10 October 2018
From Japan

“Kimi no na wa”: Emotions in the Age of the Internet

A story of love and friendship, where technology serves to ask: “What’s your name?”

A “simple and beautiful” story of friendship, in which technology is a tool for getting to know the other person, while destined to leave room for the memory of the heart and an urgent question: “What’s your name?” - “Kimi no na wa” (Your name) is an animated film produced by the Japanese filmmaker Makoto Shinkai that was a hit of the Japanese box offices in 2017 and is now becoming a success in the rest of the world.

 “This film has promoted a positive attitude towards using chats,” says Fr. Andrea Lembo, PIME Superior Seneral in Japan, explaining that the film tells “a simple and beautiful story of friendship and love, made possible by the means of communication. In this story, technology is not the end, but the tool to understand what is happening and to share one another’s space and time. Then, the means of communication fails because the messages are deleted. What remains, in the memory of the heart, is the profound feeling of knowing a person intimately. A ‘retro-memory’ remains and everything coagulates in ‘what is your name?’.”

In Japan, the name also has great importance because of the ideograms, the kanji. “When naming a child, choosing the kanji means giving meaning to life.” “In this story of friendship and love, there is a beautiful story of salvation: the protagonists love each other so deeply that, even in front of his friends, the young man exposes this madness and goes in search of her. There is a beautiful scene of a night in prayer, where the girl, with her grandmother, had brought sake. In many religions, there is the passage of the night spent in prayer to reach illumination in the morning, and in the Shinto as well, this is not lacking.” Once again, in the film, “the Japanese tradition is savored, making it relive in the contemporary world in a very positive way”.