Beautiful new softcover edition available now from Last Gasp!
Cartoonist Keiji Nakazawa was seven years old and living in Hiroshima in the early days of August 1945 when the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb dropped by the U.S.A. Starting a few months before that event, his ten-volume saga shows life in Japan after years of war and privations, as seen through the eyes of seven- year- old Gen Nakaoka.
Volume Eight opens in 1950; Gen is now in middle school, where he meets both a progressive- minded schoolteacher at odds with his conservative superiors, and a brilliant but cynical classmate who challenges the teacher's —and Gen's —values at every turn. Gen also finds himself confronting the corrosive effects on postwar Hiroshima society of drugs and the arms industry on postwar Hiroshima society. With the Korean War offering new business opportunities, a new generation of death merchants holds sway in Japan. Gen, his mentor, and other peace-minded citizens are forced to struggle against red-baiting school officials, violent nationalists, and government censorship.
Some of the best comics ever done... Nakazawa, I'm sure, will be considered one of the great comic artists of this century.
Nakazawa's graphic presentation of what it was like to survive the atomic bombing of Hiroshima should be required reading for all citizens, beginning with the President. Perhaps then we might gain the maturity to stop such madness.
Hunter and Amory Lovins, Friends of the Earth
Nakazawa was born in Hiroshima, and was six years old when the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb in 1945. All of his family members who had not been evacuated died in the bombing, except for his mother, and an infant sister who died several weeks after the bombing. Compelled to tell his story in the memory of his family, Keiji Nakazawa is best known for his epic tragic history Barefoot Gen.