Who is Takao Akizuki?
Takao Akizuki, formerly Takao Fujisawa, is one of The Garden of Words’ main characters. He is an aspiring shoemaker and a fifteen-year-old high school student. He skips school on rainy days and develops a close friendship with Yukari Yukino.
Voice Actor of Takao Akizuki
The Japanese voice actor, Miyu Irino contributed his voice to Takao Akizuki in The Garden of Words whereas Patrick Poole has voiced for the English version of this character.
He was born nine years after Takashi Fujisawa and Reimi Akizuki gave birth to their first son Shta Akizuki. Takao recalls his family gathering in a park to give his mother gifts on one of his mother’s birthdays, which he recalls even years later.
He had a crush on Miho Kasuga, a senior classmate, and stole her first kiss in his first year of junior high school. His parents’ sudden divorce, however, shattered their relationship, and before he could reconcile with her, she had moved away.
In The Garden of Words
Takao Akizuki decided to skip school on a rainy day in June and go to Shinjuku Gyo-en, a Shinjuku garden. He ran into Yukari Yukino, a 27-year-old woman who was on her way home from work. Takao drew multiple illustrations of shoes while they sat in silence on the wooden shelter.
He stared at Yukari for a few moments before dropping his eraser. She handed it over to him. Takao then proceeded to ask Yukari if they had met before, to which she replied simply, ‘no.’ Takao kept sketching until Yukari said his goodbyes with a tanka poem. Takao was perplexed by the meaning and origin of this.
On rainy mornings in the park, the two continued to run into each other and socialize, but they never formally introduced themselves. Takao decided to make a pair of shoes in Yukari’s size after she expressed interest in his shoemaking. Takao stopped going to the park after the rainy season ended and concentrated on his work.
Takao returned to school after summer break and spotted Yukari. His friends told him she was a literature teacher who had been the subject of rumors and bullying. Yukari chose to skip work in order to avoid further conflict and retreat to the park, where she hoped to overcome her fears and be able to “walk” once more. Yukari, on the other hand, quit her job and left the school.
Takao met Yukari at the park that afternoon and greeted her by reciting the 2,514th poem from the Man’ysh Japanese poetry collection, which was the correct response to her tanka, which he discovered in a classic Japanese literature textbook. Both went to Yukari’s apartment after getting soaked by a sudden thunderstorm and spent the afternoon together.
Yukari was visibly moved when Takao confessed his love after dinner, but she quickly reminded him that she was a teacher and that she was returning to her hometown on Shikoku.
Yukari realized her error after Takao abruptly excused himself and chased him down the stairwell. Takao, still enraged, walked back what he’d said and chastised her for being so closed off and never opening up to him. Yukari embraced him and the two sobbed together as she explained how their time in the park had saved her.
Takao barely passed his final exams but continued to work toward his goals in the credits, while Yukari returned to Shikoku and resumed her teaching career. Takao returned to the park in 2014 in a post-credits scene, read a letter from Yukari, and placed the shoes he had finished on the bench, vowing to find her once he had progressed in his career.
- Takao was originally envisioned by Makoto Shinkai as a young man who wanted to help others, but he also wanted him to have a passion for making things because creative work can be rewarding and fulfilling. When he realized that shoemakers help people walk, he decided to pursue it.
- Takao made a cameo appearance in Your Name., near the end of the film.