your name., Page 1Makoto Shinkai
Translation by Taylor Engel
Cover art by Makoto Shinkai
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, or persons, living or dead, is coincidental.
©Makoto Shinkai © 2016 TOHO CO. / CoMix Wave Films Inc. / KADOKAWA CORPORATION / East Japan Marketing & Communications, Inc. / AMUSE INC. / voque ting co., ltd. / Lawson HMV Entertainment, Inc.
English translation © 2017 by Yen Press, LLC
Yen Press, LLC supports the right to free expression and the value of copyright.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Shinkai, Makoto, author, artist. | Engel, Taylor, translator.
Title: Your name / Makoto Shinkai ; translation by Taylor Engel ; cover art by Makoto Shinkai.
Description: First Yen On edition. | New York, NY : Yen On, 2017.
Identifiers: LCCN 2017003537 | ISBN 9780316471862 (hardback)
Subjects: | CYAC: Dreams—Fiction. | Sex role—Fiction. | Fate and fatalism—Fiction.
Classification: LCC PZ7.1.S5176 Yo 2017 | DDC [Fic]—dc23
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017003537
ISBNs: 978-0-316-47186-2 (hardcover)
Chapter One: Dream
Chapter Two: The Beginning
Chapter Three: Days
Chapter Four: The Search
Chapter Five: Memories
Chapter Six: Reenactment
Chapter Seven: Struggle, Magnificently
Chapter Eight: Your Name.
Essay by Genki Kawamura
A nostalgic voice and scent. Cherished light and warmth.
I’m pressed against someone very special to me, so close that there’s no space between us. We’re bound to one another, almost inseparable. Like an infant cradled at its mother’s breast, I’m wholly untouched by anxiety or loneliness. I’ve never encountered the sting of loss. A tingling, exquisitely sweet feeling fills me.
Abruptly, my eyes open.
There’s the ceiling.
I’m in my room. It’s morning.
I’ve been dreaming. I sit up in bed.
In that two-second span, the sense of unity that enveloped me a moment earlier vanishes without a trace, without an echo. It’s so sudden that, before I have time to so much as form a thought, the tears come.
Every so often when I wake up in the morning, for some reason, I’m crying.
…And I can never remember what I was dreaming about.
I wipe the tears away with my right hand, then stare at it. Little drops of water dot my index finger. Both the dream and the tears that briefly filled my eyes have already evaporated.
This hand once held something really precious…
I don’t know.
I give up, get out of bed, leave my room, and head for the bathroom. Washing my face, I get the feeling that the taste and lukewarm temperature of this water once startled me, and I look into the mirror.
My reflection stares back. He seems vaguely unhappy.
Gazing into the mirror, I do my hair, pulling my arms through the sleeves of my spring suit.
I tie the necktie I’ve finally gotten used to, then put on my jacket.
I open the door of my apartment…
I shut the door to my condo. In front of me…
Tokyo’s cityscape, which I’ve finally gotten accustomed to, spreads out before me. Just as I once learned the names of the mountain peaks, I can name a few of the skyscrapers now without even trying.
I get through the turnstile at the crowded station, take the escalator down…
I board a commuter train. Leaning against the door, I watch the scenery flow by. The city teems with people—in the windows of buildings, in cars, on pedestrian bridges.
A hazy, pale spring sky. A hundred people to a car, a thousand people to a train, a thousand trains crisscrossing the city.
Before I know it, just like always, as I gaze out over those streets…
…looking for someone. Just one person.
I don’t recognize that ringtone, I think drowsily.
An alarm? But I’m still sleepy. I was in the zone drawing last night and didn’t get to bed until it was almost dawn.
Now somebody’s calling my name. It’s a girl’s voice…… A girl?
Her voice is earnest, pleading, as if she’s about to cry. A voice trembling with loneliness, like the glimmer of distant stars.
“Don’t you remember me?” the voice asks me anxiously.
No, I don’t know you.
Suddenly, the train stops, and the doors open. Oh, right—I was on a train. The moment I realize this, I’m standing in a packed train car. A pair of wide eyes hovers right in front of me. A girl in a uniform is staring straight at me, but the press of disembarking passengers is pushing her farther away.
“My name is Mitsuha!”
The girl shouts, undoing the cord she’d used to tie back her hair and holding it out to me. Without thinking, I reach for it. It’s a vivid orange, like a thin ray of evening sun in the dim train. I shove my way into the crowd and grab that color tight.
At that point, my eyes open.
The girl’s voice—its echoes—still whispers in my ears.
…Her name is Mitsuha?
