately, Your Name opens with a cryptic, ambiguous scene—a trend that will continue throughout. Despite its charm, success, and visceral power, Your Name has a very convoluted story that’s difficult to grasp, that has left many wondering if it’s a mess of a movie that doesn’t work.
I’ve spent hours cycling through the questions people have posted about this movie, and yes indeed, there is PLENTY of crazy stuff to explain (which I’ll do) in this movie. But before I get into explaining the plot of Your Name, let’s remember that opening quote from Mitsuha and Taki and what it represents. Because understanding the movie’s intentions will help shape how we make sense of its complicated parts.
What is Your Name about?
I think it’s very easy to get wrapped up in the logic of Your Name’s narrative. Naturally, you want to pick apart every story development and plot hole to find out if the story’s foundation is sound. If a moment steps outside the movie’s logical structure? It triggers something in your brain. You start to focus on plot details, like how the Red String of Fate functions, or how Mitsuha’s and Taki’s realities could possibly intersect when they live three years apart, or how drinking kuchikamizake connects the two teenagers.
Essentially, you could become so enraptured with what all those elements represent on a rational level that we ignore the emotional core. So while many people on the Internet have attempted to explain the coherence of the plot, I think it’s essential to also include the human elements of the story. Like, what does this movie say about you and me? About the experience of finding love?
And our key insight into what Your Name is about? That quote from the beginning of the movie. Right off the bat, we’re introduced to two people who feel a connection to someone else…but don’t know who that someone is. There’s an emptiness both Taki and Mitsuha feel. There’s something missing. They are incomplete. They are, in that quote, expressing their desire to find their better half.
To find love.
Mitsuha and Taki’s description of what they feel when those comets fall through the sky isn’t specific, or logical, or definite—it’s ambiguous, and cryptic, and enigmatic. Love isn’t something you can explain, but it’s something you feel. And Your Name treats that feeling as an ethereal one. Love is not bound by space or time, but instead by the individuals who are inextricably connected no matter where they are.
I think this is an important mindset to have heading into a plot explanation of the movie. Because while all of the confusing plot elements of Your Name can be explained, I believe they gain power and even more meaning when we can connect those explanations to Mitsuha and Taki’s desire to find love—a feeling we can all empathize with.
A quick plot summary of Your Name
Part of the confusion people have with Your Name is it’s structure. Because Mitsuha exists three years behind Taki, and because the movie randomly jumps between those time periods, the story doesn’t flow in chronological order. Many times it can feel like Your Name is purposely leaving out information to trip you up.
But I PROMISE: all of the details are there. And I think the movie’s plot can be much better understood if we lay out all of its main components in chronological order.
Below is a timeline of the movie’s event in jpg form. You can use this for a bare-bones explanation of Your Name’s plot. I’ll also list all of this out in text form below the image if you’d rather read it that way.
The rest of the article will go into much more detail on each part of the timeline.
1. The First Comet Strikes
Hundreds of years ago, a comet struck Earth and created the lake that Itomori now rests upon.
2. Mitsuha’s Mother Passes Away
After the passing of Mitsuha and Yotsuha’s mother, their father becomes detached from them and engrossed with politics. Their grandmother takes over parenting.
3. Mitsuha Performs the Kuchikamizake Ritual
Mitsuha and Yotsuha perform a ritual and create kuchikamizake, which they offer to their god at a shrine. She wishes to be a handsome Tokyo boy.
4. Mitsuha’s Body Switch
Mitsuha randomly wakes up as Taki, who lives three years in the future. This switch continues on random days for several weeks.
5. Mitsuha Finds Taki
Mitsuha tracks Taki down in Tokyo. Before being pushed out of the train, she manages to throw her red yarn bracelet to him.
6. The Comet Strikes Again
A fragment of another passing comet strikes Itomori. Taki watches from afar, while Mitsuha is vanquished.
7. Taki’s Body Switch
Taki now randomly wakes up in Mitsuha’s body in an alternate timeline three years before she passes away.
8. Taki Learns About Itomori
Taki decides to go looking for Mitsuha. He learns that she was from Itomori, which was destroyed by the comet three years earlier.
9. Taki Visits the Shrine
Taki visits the shrine he remembers from his time in Mitsuha’s body. He drinks the kuchikamizake. He then goes back in time and wakes up in Mitsuha’s body on the day the comet is set to strike Itomori.
10. Taki Tries to Save Mitsuha
Taki enlists help from Mitsuha’s friends to get everyone out of Itomori before the comet strikes.
11. Taki and Mitsuha Meet
At “tasogare-doki”, a time of day when different worlds blur together, Taki and Mitsuha switch back to their bodies and meet at the shrine. Taki gives Mitsuha her red yarn bracelet back, severing their connection.
12. Mitsuha Saves Itomori
Mitsuha travels back to Itomori and saves almost everybody.
13. Taki and Mitsuha Forget
Because Mitsuha never passed away, she and Taki now exist in present day. But because Taki gave Mitsuha back her red yarn, they forget one another.
14. Years Pass
As the years go by, both Taki and Mitsuha can’t shake the feeling that something (or someone) is missing from their lives.
15. Taki and Mitsuha Find Each Other
Taki and Mitsuha pass by one another on the train. They feel a connection and chase after each other. Finally, they meet, and each ask for the other’s name.
A detailed plot summary of Your Name
Now we’ll go through each of those events in more detail. By thinking about the movie in chronological order—as opposed to the jumbled order we experience when watching Your Name—I think we’ll be able to find a lot of answers to a lot of questions.
Explaining what the first comet strike means
It’s important to start from the beginning—like, the very beginning. Hundreds (or maybe even thousands?) of years before Mitsuha and Taki existed, a comet struck Earth.
It could be that two different comets struck Earth at two different points in time, but I’ll assume that, based on what happens to present-day Itomori, that the first comet split into several fragments as well. One of those fragments created the lake that Itomori would one day rest upon, and the other established a crater that houses the Miyamizu Shrine.
Even though the first comet isn’t given much attention in the movie, I think it’s important to address that first comet, as I think it shares both a divine and a metaphorical connection with the future comet that will destroy Itomori.
