Barefoot Gen

Barefoot Gen

Hadashi No Gen : A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima

Graphic Novel - 1987
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Publisher: Philadelphia, Pa. : New Society Publishers, c1987.
Branch Call Number: 741.5 NAK
Characteristics: 284 p. :,chiefly ill. ;,21 cm.
Series Volume: 1
Notes: In English.


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Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki – 2019 commemorations in Christchurch

The atomic bomb named "Little Boy" was dropped by American airmen on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on 6 August 1945. Three days later on 9 August 1945, the atomic bomb "Fat Man" was dropped over Nagasaki. The Hiroshima explosion destroyed 90 percent of the city and killed approximately 80,000 people; tens of thousands more died later from radiation exposure. The Nagasaki A-bomb killed… (more)

From Library Staff

Beautiful and heart-wrenching, ‘Barefoot Gen’ is a semi-autobiographical story of the artist’s experience of the Hiroshima bombing and the upheaval that followed. Balancing the harsh realities– starvation, malnutrition, nuclear burns and injuries, and death– with a simple art style makes this a p... Read More »

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Donna_R Aug 19, 2015

A series of comics about Gen's life after Hiroshima. The story is devastating and realistic - writer Nakazawa is a Hiroshima survivor.

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Oct 17, 2020

I really enjoyed the story of this book but in the end, it was very very sad.

Aug 14, 2018

Ironically, an extremely violent anti-war book.

Mar 24, 2017

Told from the perspective of a young child living in Hiroshima during the second World War, this classic cartoon memoir describes the horrors of the Hiroshima bombing. The artist, a child at the time, was living in Hiroshima when the first atomic bomb was dropped. The book boldly tells what happened to his family when the bomb dropped. As such, this book describes Americans as the "bad guys" arriving to inflict horrors upon innocent children.

Oct 19, 2012

Fascinating insight into the way WWII affected Japan.

NancyPants22 May 09, 2011

Why are graphic novels so good at portraying difficult and disturbing historical events? I guess sometimes words aren't enough. Or maybe it is that only words are too much.

Aug 31, 2010

one of the saddest series i ever read......:[[

carknerdy Feb 18, 2010

I strongly recommend this whole series to anyone who is a fan of comic books. It was written and drawn by a survivor of the hiroshima bombing and traces the struggle of a young boy to survive in the face of the horrors he saw in the bombing and postwar period.

Slapstick and cheerful scenes are contrasted with utterly horrifying scenes of human devastation as well as political persecution of disloyal japanese. A strange, but beautiful work! It's slowly being released in english translation, so new volumes are still coming out.

Dec 24, 2009

The United States is the only country to have used nuclear weapons. Knowing what we know today about the effects of nuclear warfare, it?s not something to be proud of, and the world?s nations have been very careful not to let it happen again. Author Keiji Nakazawa is a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb and Barefoot Gen is his fictionalized autobiography of that survival. Gen is a young boy living in Hiroshima, Japan with his family during the final days of World War II. The war effort has taken its toll on the Japanese economy and Gen?s family is poor. Gen and his little brother pretend to be orphaned beggars to keep their pregnant mother from becoming malnourished. Gen?s father has opposed the war which makes the family unpopular with their neighbors and with local government and law enforcement. When the children get excited over a few meager scraps of food, their parents are filled with guilt and shame which they, Gen?s father especially, tend to take out on the kids. It?s not an ideal family situation for sure, but readers won?t be able to resist precocious Gen as he runs amuck through the streets of the city while his little brother tags along. This, of course, makes it all the more difficult to accept what is coming: a new form of violent warfare that the world has never seen the likes of before, the near-total destruction of a thriving city, and the deaths of thousands of men, women, and children. Barefoot Gen is a multi-volume graphic novel series and an early example of Japanese manga; the following books continue Gen?s story after the bombing as he struggles to get by in a world that is forever and horribly changed. The comic-strip format is highly effective here, and not just for the shock value of showing terrifying events that words cannot describe. Nakazawa?s drawings show a time and a place that the Western world is not familiar with. The contrast between the everyday struggles of a simple family and the horrors they are about to undergo is a compelling lesson in compassion and humanity.

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