Date of Award

Spring 2022

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


LACS: Chinese

First Advisor

Yipeng Shen

Second Advisor

Katsuya Izumi


The films To Live, directed by Zhang Yimou 1994 in China, and Grave of the Fireflies, directed by Isao Takahata in Japan, tell the stories of two families’ daily life as they endure the aftermath of historical tragedies in the 20th century. Affected by the histories of China and Japan in the twentieth century, the actions and thoughts of the characters embody different forms of their traumas. I argue that these two films depict traumatic expressions of the Chinese and Japanese people to their respective historical tragedies, through the abnormal behaviors and uncanny psychologies of the characters. The visualized expressions of trauma contribute to the making of twentieth century Chinese and Japanese histories.


Senior thesis completed at Trinity College, Hartford CT for the degree of Bachelor or Arts in Chinese.