Think of the first comet splitting into two parts as a severed connection between two people—this is a key metaphor for the love shared between Mitsuha and Taki. The bond those two comet fragments share creates an otherworldly link between the lake and the shrine, and Mitsuha and Taki must use that connection to save Itomori from the future comet.
Explaining the Miyamizu family’s spiritual abilities
Early in Mitsuha and her sister Yotsuha’s childhood, their mother Futaba passed away. We learn this later in the movie when Taki visits the shrine.
From Taki’s vision, we learn that the death of Mitsuha’s mother devastated Mitsuha’s father, Toshiki. Blaming himself for not being able to save her, he becomes detached from the Miyamizu family and its traditions. One of those traditions was visiting their god at the Miyamizu Shrine. In effect, he abandons the Miyamizu family, leaving his daughters to be cared for by their grandmother and Futaba’s mother, Hitoha.
We later learn from Hitoha that all of the women in Miyamizu family line have spiritual ties with random people (which explains the link Mitsuha shares with Taki). However, for both Hitoha and Futaba, those connections faded over time and eventually became hazy memories. Essentially, nobody has ever come as close to meeting their spiritual partner as Mitsuha came to meeting Taki.
This is interesting, because it raises the question: was Toshiki actually “the one” for Futaba? Was Toshiki the person she shared a spiritual connection with? Maybe, maybe not. Maybe the person you share a spiritual connection with doesn’t have to be your “soul mate”, but instead someone you simply share a deep bond with.
More importantly, though, this reveals the film’s underlying obsession about the consequence of abandoning tradition. In Hitoha’s mind, respecting traditions and rituals are important, even when you don’t understand them. She breeds that attitude in Mitsuha, but is unable to have Toshiki carry on with the Miyamizu customs. So even if Toshiki was Futaba’s spiritual connection, the fact that he abandons Miyamizu traditions keeps him from re-establishing his connection with her—unlike Taki, who visits the Miyamizu Shrine and retains his connection with Mitsuha even after she passes away.
I think this information about the Miyamizu family exposes a celestial link between the first comet and the second comet. The first comet created the shrine that the Miyamizu family uses to pray to their gods. And in that shrine, the Miyamizu women perform a ritual where they leave “half” of themselves to the gods by creating kuchikamizake—a rice-based alcohol that uses human saliva as a fermentation starter. That other half then connects with someone else after you perform a ceremony.
This gives the Miyamizu family’s mystical abilities an actual purpose. These spiritual connections existed for generations so that, eventually, someone would be able to alert the Miyamizus about the second incoming comet (or at least some sort of future danger). This is why Hitoha wouldn’t allow Toshiki to tear Mitsuha and Yotsuha from family traditions—Hitoha understood the importance of leaving these customs intact. Which is why Hitoha has her granddaughters perform a ceremony where they make kuchikamizake and twine a red yarn thread.
Explaining the red yarn thread and the kuchikamizake ritual
During the ceremony where Mitsuha creates kuchikamizake, she dances with a piece of red yarn.
Mitsuha’s grandmother explained the significance of the red yarn that Mitsuha was twining just before the ceremony:
“Listen to the thread’s voice. When you keep twining like that, emotions will eventually start flowing between you and the thread. One thousand years of Itomori’s history is etched into our braided cords. Two hundred years ago, sandal maker Mayugoro’s bathroom caught on fire and burned down this whole area. That shrine and old documents were destroyed, and this is known as (The Great Fire of Mayugoro). So the meaning of the festivals became unknown and only the form lived on. But even if the words are lost, tradition should be handed down. That’s the important task we at Miyamizu Shrine have.”
A couple things to take away from that quote.
First, on a plot level, this information tells us quite a bit. The Miyamizu family used to know a lot more about their abilities, but everything was destroyed by The Great Fire of Mayugoro. Which means their “knowledge” has continued to pass down through the traditions and rituals they perform. So while the Miyamizu women have continued to experience spiritual connections with other people, they’ve never known what the connections mean or how to act upon them (which is why they eventually just become “hazy memories”).
It just so happens that the second comet strike occurs during the annual festival. To me, this means that the festival was always meant to serve as a warning of the second comet. Perhaps the festival took place on the anniversary of the first comet strike? Perhaps it was always known the second comet would strike, and that knowledge was passed down from generation to generation? Who knows. All we know is that that information was likely destroyed in the Great Fire.
And second, we gain some insight into Mitsuha’s character.
Her grandma says, “When you keep twining like that, emotions will eventually start flowing between you and the thread. One thousand years of Itomori’s history is etched into our braided cords.” Mitsuha forms some sort of ethereal connection with Itomori’s history when creating that thread. She becomes one with its past and its future—she becomes one with her home. And because she’s given the red yarn thread to Taki, she’s capable of maintaining this connection with her home even when she’s dead.
Building a life with someone means inviting them into your home, into your life, and then building a new home and life with them. So when she hands that thread to Taki later in the movie, she’s not just creating a spiritual link—she’s offering half of herself to someone she shares a bond with.
Ah, young love!
Explaining the logic of Mitsuha and Taki’s body switching
While performing the kuchikamizake ceremony, Mitsuha’s classmates make fun of her. Embarrassed, Mitsuha runs away from the ceremony and screams, “Please make me a handsome Tokyo boy in my next life!”
Remember: the kuchikamizake represents “half” of Mitsuha, and the red yarn carries with it Mitsuha’s connection with Itomori. The ceremony then triggers the connection between Mitsuha and Taki. Because Taki is three years in the future when Mitsuha is dead, the body switching then becomes Mitsuha’s “next life.”
SIDE NOTE: A lot of questions have been raised about how Mitsuha never realized she was three years in the future, or how Taki never realized he was three years in the past. Of course it’s never explained in the movie, but I think there are plenty of simple explanations for why this happens:
- First and foremost, please remember: THEY ARE SWITCHING BODIES. That would make any normal person go insane…which makes me think you probably wouldn’t notice that the day you think it is (say, August 22, 2013) isn’t the day it actually is (August 22, 2016).
