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The Garden of Words

2023 | Puppet Designer & Director
Wholehog Theatre & Nelke Planning Ltd.

Original Writer: Makoto Shinkai

Director: Alex Rutter

Writers: Alex Rutter & Susy Momoko-Hingley

Music Composer: Mark Choi

Tokyo Puppeteers: Haruka Matsuo, 

London Puppeteers: James Bradwell, Shoko Ito, and Mark Takeshi Ota

Puppet Makers: Em Spoor, Irene Kim, Tayte Ewen, Mikayla Teodoro, and Miho san

Designed and directed the puppets for Makoto Shinkai's "The Garden of Words." We used Shinkai sensei's metaphor of a crow to symbolise fate throughout the show. With both the London and Tokyo runs, the crow is shown in different sizes and in different pivotal moments of Takao's (protagonist) story.


The run in London was to a 200-seater audience while the run in Tokyo was to a 1000-seater audience. With this, I created plans and supervised the build in both London and Tokyo. Materials used include wood, worbla, a variation of Japanese fabrics, and washi paper.

Photos from various outlets. Other puppets in the show remain under NDA.

Tokyo Run:
London Run:
Design, Research, & Development:
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