In Japanese there’s a specific word for an unborn life: mizuko, which means “water child,” is used for both miscarried and aborted pregnancies. In addition to the word, there’s a dedicated ritual accompanied by Buddhist figurines that represent the interrupted life and, like a grave, have their own place.
The narrator’s voice belongs to a Japanese-American woman who grew up in New York. She tells the story of her abortion, and reflects on the carefree summers she spent in Japan during childhood and young adulthood, and on how life and death are seen there.
Visually, this personal account of her time in New York is told through Super 8mm footage and stop-motion animation, while her memories of Japan are accompanied by colorful
and fluid watercolor drawings. These two separate worlds are brought together
by her voice, switching between Japanese and English, and the soothing sound of
water in the background.