- To repeat a point from above: I don’t think it’s super unreasonable to never check what year it is? 2013 looks like 2016, if you ask me. I mean, how often do you see the current year printed somewhere, or have to write down the year? Maybe if you’re writing a check or something. But I don’t think it’s that crazy for neither Mitsuha or Taki—who are, once again, VERY DISTRACTED BY THE FACT THEY’RE IN ANOTHER PERSON’S BODY—to not really worry about if it’s the same year.
- One last point: what if they DID know they were three years apart? That’s never stated in the movie, but it also might not be relevant information to them. That would only be important to Taki if he knew Mitsuha was from Itomori (he didn’t), and if he knew Itomori had been destroyed by the comet (he didn’t).
SECOND SIDE NOTE: There’s also confusion about how Taki never realizes Mitsuha lives in a town called Itomori…I wish I had a good explanation for that one! Seems hard to defend. The only defense, I guess, is that body switching is a stressful event, and he had other things on his mind than checking what town he’s in?
Explaining how Taki restarts the body switching with Mitsuha
Even after the body switching ends (that’s why they both start crying when they wake up), Taki remembers Mitsuha. He can picture her face. He can sketch her hometown so well from memory that people recognize it as Itomori. Even though Mitsuha is dead, Taki’s connection with her remains—all because of that red yarn thread.
Remember: that thread carries with it Mitsuha’s connection with Itomori. So when Taki returns to where the town once stood, he knows to return to the shrine where Mitsuha left her kuchikamizake.
Also remember: Mitsuha created the kuchikamizake, but it was Taki in Mitsuha’s body that offered the kuchikamizake in the Miyamizu Shrine.
When Taki arrives at the shrine in Mitsuha’s body, Mitsuha’s grandma says:
“In exchange for returning to this world, you must leave behind what is most important to you—the kuchikamizake. You’ll offer it inside the god’s body. It’s half of you.”
So Taki isn’t leaving behind half of himself, but the half of Mitsuha that Mitsuha had created with the kuchikamizake. This is what severs his body switching days with Mitsuha.
But back in the future where Mitsuha is dead, Taki is in his own body when he visits the shrine and drinks the kuchikamizake. This re-establishes the body switching and allows Taki—who then inhabits Mitsuha’s body the day of the comet strike—to save Itomori.
I believe this to be a poignant commentary on love. Even when someone is gone…they’re never truly gone from your life. You remember how they move, how they talk, how they act. And I think that Taki’s passion for finding someone he shared such an intense bond with represents how that kind of love can transcend time and space.
Explaining how tasogare-doki allows Mitsuha and Taki to finally meet
The climactic moment of Your Name is when Taki and Mitsuha finally meet. You might wonder how their bodies are suddenly able to transcend time and space to meet in the same spot, but this meeting was actually set up much earlier in the movie.
The first day after the body switching, Mitsuha wakes up in her body with no recollection of the previous day. Everybody keeps talking about how strange she was acting. And while she’s trying to piece everything together, she looks down in her notebook and reads a message from Taki: “Who are you?”
In a movie called Your Name…I mean, c’mon. This is an important moment, right? It’s the first instance of Taki and Mitsuha trying to figure out who the other is. The question isn’t necessarily “What is your name?” but instead “Why have I formed this strange connection with you?”
It just so happens that while Mitsuha is reading this message from Taki, her teacher is explaining the meaning of “tasogare-doki”.
“‘Tasokare’ means ‘who is that’ and is the origin of the word ‘tasogare-doki’. Twilight, when it’s neither day nor night. When the world blurs and one might encounter something not human.”
She then has an interaction with a student that you may not have caught, or may not have thought much of—but it’s important:
Teacher: “Old expressions include ‘karetaso-doki’. Karetaso/Kawatare = Who is that and ‘karetaso-doki.’”
Student: “Question! Why not ‘kataware-doki’?”
Teacher: “Kataware-doki? I think that’s a local dialect. I’ve heard that Itomori’s elderly still use classical language. We’re in the boonies, after all.”
When Taki and Mitsuha finally meet, their bodies travel through time to finally converge in the same time and space. This occurs at twilight (aka tasogare-doki) when their worlds blur together. Even though they’re three years apart, the connection between the first comet and the second comet that destroyed Itomori has allowed for two different timelines to merge—the world with Itomori, and the world without Itomori.
And that interaction the teacher shared with the student shows that tasogare-doki has carried different translations with it throughout time. The old expression, kataware-doki, is a “classical” language, meaning it was a term used often by elderly members of the community.
So why would the term kataware-doki be so prevalent at one time? Remember: that term is a local dialect. And it was substituted for tasogare-doki, indicating it had a similar meaning: a combination of “who is that” and the time of day when worlds blur together. At one time, the idea of different timelines merging was so important to the people of Itomori that they created their own word for it.
But, again, everyone has forgotten about the term kataware-doki. I think this, once again, exposes the film’s underlying message about the importance of tradition. This is why Toshiki was never able to retain his connection with Futaba after she passed away like Taki was able to retain his connection with Mitsuha—Toshiki rejected tradition, while Taki embraced it. Toshiki refused to visit the shrine and carry the Miyamizu tradition, while Taki decided to visit the shrine and re-establish his spiritual link with Mitsuha.
The abandonment of the word “kataware-doki” is symbolic of the history of Itomori being abandoned, only leaving behind elderly’s grasp on tradition. Taki and Mitsuha’s embracement of tradition allows them to retain their connection, regardless of time or space.
With all that in mind, I think that because the documents contained in the Miyamizu Shrine were destroyed by The Great Fire of Mayugoro, the knowledge of the phrase went with it. That term lived on as long as it could through the generations, but now only the elderly even remember the term.
I assume the word was created because the Miyamizus once understood the importance of the spiritual connections they shared with others. They knew that the land where the first comets struck was sacred, so they built a shrine there and housed all of their documented beliefs there as well.
Remember my theory about the first comet? That it shares both a divine and a metaphorical connection with the future comet that will destroy Itomori. Just like Taki and Mitsuha, the past and future comets that will strike Itomori are bound together, regardless of space or time. Just like there is a link between the lake and the shrine, there is an unbreakable bond shared between two young people in love.
