[이미지 촬영=대한민국청소년기자단 4기 하은지기자]
“I’m looking for you-somebody that I have not met yet.”
‘your name.’, an animated film produced by a Japanese director Shinkai Makoto, dramatically marked the beginning of 2017. Some even praising it as their ‘life-best movie’ or a ‘must-watch movie’, a reviewer even posted that he flew to Japan before it had its first premier in Korea, and acclaimed that this movie was, basically, worth the ticket fee. A Japanese word ‘Honmono’ is used widely via social media such as Facebook, referring to the people singing along the background music or chanting the lines while watching ‘your name’. In fact, there are so many instances that show its extreme popularity, that it is so hard to name those all.
Honestly, the plot of ‘your name.’ is quite simple. A boy living in Tokyo, and a girl living in the countryside often change their body with each other. After several times switching their bodies, suddenly the boy realizes that he does not change his body with the girl anymore. He tries to find out what happened to her, and struggles to meet her, whom he has never met. Simply put, this movie revolves around the idea of ‘a love like destiny’, a heart-fluttering romance that everyone once dreamed of.
Another main part of the storyline is ‘surviving a catastrophe’. Director Makoto once said that he wanted to soothe the wounded soul of Japanese youth who survived from the great east Japan earthquake of 2011. Reflecting this goal exquisitely, this movie embodied the desperate wish of many people who lost their family, friends or lovers in a disaster; What if I could travel back time?
However, the genuine charm of this film that many people might easily miss out is its portrayal of traditional culture. A substantial literary device that leads the whole story is the traditional alcohol called ‘Kuchikamizake’. The main theme that penetrates through the movie is ‘musubi’, a mythical belief of Japan that everything is linked together, and some people are destined to meet one day. The heroine’s life is deeply related to ‘Shinto’, a folksy religion of Japan. The true potential of this movie is that such traditional aspects of culture are well mixed into the flow of the movie, showing the value and power of ethnic culture.
Hundreds of reviews about this movie mostly talk about how the background music, the images, or the story moved them. Undoubtedly, those factors all led the success of this movie, but it is still a bit sad that not many people are recognizing the cultural message this movie contains-how ethnic culture can be so wonderfully accepted. This movie is more than just a lovely romance animation. Rather, we should call it as the fightback of cultural power.
[대한민국청소년기자단 문화부=4기 하은지기자]