Movie about Japanese war orphans to hit theaters as China-Japan cultural relations continue to warm
Published: Mar 17, 2021 05:33 PM
Actress Ying Ze Photo: Courtesy of Hengye Pictures

Actress Ying Ze Photo: Courtesy of Hengye Pictures

Tracing Her Shadow, a China-Japan coproduction about Japanese war orphans in China will hit big screens in China on Friday. 

Starring actresses and actors from China and Japan like Wu Yanshu, Jun Kunimura and Nagase Jungmin, the latest work from Chinese young director Peng Fei tells the sad story of an old Chinese woman who tries to find the missing Japanese daughter she adopted after the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1931-45). 

Nearly 3,000 Japanese children were left behind in China after the war and were adopted by rural Chinese families. These orphans, including the daughter in the film, began returning to Japan in the 1980s, but they faced a series of difficulties including discrimination and self-identification issues. 

According to the director, who even visited two first-generation war orphans to prepare for the film, the stories of these children are a scar that reminds people of the painful war and how peace needs to be cherished. 

"They live in a remote village in Japan, no different from other Japanese in appearance. But when they speak, you will hear a familiar accent from Northeast China," he recalled. 

The movie is the latest cultural program co-produced by China and Japan, following the ongoing ukiyo-e exhibition at Beijing's Today Art Museum. 

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