This gets at the title of the movie, and highlights the importance of the classroom scene when Mitsuha sees the message from Taki. The movie is not about two people finding out each other’s names—it’s about truly understanding someone else. When Taki writes his “name” in Mitsuha’s hand, he doesn’t actually write his name—he writes “I love you.”
Love is hard work and requires two people to invest in one another. So even when Taki gives Mitsuha back her red yarn thread and their memory of one another is severed…they never really forget one another, right? They have this feeling that the other is still out there. And at the end of the movie when they pass by each other on the train, they know something is there and chase after each other.
So in that final shot of the movie, when Mitsuha and Taki ask for each other’s name, what they’re really doing is starting their life together. It takes a lot of courage to invite someone into your life like that, and you only do it when you feel something special with that person.
In effect, the entire movie becomes a defamiliarization of finding your true soulmate. You never know the name of the person you’ll end up with—but you know the person, right? You know the kind of person that will make you happy, that will become your other half, that will complete you. All you need is the courage to finally invite them in when you find th
Editor’s Note: If you have more questions about Your Name, or if you have a theory of your own, hit me up in the comments section!
Aragorn the Wiser
Wow! I’ve been blogging about this movie for a year and I still picked up some fresh insights here. Thanks!
Travis actually failed to realize that that the whole phenomenon is actually the mountain god’s doing. I already understood what was going on after a few rewatches and let me explain it by detail here, but hey these are just my opinions you can debunk it:
First off as all of you know the Miyamizu Family has been worshiping Musubi, the mountain god. Unknown to them however the god actually has the ability to to switch the consciousness of two people in different places of time as vaguely explained by the grandma when she, Taki (within Mitsuha’s body) and Yotsuha went to the shrine.
Her line states: Musubi is the old way of calling the local guardian god. This word has profound meaning. Typing thread is Musubi. Connecting people is Musubi. The flow of time is Musubi. These are all the god’s power. So the braided cords that we make are the god’s art and represent the flow of time itself. They converge and take shape. They twist, tangle, sometimes unravel, break, and then connect again. Musubi – knotting. That’s time.
This explains a lot why this is happening to Taki and Mitsuha, it wasn’t caused by a wish Mitsuha wanted, it was the god’s power. Every line about Musubi in that paragraph can be related to what happened to the both of them.
They converge, take shape, twist, tangle = Taki and Mitsuha switching bodiesand forming a bond.
Sometimes unravel, break = the timelines not in step, and the eventual hindrance of body switching.
Then connect again = Taki being able to swtich with Mitsuha for the last time when he drinks Mitsuha’s rice wine (which by the way can be explained by saying that it is half of her and Musubi since it was created during the ritual).
Second, the comet isn’t a time glitch. Its just a natural phenomenon, there’s nothing really special about it. It is only relevant because the FIRST comet drop was where Musubi’s shrine is located, the SECOND is where the town of Itomori stands and the THIRD is supposed to destroy the town.
At this point you’ll be able to say that Musubi is deliberately trying to save the people of Itomori or the Miyamizu family from the inevitable wipeout that will come in the next 1200 years by switching the eldest daughter of the family (probably Musubi’s rules) with a random boy somewhere in Japan after the ritual.
Taki and Mitsuha falling in love was Musubi’s intentions all along and we can say that he was actually hoping for it to happen but it wasn’t relevant enough until the third comet drop actually happened.
Why hasn’t the god just switched them the time of day before the comet dropped you might ask? Simple theory, Musubi’s powers has expirations. Or the god is actually wanting and hoping for Taki to figure out why he is drawn to a town he hasn’t been before which resulted to him finding that the town is destroyed and Mitsuha is already dead. Then comes the reswitch of the both of them happening after Taki drinks the wine offering which RECONNECTS him to the god and Mitsuha.
Also I think that switch during the day when Grandma, Yotsuha and Taki (within Mitsuha) went to the shrine was intentional cuz if ever his will to fill that missing piece of him is strong he knows where to look.
Third, Kataware doki; and I will restate it here, THE COMET IS NOT MAGICAL, I’m sorry I can’t help it.
But yeah, the term Kataware-doki isn’t really something to focus on, the phenomenon that happened when Mitsuha and Taki meets at the shrine is just another trick Musubi pulled off for the both of them. He wouldn’t be a good god if he wasn’t gonna atleast make them see each other. It also makes sense that the god made them meet at the edge of the crater where the shrine is, it could mean Musubi’s powers is more powerful there. Also the sunset 6 o’clock… Look at the hands hmmmm.
Fourth, Taki doesn’t realize Mitsuha lives in Itomori until he wanted to. He just didn’t care until he fell inlove which means he’s almost forgotten everything and is just clinging onto that feeling he has been having.
Fun fact: IF Mitsuha didn’t switch with Taki who had a crush, the date will never happen. Which means they will almost never realize they’ve fallen inlove with each other, which also means Mitsuha will stay dead.
You and the author of this page both missed an important point.
The reason they forgot each other was explained by grandma when they first went to the shrine to drop off the sake; “past this point is ‘kakuriyo’; the underworld! In exchange for returning to this world, you must leave behind what is most important to you.”
Kakuriyo also means “world of the gods” or basically the “hidden world”.
That is the reason they lost their memories. They met up at that location a second time. Leaving it required leaving their memories of each other; the thing that was most important to them.
Likewise, you forgot that the inside of the shrine to their god depicts the comet itself.
“MUSUBI” IS THE COMET.
That’s why they drew it inside the shrine. That’s why the shrine is its first impact site. Musubi IS the comet.
Besides, Shinto doesn’t have “gods” in the way you describe. A Kami is a prevailing spiritual existence whose manifestation is the unique character of a particular location or thing. A Kami is something that you must understand and work with, possibly even bribe, trick, or appease through rituals.
Because a Kami IS the place, it IS the thing. When you treat the kami of your coffee table right, it means you give it the necessary maintenance, place it in the right location, and use it according to tradition – which makes it last longer and stay unbroken.
When you give the “powerful” kami of the forest respect it means you don’t trample through it at night with impunity or you are likely to be punished for your hubris by tripping on something you didn’t see, breaking a leg, and getting eaten by chipmunks… which makes YOU last longer and stay unbroken.