I don’t know the name, and I don’t know the girl. She looked really desperate somehow. Her eyes were brimming with tears. I’d never seen the style of uniform she was wearing. Her expression was serious, even grave, as if the fate of the universe rested in her hands.
Still, it was just a dream. It doesn’t mean anything. By the time I think about it, I can’t even remember her face. The echoes in my ears are already gone, too.
Even so, my pulse is still racing abnormally fast. My chest is weirdly heavy. I’m sweaty all over. For the moment, I draw a deep breath.
Do I have a cold? My nose and throat feel funny. My airways are a little tighter than usual. My chest…really is weirdly heavy. How do I put this? Physically heavy. I look down at my body and see cleavage.
The soft mounds reflect the morning sun, and the pale, smooth skin gleams. A deep-blue shadow lies between the two breasts, like a lake.
Might as well squeeze ’em, I think, without missing a beat.
My hands gravitate toward them as naturally as an apple falling to the ground.
The sensation blows my mind. Whoa, I think. What is this? I keep kneading earnestly. This is just… Wow… Girls’ bodies are amazing…
“Sis? What’re you doin’?”
I glance in the direction of the voice. There’s a little girl standing there. She’s just opened a sliding door. With my hands still pressed against my chest, I give her my honest impression.
“I was just thinking these feel way real… Huh?”
I look at the kid again. She’s about ten, with twin ponytails and sharp eyes, and she looks like the sassy type.
“…‘Sis’?” I ask the girl, pointing at myself.
So that means this is my kid sister? The girl looks thoroughly appalled.
“You still asleep or somethin’? It’s. Break. Fast. Time! Hurry up!”
She slams the sliding door shut with a sharp thwack. Fierce little girl, I think, hauling myself off the futon. Come to think of it, I am hungry. Suddenly, a full-length mirror in the corner of my vision catches my eye. I walk a few steps across the tatami mats decorating the floor to stand in front of it. Letting my loose nightshirt slip off my shoulders and fall to the floor leaves me naked. I stare at my full-length reflection in the mirror.
Long black hair flows down my back, although it’s sleep-tousled and sticking up in places. A small, round face holds big, curious eyes and lips that seem vaguely amused above a slim neck, deep collarbone, and a swelling bosom that seems to proclaim, Why yes, thank you, I’m quite healthy! Below are faint shadows of ribs, and then the soft curves of the waist.
I haven’t seen one in the flesh yet, but this is definitely a girl’s body.
Abruptly, the drowsy fog enveloping my body is gone. My head clears instantly, then plunges into confusion.
I can’t take it, and I scream.
“Sis, you’re so late!”
As I open the sliding door and step into the living room, Yotsuha’s accusation flies to greet me.
“I’ll fix breakfast tomorrow!” I say by way of apology.
This kid hasn’t even lost all her baby teeth yet, but she seems convinced she’s handling life better than her big sister. I can’t show weakness by apologizing! I think, opening the rice cooker and scooping a gleaming white helping into my bowl. Whoops, is that too much? Well, never mind.
“Thanks for the food!”
I pour a generous dose of sauce over a smooth fried egg, pair it with rice, and put it in my mouth. Oh, yum. This just might be paradise… Hmm? I feel eyes trained on me, somewhere around my temple.
“So you’re normal today, are you?”
Gran is watching me steadily as I chew my food.
“She sure was somethin’ else yesterday!” Yotsuha smirks at me. “Screamin’ all of a sudden like that.”
Screaming? Gran inspects me suspiciously, and Yotsuha grins (mocking me, I’m sure).
“Huh? What? What do you mean? What?!”
Seriously, what’s the matter with them? It’s creepy.
Suddenly, the speaker over the door comes alive, deafeningly loud.
“Good morning, everyone.”
The voice belongs to my friend Saya’s big sister (currently employed by the Regional Life Information Section at the town hall). This place, Itomori, is a dinky little town with a population of fifteen hundred, so most people either know each other or at least know someone in common.
“Here are the morning announcements from Itomori.”
The slow stream of words from the speaker is clipped into phrases. “Here are…the morning announcements…from Itomori.” There are speakers outside, too, all over town, so the broadcast echoes off the mountains and overlaps with itself as if it’s being sung in rounds.
Twice a day, morning and evening, this disaster-prevention radio broadcast plays throughout the town. Every house has a receiver to faithfully relay the daily announcements about local events: the schedule for the sports meet, how to contact whoever’s in charge of shoveling the snow, yesterday’s births, today’s funerals.
