Sister Ye lives in a rural village, where everyone makes traditional toys. When Sister Ye's husband dies of an unknown illness, and while Ye is attending to him, her son is kidnapped and sold to a wealthy lady in the city of Shanghai. Shortly after, the village is destroyed during an attack between rival warlords, forcing the villagers move to the city, where they continue to make toys. Ten years pass, and Ye's daughter Zhu'er has become a toy designer. While helping the Nationalist army at the rear, Zhu'er is killed in an attack by the Japanese. On New Year's Eve, Sister Ye is dressed in rags, sitting on the curb, selling toys. A young boy buys toys from her, and it is none other than her son, whom she does not recognize.