In modern Itamori (where they have LOST ALL RECORDS) the defining characteristics are the Hida mountains and Musubi is a mountain kami/god.
In truth, it is not a mountain god and the mountains are not the overwriting characteristic underlying the spiritual character of that land. It is the Comet that comes every 1200 years. The comet whose crater they live in. The comet whose center holds the shrine to their Musubi. Not the mountains.
“Musubi is the old way of calling the local guardian god. This word has profound meaning. Typing thread is Musubi. Connecting people is Musubi. The flow of time is Musubi. These are all the god’s power. So the braided cords that we make are the god’s art and represent the flow of time itself. They converge and take shape. They twist, tangle, sometimes unravel, break, and then connect again. Musubi – knotting. That’s time.”
The Comet and its tail appear as a braided cord. It returns and breaks, connects (with your town) and leaves again. It is like time at Kakuriyo, it twists, tangles, unravels, breaks, and connects again. Time Is a knot at Kakuriyo and Kakuriyo is the manifestation of the Comet where Musubi’s shrine resides. Inside the shrine is a mural of Musubi: the Comet.
The comet is 100% the source of this phenomenon. There have been not one, not two, but at least 3 impacts there. First, the one that created the shrine of Musubi, then the one that created the lake, then the one that destroys Ishimori.
We could not even make a weapon that could strike so accurately as that comet does every 1200 years.
That comet’s accuracy is honestly so unbelievable that if you said it was an advanced alien weapon it’d be more plausible statistically.
The rituals are a covenant with Musubi that bring them to that crater in that way every autumn before the comet is to return on its 1200 year cycle. If you dispense with all the god talk, then the sake and the shrine are just props that lure both subjects to the crater so they can coordinate.
In that case the god is whatever remnant of the first impact is causing the phenomenon and the rituals are a means of taking advantage of that phenomenon.
Shintoism is then a methodology for surviving or using the Kami – the spiritual manifestation of the prevailing character of a region. In this case it was exceptionally successful.
BTW: sunset at that location in 2016 on oct 22 was 16:56 – comet impact was 20:42
That was a very great explanation I did watch the anime when it came out in Japan, but yeah i kept thinking about it a lot! LIKE A LOT!!!
Anyhow um yeah i just have to say that Itomori means ‘Thread Guard’
Please, how did you find that the sunset was at 16:56? I can’t
I agree! Honestly, I understood the story’s concept on the Musubi part. I mean, that word alone can explain a lot of the strange events happening to the both of them. Japanese language is truly amazing.
thank you very much for this, i just watched this with my son, i was so confused, love the movie but just didnt get some parts
Thanks.. A decent explanation.
one question.. were Mitsuha and Taki the same age? refering to the scene where Taki saw the list of victims of the comet strike, Mitsuha was 17. the present (when he saw the victim list) Taki was 17 too wasn’t he? so they never really have the same age right? on that case, Mitsuha is 3 years older than Taki isn’t she? please do educate me on this, I’m so dying to know.
Yes. Mitsuha is 3 years older than Taki.
Taki is actually 3 years younger than Mitsuha (and teshi and sayaka too)
This is shown on multiple instances in the movie
1. Mitsuha goes to tokyo one day before the comet and meets taki in train, Taki here is clearly younger than her (check their heights)
2. At last scene, they meet each other finally, these days taki is job hunting while mitsuha is already working on her job and dressed up like a regular working adult
3. When taki sees teshi and sayaka, in the cafe they’re planning their wedding(which doesnt just happen after your college) while taki has just finished his college/education
One thing I think you neglected to point out of the beginning and during your timeline explanation.
Taki forgot Mitsuha because in the cave – the grandmother said “In exchange for returning to this world, you must leave behind what is most important to you.” At that moment in time, Mitsuha is what matters most to Tak and vice versa. So once he and Mitsuha leave the crater, they forget each other – leaving each other behind.
Ignore my original comment I somehow skipped over the part where you explicitly referred to the quote i mentioned.
ha, it’s all good!
First in the png it says mitsuha experiences the switching then after she died taxi starts switching bodies does that mean mitsuha was switching bodies first/before taxi started switching. I always thought that they both were simultaneously switching bodies just in different time periods
Second in the png it’s says taxi wakes up in mitsuha body in a alternate timeline. How is there a alternate timeline? Were did it come from?. I believed that they were switching bodies at the same time so the scenes with mitsuha show what she went through before her death
Plz answer I NEED ANSWERS
First, “Your Name” is a Japanese animated film directed by Makoto Shinkai. It was released in 2016 and became a worldwide phenomenon, grossing over $300 million at the box office.
The story follows the lives of two high school students, Mitsuha and Taki, who live in different parts of Japan. Mitsuha is a girl living in a rural town in the mountains, while Taki is a boy living in Tokyo. One day, they both start experiencing strange occurrences where they wake up in each other’s bodies. They begin to communicate through notes and messages, and they start to develop feelings for each other despite never having met in person.
As they continue to switch bodies, they try to find a way to meet and figure out the mystery behind their strange connection. Along the way, they must also confront a series of challenges and dangers that threaten to keep them apart.
“Your Name” is a heartwarming and emotional tale of love, friendship, and the power of human connection. It has received widespread acclaim for its beautiful animation, compelling storytelling, and thought-provoking themes.
Secondly, “Your Name” is a Japanese animated film directed by Makoto Shinkai. It was released in 2016 and became a worldwide phenomenon, breaking box office records in Japan and earning critical acclaim.
The movie follows the story of two high school students, a boy named Taki and a girl named Mitsuha, who live in different parts of Japan. One day, they suddenly begin to switch bodies randomly, waking up in each other’s lives and trying to navigate the challenges of living in a foreign body. As they continue to switch bodies, they try to communicate with each other and figure out what is happening to them.
As they search for answers, they also begin to develop feelings for each other, and they struggle to find a way to meet and be together in person. The film explores themes of fate, longing, and the power of human connection, and it features stunning animation and an emotionally powerful score. If you enjoy romantic dramas with a touch of fantasy, “Your Name” is a must-see.