“With regard to the Itomori mayoral election, which will take place on the twentieth of next month, the town election management committee has—”
The speaker over the lintel falls silent. Gran can’t reach it herself, so she’s pulled the plug. She’s past eighty and wearing her usual traditional kimono, but even so, the gesture wordlessly conveys her anger. Even as I’m impressed by her chilly ire, I grab up the remote and turn on the TV without missing a beat. Picking up where Saya’s sister left off, the smiling NHK news lady starts speaking.
“We’re now just a month away from a visit by a comet that appears only once every twelve hundred years. For a few days, the comet is expected to be visible to the naked eye. With the celestial show of the century just around the corner, JAXA and research institutes worldwide are scrambling in preparation to study it.”
There’s a line of text on the screen—Comet Tiamat visible to the naked eye next month—and a blurry picture of a comet. Our conversation has lost its momentum, and the only noise comes from the three of us taking our meal and the NHK broadcast. Our soft clinks and clicks sound a bit guilty, like whispered chatter during class.
“…Just make up with him already, wouldja?”
Out of nowhere, Yotsuha says something tactless.
“It’s an adult problem,” I snap at her.
That’s right—this is an adult problem. Stupid election! Somewhere in the wind, a black kite gives a rather silly-sounding cry: Piiihyororo.
Saying bye to Gran in unison, Yotsuha and I head out the door.
The summer copper pheasants are crowing up a storm.
Traveling down the narrow paved path that runs along the hillside and descending several stone-walled stairways, we emerge from the shadow of the mountain into direct sunlight. Below us is a round lake, Itomori Lake. Its calm surface reflects the morning sun, glittering and glaring as though nobody’s watching. The deep-green mountains form their ranks under white clouds in a blue sky, and a little girl with pigtails and a red school backpack skips along for no reason. Then there’s me beside her, the dazzling, bare-legged high school girl. In my head, I try adding a grand string score to the scene as background music. Ooh, it’s just like the opening of a Japanese film… In other words, we live in the boonies—very Japanese and a few decades behind the times.
After Yotsuha and I part ways in front of the elementary school, a voice calls out from behind me. It’s Tesshi, pedaling his bike and looking cranky, with Saya seated primly on the bike rack and smiling.
“Hurry up and get off,” Tesshi grumbles.
“I’m fine right here. Don’t be stingy!”
“C’mon, you’re heavy.”
“And you’re rude!”
This early in the morning, and they’re already teasing each other like a married couple in a comedy skit.
“You two get along so well.”
“We do not!” they chorus.
They deny it so earnestly it’s funny, and I giggle. My mental soundtrack switches over to a jaunty guitar solo. The three of us have been friends for a good ten years—petite Saya, with her braids and straight-across bangs, and tall, skinny Tesshi with his burr cut and general lack of style. They always look like they’re fighting, but given how their conversation is always perfectly synced, I secretly think they might make an excellent couple.
a, you did your hair properly today.”
Saya, who’s gotten off the bike, touches the area around my hair cord, grinning. My hair’s fixed the same as always: two braids looped up and tied together in the back with the cord. My mom taught me how, a long time ago.
“Huh? What about my hair?”
Her comment sparks a recollection of the comments that sort of got lost in the shuffle at breakfast. I did it “properly” today—does that mean it was weird yesterday? As I’m trying to remember what happened, Tesshi leans in, looking concerned. “Hey, you did get your grandma to exorcise you, didn’t you?”
“Yeah, I swear you got yourself possessed by a fox!”
“…Excuse me?” I frown at the unexpected remark.
Saya speaks up for me, sounding disgusted. “Would you quit blamin’ everythin’ on the occult already?! Mitsuha’s probably just stressed, that’s all. Right?”
“Huh? Wait, hold it—what’s all this about?”
Why is literally everybody worried about me? Yesterday was… I can’t remember off the top of my head, but I’m pretty sure it was just a regular day.
Wait, was it really? Yesterday, I…
“—And most importantly!”
A deep voice from a megaphone erases my questions.
On the other side of the road, with its rows of vinyl greenhouses, a little crowd of a dozen or so people is gathered in the ridiculously big municipal parking lot. Standing at its center, holding a microphone, is my dad, taller and bolder-looking than the rest. The banner he wears diagonally across his suit jacket proudly proclaims, Incumbent—Toshiki Miyamizu. He’s stumping for the mayoral election.
“Most importantly, economic revitalization, in order to sustain the village restoration project! Only when we have made that a reality will we be able to establish a safe, worry-free community. As the incumbent, I intend to refine the community planning I’ve been involved with and see it through to completion! I will lead this region with new enthusiasm, creating a local society in which everyone—from our children to our senior citizens—can relax and enjoy fulfilling, active lives. I have renewed my resolve to make this vision my goal…”