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Animating Catastrophe—Collective Trauma, Memory, and Reconciliation in the Anime Film “your name.” (君の名は。(kimi no na wa), 2016)

This online workshop examined the unique power of anime to address issues of natural disaster and collective trauma through an analysis and discussion of the 2016 film your name. (君の名は。(kimi no na wa) ). This film was an unexpected blockbuster hit upon its release, becoming the 2nd highest grossing animated film of all time both in Japan and worldwide. The film is particularly notable for its dazzling visuals and intense blending of melodramatic tropes, in addition to its allegorical treatment of the 3-11 “Triple Disaster” (or 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami). In this workshop, we considered such questions as: In what ways is anime uniquely equipped to “represent the unrepresentable” of catastrophic historical events that distinguishes it from other artistic mediums (including live action cinema)? How is your name. able to achieve a sense of emotional catharsis and reconciliation for its audience and are there any potential limitations to this approach? Finally, what accounts for the overwhelming appeal of this film (and anime film more broadly), especially among young people?

Date and Time

Thursday, April 7, 2022, 4:30 – 6:30 PM.

This program was held over Zoom.

Program Leader

Nate Heneghan is an independent scholar who has taught Japanese literature and culture at Oberlin College, Wesleyan University, and other institutions. His work focuses on literary and cinematic representation of the Korean minority in Japan (Zainichi) from post-War to present. He is currently at work on a manuscript devoted to this subject, tentatively titled, “Under Erasure: Tracing Zainichi Korean Identity in Postcolonial Literature and Visual Media.”

Program Benefits

  • Free 4 WA OSPI Clock Hours
  • Online access to the film
  • Online resources