Nice explanation. I originally watched this in a theater in Tokyo without any English subtitles, and I just got around to watching it with English, so it is really nice to see a decent attempt to explain the contents.
While reading this, I wondered if kataware could be related to the splitting of time and identity. My first instinct was that “かたわれ” (kataware) might be interpreted as 方 (kata – person) 割れ (ware – split). I looked it up in a dictionary and also found 片割れ (kataware), which means fragment. It all depends on the Chinese characters that are chosen to write it.
hi i think the event when mitsuha whishes being a boy is after she switch body for the first time. Tessie-Sayaka explain she is weird yesterday->going to so called cafe (mitsuha went straight to her place) -> she’s dance at shrine while made sake -> the wishes. That what i thought, cause for the first switch they thing it’s only a dream. And i assume that whole scene were happen in one day (morning-night)
I can contribute a bit more with the cultural background.
The Miyamizu family deity is Musubi. Musubi may refer to: Musubi-no-Kami, the Shinto Kami of matchmaking, love, and marriage, similar to the Chinese Yue Lao.
Yue Lao (Chinese: 月老; pinyin: Yuè Lǎo; literally: ‘old man under the moon’) is a god of marriage and love in Chinese mythology. Yue Lao appears at night, and unites with a silken cord all predestined couples, after which nothing can prevent their union. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yue_Lao)
That’s why Taki and Mitsuha are connected by the red cord and met at twilight.
Interesting, with the context of 月老 in place, that totally explain the red thread. It works in mysterious ways I guess!
Another tell from the poem on the blackboard.
The poem reads – Please dont ask me, “who’s that in the gloom?” I am waiting here for my love, in the September dusk.
The author is unknown, but it is from Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves.
Mitsuha’s name in Japanese means three leaves, and her sis is four leaves and grandma is one leave.
Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves is a collection of poems from their ancestors.
I don’t remember exactly but I think it may be japanese, but it’s this theory of the red string. It’s the red threat of fate. It’s believed that a god ties the red string to each other and that is your soulmate. And the scene where Taki falls and is seeing Mitsuhas life is all connected by a red thread and it’s connected through space and time.
In Sweden there is the idiomatic expression “the red thread”. It is used when discussing a story and if the story can be easily followed by the reader. For example if you say that a story lacks a red thread it means it is incoherent. I’m guessing the expression somehow found it’s way here from Asia. Alternatively Wikipedia also says that Theseus rescued himself from the Minotaur with a red thread. Maybe all these three things in three different places on earth come from the same origin?
Thank you for explaining, but I still have a question and I’d like to hear your opinion. How did Mitsuha leave notes in Taki’s phone, if she was from the future? I am so confused.
They were literally switching bodies, and as the movie description states, it’s a fantasy animation that incorporates science fiction — which gives the idea of time travel. As Mitsuha traveled through time into Taki’s body and vice versa, they were actually living in each other’s “current time” for those days. Because the instances where Taki switches bodies with Mitsuha is before the comet strikes her town, I think we can presume that she isn’t dead, which allows them to leave those feelings and memories within each other, no matter whose body they’re in (sort of like it’s engraved into their hearts).
Did taki and mitsuha ended up being together? Because at the Movie Weathering With You they aren’t shown together though..
finally, someone is talking abt that. I mean… Mitsuha was at work, but i wanna believe that they are together XD
There are many cameo appearances; Taki and Mitsuha probably being the most prominent. Chronologically it seems like it could have been around the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. The new stadium has been completed in the movie, but it’s still under construction at the moment (Aug. 2019). We see Mitsuha working at a jewelry store wearing the name tag “Miyamizu”, so she isn’t married to Taki. Chronologically Taki and Mitsuha didn’t know each other yet in 2020 so they meet after the events of the movie. But considering how Tenki no Ko ends, it breaks space/time continuity. I’d prefer not having cameos if they don’t fit the world.
In japan, It is not an obligation for women to have their husband’s last name. Conversely, when a surname remains only on a woman, the man can use his wife’s surname, and the surname is not lost in history. So, we can imagine that they are together and that he adopted her last name. ^.^
Refer to the time lines. Weathering with you happen before taki and mitsuha meet each other( They meet physically on 2022 april 8 in manga) . Weathering with you happen in 2021 after 8 years from the commet strike. ( dates can be clearly seen in a poster in WwY and in text messages)
Hi, thanks for this. I have seen the movie 3x and actually read the book but still i was shocked to know that there’s a 3 year gap on their age ?. Anyhow, i what i really want to know is how did mitsuha managed to convinced her dad to evacuate the townspeople?? ?
As far as I understand it, the first time Mitsuha (Taki in Mitsuha’s body) attemped to convince her dad to evacuate Itomori her father didn’t believe her because he could tell that it wasn’t Mitsuha. After they switch at the shrine, and it is Mitsuha (Mitsuha back in Mitsuha’s body), and she falls over and realises that Taki loves her as he wrote it on her hand, I’m under the impression that her father decides that she isn’t lying or mad, now that he can tell it is truly his daughter and not someone else in her body.
Just my current train of thought here. But im guessing Mitsuha ‘simply’ explains her connection with Taki, their meeting at the crater and how that took place after Taki drank the sake.
Perhaps her father tried to do the same after Mitsuha’s mother died but was unable to bring her back, which is why he blames himself for her death and turned his back on becoming a priest. As he no longer believed in the spiritual connection since it failed for him, meaning he was not her ‘true’ love as determined by the gods. The grandmother said earlier that they hadn’t met with the ones they were connected to earlier on so this would make sense.
Back to Mitsuha explaining to her dad, he has the realisation of what has happened since he would have known about the traditions, gods etc. So it’s not out of the blue for him to do a 180 and save the town because he already has an understanding of the rituals involved and the near legend of the spirits.
Anyways really wanna go visit some the locations if I ever get the chance to go to Japan.
Does anyone else get lsd vibes from this? I saw it for the first time not long after acid and just the whole look of it is similar especially and the circle place they meet. The fact it is a circle for a start ya know. Also does anyone else realise the swap is always 12th & 13th? Does anyone know why. After closer look in to these numbers 12 is related to 666 and obviously 13 is seen at the unlucky number. However some places suggest 13 is an angel number and the meaning is misconclued.
