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Barefoot Gen
April 13, 2003 3:39 AM   Subscribe

'Barefoot Gen is a vivid autobiographical story. Artist Keiji Nakazawa was only seven years old when the Atomic Bomb destroyed his beautiful home city of Hiroshima. The Artist's "Gen" manga (visual novel), tells the tale of one family's struggle to survive in the dreadful shadow of war ... '
"I named my main character Gen in the hope that he would become a root or source of strength for a new generation, one that can tread the charred soil of Hiroshima barefoot, feel the earth beneath its feet, and have the strength to say "NO" to nuclear weapons.... "
More survivors' stories :- Nagasaki Nightmare, the art of the hibakusha, or A-bomb survivors.
Voice of Hibakusha includes eye-witness accounts of the atom bombing of Hiroshima. Here are more testimonies of survivors. (Via the A-Bomb WWW Museum). A personal record of Hiroshima A-bomb survival, posted to a message board, with responses from readers.
Remembering Nagasaki, a slide-show of Nagasaki after the A-bomb.
The story of Sadako, an A-bomb victim, and the Thousand Paper Cranes project she inspired.
posted by plep (15 comments total)

 
Here's an eyewitness account by a priest sent in by the US forces.

In a strange coincidence, I've been reading about the Pikudon for a story that I'm writing. And now you've given me more links. Thanks!
posted by Katemonkey at 4:20 AM on April 13, 2003


'Barefoot Gen' is an amazing piece of comic... 'Maus' could take lessons.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:33 AM on April 13, 2003


'Maus' could take lessons.
kaibutsu, if only pieces of art could take lessons from other pieces. We could cut out the middlemen!

Guess I miss your point.

Barefoot Gen is incredibly moving and should be read by anyone who wonders what it was like to have been there.
posted by Busithoth at 5:59 AM on April 13, 2003 [1 favorite]


There is a great lecture by James Foard on Audible, called "Hiroshima and the Limits of Theodicy." It's about the strain this event placed on traditional religious and social values, and how it became necessary for that culture to recompose its belief systems. He gave the lecture before the wtc attack, but the parrallels (dogmatic parralells) are interesting, such as the manufacture of heroes from simple victims.
posted by cachilders at 6:38 AM on April 13, 2003


Only tangentially related is Young-Hae Chang's harrowing new(ish) piece, 0PERATI0N NUK0REA.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:48 AM on April 13, 2003


"In 1983 it was released as a full length animated feature. This brilliant anime has recently been issued on video tape by Orion Home Video. It is one of the most important animated films ever made.... I strongly recommend that you purchase it."

I did. A few years back when I was still married. When we divorced, she took Barefoot Gen with her. That's how good the movie version is. I got stuck with the dog which, God love'm, just isn't as good as that movie. However I don't really miss the videotape, cuz Barefoot Gen is not something one can watch many times. I think during the time I had the movie in my possession I maybe saw it twice. It's just too gut wrenching, even though it's brilliantly produced and the story is moving. The art is eyepopping and the theme is poignant. I dunno.

It just hits you over the head with a ton of bricks: "WAR IS EVIL!" ...yeah, I kinda guessed that one already. No need to shout. You're preaching to the choir. Blah blah blah.
posted by ZachsMind at 8:56 AM on April 13, 2003 [1 favorite]


Great links plep! I have some work to do this aft, so these links will no doubt be my procrastination!

Here's another Barefoot Gen site - much is in Japanese, but the main menu is in English, and since much on the site is graphic, it is worth exploring.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:28 AM on April 13, 2003


It's not about the Bomb, but it is terribly sad: Grave of the Fireflies.
posted by SPrintF at 11:01 AM on April 13, 2003


also see: grave of the fireflies
posted by lotsofno at 11:14 AM on April 13, 2003


grrr... missed that. :o(
posted by lotsofno at 11:14 AM on April 13, 2003


I saw Grave of the Fireflies for the first time about two weeks ago. It's gorgeous, and absolutely devastating. It's the most effective anti-war statement I've ever seen; it really shook me up. I'm never, ever going to watch it again.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:40 AM on April 13, 2003


grave of the fireflies was so sad it almost made me stop watching anime altogether. when i saw this post about barefoot gen, i logged in to say something about grave of the fireflies, if for nothing else, just to warn everyone about it. like mr_roboto said, it was worth it, but i will never ever watch it again.
posted by car_bomb at 12:34 PM on April 13, 2003


what, no irc logs????
posted by quonsar at 12:45 PM on April 13, 2003


memoirs from hijiyama addresses hiroshima with funky typographic design
warning: image intensive and somewhat less than obvious navigation (tab key helps).
posted by juv3nal at 5:01 PM on April 13, 2003


Thank you so much plep. Seeing that I have the same name as Barefoot Gen, this story has a lot of resonance for me.
posted by gen at 1:56 AM on April 15, 2003


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