Year: 2004
USA: Strand Releasing
UK: Axiom Films
Cast: Issey Ogata, Miyazawa Rie, Shinohara Takahumi, Nishijima Hidetoshi (narrator)
Director: Jun Ichikawa
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 75 mins
UK Certificate: U contains no sex, violence or bad language
USA Release Date: 26 August 2005 (Limited Release - Los Angeles)
USA Release Date: 29 July 2005 (Limited Release - New York)
USA Release Date: 24 June 2005 (Limited Release - Honolulu)
UK Release Date: 21 April 2006 (Limited Release)

US Distributor
UK Distributor


An old t-shirt that was bought in a Maui thrift shop for $1.00 read TONY TAKITANI and inspired writer, Haruki Murakami to invent a fictional character for a short story. The opening line of the short story published in the New Yorker in 2002 reads, "Tony Takitani's real name was really that: Tony Takitani."

Murakami, whose novels have won him international acclaim, such as the recent 'Kafka On The Shore' and 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles', crafted a tale based solely on a name.

The shirt was created for a late 70's political campaign for the real Mr. Takitani, who resides in Hawaii, for his run as a Senator. Murakami had said in an interview with the Daily Yomiuri, "Every time I put on the T-shirt, I felt like this Tony Takitani guy was begging me to write a story about him."

The shirt that inspired a short story, that inspired a filmmaker to make a film, screened at the Locarno Film Festival and won a special jury prize and was an official selection at 2005's Sundance Film Festival.

- From an interview with (Japanese) newspaper Daily Yomiuri.


Tony Takitani had a solitary childhood. Being alone was normal since his mother died young and his father was always away with his jazz band. At school he studied art, but while his sketches are accurate and detailed they lack feeling. Used to being self-sufficient, Tony seems to find emotions illogical and immature.

After finding his true vocation as a technical illustrator, Tony becomes fascinated by Eiko, a client who in turn is fascinated by high end fashion. Eventually he marries her, and his life changes. He feels vibrantly alive and for the first time he understands, and fears, loneliness. But Eiko's obsession with designer clothes begins to worry Tony. When he asks her to economize, the consequences are tragic.

Alone again, Tony sits in his wife's closet gazing at her treasured couture pieces, the whispering ghosts of her soul. Finally, Tony places an ad in the paper searching for a woman who fits her measurements perfectly.