Just very interesting how me and the current girl I’m seeing are born on these dates. Myself 13th of 6th and her 12th of 11th. We found it impossible to watch the film until it got to the time of 6 first time we watched it which was recently.
Then I realized anime is an anagram of name with an i added and her name is anna which is similar to anagram and anime. We both have a large interest in anime and we met through instagram.
If this makes sense to anyone else please reply because is it just me or does it all add up a little too well?
Are some people caught in the loop of 5 and others the loop of 6
Why movie is named as your name
Could there also be a metaphor here for a separation from God/heaven, and the love shared between Earth and heaven?
1) yeah, as someone noted: the wish to be a boy in her next life comes after the ritual. At lunch after the first switch (apparently) which she couldn’t remember, Sayaka mentions the upcoming ritual. And this was after finding the “who are you?” note.
2) I totally don’t think it was two comets. It totally seems to be the same one comment that fragmented when it passed by earth 1,200 years ago, and again in 2013.
If the thread is equal to the twisting of time it makes since when Taki unravels it and give it to her meaning the timeline is broken but is fixed when she ties the thread back together as a different timeline on her body.
Love all of it. I do, however, want to share my opinion on why they forgot each other.
At first, I also thought it was the time paradox that created the memory loss but when I think about how the Miyamizu shrine requires an offering or “equal exchange”, I thought the reason why they forgot about each other is because Taki and Mitsuha came to the Underworld without any offerings. Because of this, the Underworld took something of equal importance; their memories of each other.
i love ure brain bro
Do someone knows why Mitsuha nor remember his meeting and body switches with Taki after she saved the town? Why they remember it as “a disaster exercise” after the fact?
they’re in different timelines, right? Mitsuhaya and Taki met on top of the mountain but after the twilight they return to their perspective timeline. If mitsuhaya was back in her timeline (2013) she would be alive with Taki in her timeline (the Taki who didn’t know she exist by the time) . And on the other hand the Taki we see on the top of the mountain was back in his timeline (2016) where he no longer have mutsuhaya as his counterpart Coz in that timeline mitsuhaya died.
So the Taki and mitsuhaya we saw in the ending(stair scene) is the Taki and mitsuhaya of 2013 . So in this timeline we have a saved mitsuhaya while on the other we don’t.
Judy Ann Esguerra
I was very hooked in the plot of the story and I find it very interesting but the ending is lacking for me. ?I really want to read or watch their happy ending/ their reunion. Can I have a copy?
If Taki and Mitsuha were 3 years apart,how did they communicate to each other while switching bodies through notes,phone diaries and when they write on their skins asking their names?
Can you explain what was meant when the grandma said to taki(in mitsuhas body) “you’re dreaming”. i didn’t understand this part.
I don’t think it’s timeline for forgetting each other….
Your think that mitsuha alive and therefore timeline changes… it’s wrong bcz if the timeline why he go to the itomori Village….
He go to itomori but he didn’t remember why..???
According you saying the timeline changes….
I assume ur theory then I think if it’s timeline changed then he didn’t go to itomori Village…..
The reason why they forget each bcz it’s like a dream they don’t remember…..
Her grandmother also said …that too that she also switches but she also don’t remember…
When they switch, they would both put notes in the person’s phone. Which means, If Taki switches with Mitsuha, he is in her body. His way of communicating with her is by writing some notes on her diary since he knows she will check up on it. When they switch back, Mitsuha is back on her body. She will go to her diary and see what he left on their or check on other places where he could have written it like notebook, arm, face, etc.
They couldn’t communicate by calling each other’s phones (shown that it fails when Taki was trying to call Mitsuha) because they are in different universes so their numbers will be unregistered or will be someone else’s phone. So the only communication is writing on each other’s phones when they switch. Its just like switching notebooks with your classmate and you write a note for your classmate to see. When you switch back, your classmate will see it and they will write back.
Sorry if I’m repetitive.
This website was… how do you say it? Relevant!!
Finally I have found something that helped me. Thank you!
is taki change the past because of what he drink at the shrine?
My only question here is, is there any particular reason why Mitsuha’s time travel is 3 years to the future?
How did Taki and Mitsuha meet in 2021? Their time frame doesn’t match the same
Thanks . Can anyone explain me what happened to mitsuha when she was in taki body first time ? I’m so confused about why mitsuha noticed body switching in second time after seeing ‘who are you?’ that taki asked in first time.
I agree! Honestly, I understood the story’s concept on the Musubi part. I mean, that word alone can explain a lot of the strange events happening to the both of them. Japanese language is truly amazing.
Please tell me this, do they remember what all they have been through at the end when they re unite on the starcase.
no they don’t remember everything. They just know that there is a weird connection between them. Taki recognises Mitsuha’s hair tie (the red thread) and feels the connection he has with her through it. He finally says something to her at the end on the stairs because of this connection and she feels the same. Their past isn’t remembered by either of them, however.
Ohk.. I understood everything abt the 3 years gap
from the movie itself.. But the thing that triggers me is was there really an alternate timeline.. I mean this could have also happened( mitsuha exchanges Taki’s body,goes to tokyo but is unrecognized by taki,comet hits then she dies.. Leaving the taki of same 2013 witnessing the comet.. Then after 3 years taki exchanges body of the same mitsuha that died on Oct 4 2013.. But since he exchanged her body in the time before she was killed.. He was able to experience the same mitsuha’s body who was going to be killed.. Then in this case, why would we need an alternate timeline
Makoto shinkai is really amazing he had remained the story at thier main points so that we can develop our on Theories
I think the most certain point of the story is that Taki associated with mitsuha to save itomori from the past.
in the part where taki and his friends searching for itomori like in his dream
i dont remember what is called
like dreaming a past event that happened and then trying to find it and then its already gone like in itomori town
Loved the film! Finished watching it 2 nights ago and everything about it is brilliant. From the story, the animation, the art, the love and comedy!
