Pub. Date:
Last Gasp of San Francisco
Barefoot Gen, Volume 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima / Edition 2

Barefoot Gen, Volume 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima / Edition 2

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This harrowing story of Hiroshima was one of the original Japanese manga series. New and unabridged, this is an all-new translation of the author's first-person experiences of Hiroshima and its aftermath, is a reminder of the suffering war brings to innocent people. Its emotions and experiences speak to children and adults everywhere. Volume one of this ten-part series details the events leading up to and immediately following the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780867196023
Publisher: Last Gasp of San Francisco
Publication date: 09/01/2004
Series: Barefoot Gen Series , #1
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 138,623
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Keiji Nakazawa was six when the atomic bomb dropped on his city. His first published cartoon work appeared in 1963 and he has since has had over fifty book-length serials published. Now retired from cartooning, Nakazawa lives in Tokyo.

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Barefoot Gen, Volume 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
omphalos02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
New translation of cartoon/manga from the 70's, detailing the harrowing story of the bombing of Hiroshima as experienced by a child named Gen. Although it wouldn't seem that this medium would be appropriate to the material, Nakazawa makes it work.
sshadoan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Graphic, heart-reading, incredible. I can't wait to read the other nine.
detailmuse on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Barefoot Gen is volume one of a 10-volume manga-format memoir of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. This volume covers the months leading up to the bomb through the initial moments after the bomb explodes.Through 6-year-old Gen and his family and community, we see the effects on civilians of the late stages of war -- the nationalism alongside the growing disengagement with the war and the emperor, the impossible hunger and desperation that prompts both kindness and evil and is horribly sated by whole-family suicides. But we also see an optimistic and inventive young boy, whose story I must pursue further.The most memorable single sentence (written in the 1970s and translated in the `80s but evocative again) occurs as Gen¿s family greets the morning of August 6, 1945: ¿What a beautiful day -- the sky¿s so blue!¿
stretch on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Every now and then I come across a book that I wish was required reading when I was in high school; in my estimation Barefoot Gen: Vol 1 is one of those books. Barefoot Gen is the first hand account of the author's, Keiji Nakazawa, experiences of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima. Nakazawa is certainly a competent illustrator, but more importantly it's the story he tells through his panels that makes the this personal re-telling of history so compelling.Most of the first volume takes place well before the bomb is dropped, setting the stage for the ultimate tragedy. However, the small unjustices of Gen's family in the days prior to the bombing amount to a tragedy all their own. Gen¿s father is outspoken about his opposition to the war; he sees the famine it¿s brought, the lives it takes and the values it twists, such as the group suicides who seek honor in taking their lives rather than face capture. Nakazawa looks down upon this so-called honor, instead focusing directly on the daily hardships in wartime and the futility of hope and superstitions. Nakazawa witnessed the blind loyalty of Japanese citizens to the Emperor, endured the stigma of being one of the few families opposed to the war in his village, saw the flesh dripping off the bodies of those victims caught directly in the bomb¿s blast. What he puts on the illustrated page is not necessarily realistic, but it is haunting and terrible all the same. Even mixing the over-the-top comical elements (silly and strange dialogue; overt use of violence when characters disagree; even fart jokes) that is so common with Manga. I wouldn't say the Manga elements are seamlessly integrated into the story, but the story simply wouldn't be the same without them.Nakazawa, through Gen¿s family, offers one of the greatest explorations of the concept of humanity ever put in print. Loyalty and sacrifice for an ideal mean nothing when fellow neighbors are in immediate need of help. Gen¿s town turns on his family once they¿re branded as traitors, but it¿s those who still offer them food and support that stand out in the story. I think this series will remain in my mind for a long time to come.
terriko on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a new translation of an older manga set just before (and just after) the bomb is dropped in Japan. Apparently this is a fictionalized account of the author's own life experiences, living through the horrors of the war and the bomb. I'm reasonably well versed in the history so I was worried this would be crushingly depressing, but Nakazawa-san actually tells the story in surprisingly uplifting segments, seeing many of the small triumphs of the family. What was most interesting to me was seeing the story told in a deeply personal way, and told in a way where the people are not merely victims of the bomb, but also of the political wartime choices and the small but serious social pressures from fellow citizens. The balance of the tales of small joys interwoven within a fabric of a horrible part of history is really quite masterful, leading to a story that's enjoyable while being educational. I sort of wish that schools would encourage students to read more this -- it's a very readable way to tell the story of the time.
dchaikin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I picked this up after reading fannyprice's very thoughtful review (see below). I'm tempted to limit my review to just "Holy f---". That combined with the title, and the knowledge this is a graphic novel written by a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb says about everything I need to say and might say it better than this commentary.Keiji was 6 years old when the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, which he survived only thanks to a brick wall he was standing next to. His father, sister and younger brother were trapped under their collapsed house and burned alive, while his mother helplessly watched. I don't think I'm giving anything away here as we're told this up front, in the author's preface. Barefoot Gen is a fictionalized Keiji, and the story is essentially his story. It's 10 volumes. The 10th volume is actually due out in English in November this year. Volume One covers the last few months in 1945 before the bomb was dropped, ending the day it was dropped. Remarkably, and perhaps unfortunately, it's not about vilifying the US. As he explores life before the bomb, and the constant starving and the cultural pressure to cooperate, the anger is mainly directed at the Japanese leadership and culture. As a graphic novel, this is a quick read. There are no chapters, it's difficult to stop, especially when another half hour reading covers another 60 pages. Cartoons in Japan apparently don't have the juvenile connotations we have in west. They are taken very seriously, the images creating a kind of code that becomes more meaningful as the story progresses. Here the images aren't elegant artistic pictures, and there are no deep thoughts expressed. The drawing is rough, simple, not especially nice to look at, and yet very effective. The only thing I can compare this to is Art Spiegelman's Maus I & Maus II. It's worth noting Spiegelman wrote the introduction, and he mentions having read this while writing this first Maus volume. Maus was perhaps similarly effective, but different. There is an elegance to Maus, and, in order to write it Spiegelman has to psychologically come to terms with himself and his own problems - all of which is expressed within. Not so here. Gen is merely a kid, and what happens is simply beyond any singular human's psychology.As a initial impression, just after finishing this, it seems like the best thing I've read in years...
mikewick on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A heartbreaking story about a family that endured the horrors of the atom bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The Nakazawa family withstood the humiliating treatment of being called anti-patriotic by their neighbors because of their father's stance against the war. After the father, sister, and one of the brothers dies in the aftermath of the bomb the remainder of the family is left to endure further humiliations of a-bomb illness, their infant sister's death, poverty, and the scorn of families wealthier than theirs. Throughout Gen, the title character, keeps his father's admonition to be strong like a piece of wheat, as he goes through a series of events beyond most people's endurance.
aangela1010 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I haven't wept like this from reading a book in a very long time. Very moving but I don't think I can read the rest of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Press_play More than 1 year ago
Keiji Nakazawa survived the A-bomb attack in Hiroshima when he was six years old. This manga tells of a realistic fiction story about his and his family's life through the character Gen and what happened during the mid 1900s. I read it all in one day because it had captured my attention so intensely that I almost missed my train stop and walked into a pole. While reading, you will feel so many emotions - happiness, anger, endurance, defeat, hope, etc. A definite recommended read.