Volumes 1 of Nakazawa's famous comic series about a boy called 'Gen' and his life in Hiroshima during the WWII and soon after the atomic bomb. The first two volumes of this series are probably the most important ones. After I read them, I just had to lend them to everyone I knew. If you read this story, you'll realise how silly to hear some popular opinion 'Dropping two atomic bombs in Japan was necessary to end the war'. The author Nakazawa says that each and every event illustrated here is a true story. You'll see, for example, that two young brothers fight against each other for a little gr...ain of rice. Gen trying to encourage a girl who used to be dreaming about one day becoming a professional dancer, but now her face was badly burnt by the bomb, although she still didn't know it - he refuses to let her see the mirror.
The bombs were dropped onto civilians in two cities, and in Hiroshima alone 100,000 people, including children, elderly people and western prisoners of war, were killed instantly, and the pain they suffered from it was tremendous. The way some of Gen's family members, including a new born baby sister, were slowly dying is simply too sad to look at. But the reality is that it actually took place and was caused by human hands.
I sincerely hope that many people will find the opportunity to read this book at least once in their life-time, and I strongly believe that this book will enlighten the whole world with the message: 'What really happens when a nuclear bomb is dropped onto humanity', which hasn't really been talked about in history books for some reason. But I think it's time to face reality.続きを読む ›
I am awed by this book, which I purchased after having watched a documentary recently about the author and his “Gen” novels on Japan’s public television station (NHK). First published in serial form in 1972 and 1973 “Barefoot Gen”, which opens in April 1945, tells the story of what life was like in Hiroshima before the atomic bomb was dropped, and ends in its aftermath. Almost more than any other book, Keiji Nakazawa’s manga (cartoon) masterpiece is a novel of resourcefulness at a time when Japan was literally on the ropes. It was a time of appalling deprivation for the civilian populatio...n, and appalling losses by the Japanese military. “Barefoot Gen” is the story of Keiji Nakazawa’s experience of life in Hiroshima at that time, when the world was falling apart around him and, on that fateful day on August 6th, 1945 when the Enola Gay dropped “Little Boy” on Hiroshima and life as its citizens had known it came to a horrifically disastrous end. The story is graphically told in way that is mesmerizing and unforgettable.
More than an autobiographical account, “Barefoot Gen” is an antiwar masterpiece, focusing as it does on the horrendous consequences of modern war on armies and, more importantly, on civilians. “Human beings are foolish,” he writes in an introductory note. “Thanks to bigotry, religious fanaticism, and the greed of those who traffic in war, the Earth is never at peace, and the spectre of nuclear war is never far away. I hope that Gen’s story conveys to its readers the preciousness of peace and the courage we need to live strongly, yet peacefully.” It’s a message that we need to take to heart today.続きを読む ›