Thankful I found this site because reading through this post and the comments definitely helped answer a couple of questions I had.
It would be good to think that after they finally meet at the end of the film and ask for each other’s name that their memories come back. But at least if not, they can continue forward with each other starting with a strong connection.
When they lost their memories first time I didn’t think too much of it but losing the memory the secone time I was confused as to why. I can accept that leaving the shrine meant their memories were also taken due to stepping into the underworld and also Taki returning the red strand. When Taki wakes up at the crater, it is now an alternate time line where Mitsuha survives, but I think I missed the part where her age was next to her name.
Losing memories is one thing but their messages from their phones disappearing I am not sure if that should have happened, maybe it should. But how could they both lose memories the first time when only one went to the shrine, perhaps because half of Mitsuha was left behind technically, or due to Taki losing his, she also lost her due to the connection.
Lots and lots of themes in this anime film.
I never did catch that they were 3years apart. This element really added to the film. They switched bodies at the same age but I wonder how their relationship would unfold now that they met and are not just 3yrs apart, but one is a working adult and one just finished college looking for work.
Truly a masterpiece and great time travel film.
Hi. I have 4 questions regarding Your Name.
Why did Taki suddenly forget Mitsuha’s name while researching about her town, but remembered it later when he went into the shrine?
Why did Taki forget Mitsuha and the fact that she was the person who gave him the red braided string when he met her 3 years ago?
They say, they forget memories of the switch after waking up, but there are instances where they remember. For instance, Mitsuha remembers that she set up a date for Taki when she swaps back to her own body. Another instance is that Taki retains his memories of the day he visited the shrine in Mitsuha’s body.
I assume here they retain the memories because it was their final switch or because Taki swapped back in twilight?
What are the conditions for swapping and swapping back? I know they wake up in each other’s bodies but Taki switched back into his body when he was awake in Mitsuha’s body.
Hi Rick! My responses:
1. It seems that Taki is slowly forgetting Mitsuha’s name the longer she has been dead. So he needs to keep reminding himself of her name. But as time passes, it gets harder and harder. That’s why we see it come and go.
2. That is funny. My guess is that the memory was just a fleeting one. He remembers that he received the string more than he remembers her exact face.
3. Do they retain the memories in full? They write down everything for each other. So we’re not always seeing them retaining memories, but instead hearing them speak the words they wrote down in a voiceover. I admit, though, it’s kinda confusing. I’m not sure there’s a clearcut answer.
4. Did Taki switch back while he was in Mitsuha’s body? I honestly don’t remember that. Anyway, it just seems like they switch randomly, right? I’m not sure there’s a clear reason or pattern when it comes to the switching.
Hope that helps!
To add on, it is entirely possible to not remember how one received a gift and somehow regard it as a “lucky charm”.
Taki may not have thought much of it after receiving, and put it aside until 1-2 years later. He could have found it again in his belongings, thought it’s nice and kept it as his lucky charm.
I say this, because I recently found a very nice token gift when I was going through my stuff, but I really couldn’t remember how or who I got it from. So yea.
Anw thanks Travis! I like your analysis of the movie and appreciate that you took the time to share your thoughts!
Bro I never watched and read their story explanation like this …but I had one question when taki went searching for mitsuha he didn’t remember her name but when he saw her name in the book of death people how he remembers and finds mitsuha name in the book. How?
He doesn’t remember he jst got this feeling of grief…. He doesn’t really understand y tho
To be honest I don’t remember this moment in exact detail. But I think he starts to forget her name, then looks through every name in the book, then when he notices her name he suddenly remembers it. Right? It’s like when Taki had to write his name down for her. They need to see the names to remember each other after a while.
“But I think he starts to forget her name, then looks through every name in the book, then when he notices her name he suddenly remembers it. Right?”
Well Travis Bean, there are many reasons why people might forget things. Some common causes of forgetfulness include:
Lack of attention: If you didn’t pay much attention to something when you first learned it, it’s more likely that you’ll forget it later.
Interference: Sometimes, new information can interfere with your ability to remember something that you learned previously. This is known as “interference.”
Absentmindedness: People are more likely to forget things when they are distracted or preoccupied with something else.
Stress and anxiety: Stress and anxiety can interfere with your ability to remember things.
Aging: As we get older, our brains naturally become less efficient at forming new memories and retrieving old ones.
Sleep deprivation: Not getting enough sleep can affect your memory.
Substance abuse: Alcohol and certain drugs can impair memory function.
Medical conditions: Some medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, and certain neurological disorders, can affect memory.
Medications: Some medications, such as benzodiazepines and antihistamines, can cause memory problems as a side effect.
Remembering things can be a complex process, and there are many factors that can influence it. If you’re having trouble remembering things, it’s important to talk to a doctor or other healthcare professional for help.
If mitsuha died in taki’s time 3 years ago and then taki return to itomori and travels back to mitsuha’s body the day before the comet strikes and save the people. Why did taki go in itomori 5 years ago as said in the near ending when he’s talking to ms. Okudera and said to sleep in the mountain if mitsuha never died in that timeline?
Does this mean that all of the people change their memories regarding to the comet strikes that killed all the people to miraculously nobody died because they are practicing an emergency evacuation in school
Thanks for unraveling this complex plotline. Appreciate the art of the movie much more after your explanation. One suggestion though, please delete “Just like how celebrating Thanksgiving allows us to connect with Pilgrims who happened upon America”. Remembering the Pilgrims and the beginning of genocide against native Americans isn’t the analogy you are looking for.
Wow so much to take in what a great story. I may have felt my Spidey senses couple times there. I’m happy to have read it.
Mais a la fin , elle est censé être morte . (3 ans dans le passé). Pourtant elle est toujours en vie puisqu’elle croise Taki .
Merci pour toutes vos explications.
Fritzie Pierre Louis
I Talk To Her Name FREDLYNE MAXI or Nothing or Other ?
I watched this movie this morning. I thought I was just not paying attention to the movie but turns out it was very hard to follow. After I rewinded and watch part of the movie again I realized Taki was 3 years ahead of Mitzuha. This article helped me confirm that. Thanks for your help!
You are very welcome! Thanks for reading!!