Natsu no Niwa (1994) AKA The Friends


A delightful and moving coming-of-age story. One summer, three young boys take an increasing interest in an eccentric old man who lives alone in a house surrounded by an overgrown garden. The boys form a bond with the recluse and set about weeding and replanting the garden.

Director: Shinji Sômai. AKA The Friends
Writers: Kazumi Yumoto (based on the novel by), Yôzô Tanaka (screenplay).
Stars: Rentarô Mikuni, Naoki Sakata, Yasutaka Oh, Ken’ichi Makino, Naho Toda, Ritsuko Nemoto, Tsurube Shôfukutei, Minori Terada, Akira Emoto, Shigeru Yazaki, Chikage Awashima. 


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  1. JW
    October 7, 2018

    Lovely film, Jon! Thanks for sharing!! And thanks again and again and again for this lovely site!

  2. Steves
    October 10, 2018

    Big thanks, Jon!

  3. Michael
    November 1, 2018

    delightful film

  4. Susan Getze
    April 18, 2021

    Lovely film — almost as good as the magnificent Moving. Long live rarefilmm!

  5. Sam Datts
    November 16, 2022

    Hi! Thanks a lot for this movie! I really enjoy japanese cinema in general and also loved this film! It’s really special to me also cause the soundtrack it’s performed by a brazilian guitar duo (Assad Brothers) that I like a lot too. Thanks again!

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