The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota's Garden

A very moving story about how people cope with grief. In the wake of the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami, much of the town of Otsuchi, Japan was destroyed. Many people lost their relatives and the community was significantly impacted and left reeling from the unexpected tragedy. 

Makio’s lost his father and his village. As the community grieved, Makio felt anger at the ocean. One day, his neighbor, Mr. Hirota begins building a phone booth in his garden. Makio is puzzled as the phone doesn’t ring or have a dial tone. Slowly, over time, visitors from the town start coming by to visit the phone booth, using it as a way to privately talk to and connect with their lost loved ones. Makio and the townspeople make calls to the sea, their voices carried on the wind, bringing a bit of solace to ease their grief. 

Inspired by a true story of a wind phone in Otsuchi, Japan created by artist Itaru Sasaki who built the phone booth to be able to speak to his cousin who had passed. A story about acceptance, loss, and moving forward, while remembering the loved ones lost. 


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