Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Asian Languages & Civilizations

First Advisor

Faye Kleeman

Second Advisor

Janice Brown

Third Advisor

R. Keller Kimbrough


This thesis examines Japanese writer Saotome Katsumoto and his efforts to create a pacifist message in his 1991 film Sensō to Seishun (War and Youth). The story presents multigenerational viewpoints on the Pacific War, and is significant for being the first film to depict the Great Tokyo Air Raid of March 9-10, 1945. I discuss how Saotome’s use of fiction, metaphor, and autobiographical techniques assist the film in creating a pacifist narrative. The film’s pacifist message continues to hold relevance today, as nationalist and conservative groups push strongly for revisions to Article 9 of the Japanese Peace Constitution in order to remilitarize the nation.