Browse by Course
Intelligence and Security
Rowman & Littlefield
Down East Books
Rowman & Littlefield International
American Association of School Administrators
American Association for State and Local History
Bucknell University Press
Center for Strategic and International Studies
Council on Foreign Relations
Fairleigh Dickinson University Press
Lehigh University Press
Library and Information Technology Association
Medical Library Association
National Association for Music Education
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
University of Delaware Press
Add to GoodReads
The Autobiography of Barefoot Gen
Nakazawa Keiji -
Richard H. Minear
This compelling autobiography tells the life story of famed manga artist Nakazawa Keiji. Born in Hiroshima in 1939, Nakazawa was six years old when on August 6, 1945, the United States dropped the atomic bomb. His gritty and stunning account of the horrific aftermath is powerfully told through the eyes of a child who lost most of his family and neighbors. In eminently readable and beautifully translated prose, the narrative continues through the brutally difficult years immediately after the war, his art apprenticeship in Tokyo, his pioneering "atomic-bomb" manga, and the creation of
, the classic graphic novel based on Nakazawa's experiences before, during, and after the bomb.
This first English-language translation of Nakazawa's autobiography includes twenty pages of excerpts from
to give readers who don't know the manga a taste of its power and scope. A recent interview with the author brings his life up to the present. His trenchant hostility to Japanese imperialism, the emperor and the emperor system, and U.S. policy adds important nuance to the debate over Hiroshima. Despite the grimness of his early life, Nakazawa never succumbs to pessimism or defeatism. His trademark optimism and activism shine through in this inspirational work.
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/2
978-1-4422-0747-9 • Hardback • December 2010 •
978-1-4422-0749-3 • eBook • November 2010 •
History / Asia / Japan
Art / Popular Culture
Biography & Autobiography / Historical
For access to these
professor use only
than email us at
(March 14, 1939–December 19, 2012) is the creator of
, one of the most storied manga of all time, which recounts the experiences of his alter ego, Gen, before and after August 6, 1945.
A leading translator of classics of Hiroshima literature,
Richard H. Minear
is professor of history emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Author's Introduction: The Dropping of the Atomic Bomb, "Gen," and I
Chapter 1: Prelude to Tragedy
Chapter 2: A Sudden Flash of Light
Chapter 3: Terror
Chapter 4: To Live
Chapter 5: I Set Out
Chapter 6: Gen and I, Together
Appendix: Interview with Nakazawa Keiji
In his moving autobiography, Nakazawa recounts how he transformed his experiences into the adventures of his alter-ago Gen Nakaoka.
Los Angeles Times
We can find a lot to be thankful for in Keiji Nakazawa's works like
, which are redemptive tales of striving for peace as well as tales of anger at the follies of governments and those in power. I for one am thankful that Nakazawa fell in love with comics and decided to become a manga artist.
Anime News Network
] is the pioneering atomic bomb manga, based on Nakazawa's account of his own surviving the atomic bomb. . . .Without doubt Nakazawa's
is a book of great importance and significance. The book deals with an important chapter of modern history, which should not be forgotten. . . .The book also provides insight into the world of manga and it shows how manga has become [an] integrated part of today's society and culture.
Peace and Justice Studies
It might seem odd that a comic book could teach us so much about the unspeakable, but that is what
does, in an inspiring way.
Hiroshima: The Autobiography of Barefoot Gen
is the equally gripping but true story of A-bomb survivor and artist, Nakazawa Keiji, and how his now-classic manga, or comic book, came to be. Read it, and never forget.
Frederik L. Schodt, author of Manga! Manga! The World of Japanese Comics
eloquently depicts the experience of surviving an atomic bomb, deriving its power from the individuality of its characters and its emotional honesty. Richard Minear introduces us here to Gen as an adult, revealing the process by which Nakazawa Keiji decided to tell his story—when no one wanted to hear it. Nakazawa inherited his father’s outrage at hypocrisy, and the manga is primarily a eulogy to his father and little brother. But this version of his life story shows that Nakazawa owes his bravery to his mother, who suffered for many years after 1945 from both long-term radiation sickness and the casual cruelty of unsympathetic relatives.
Laura Hein, Northwestern University
Praise for Nakazawa Keiji's
Some of the best comics ever done.
R. Crumb, artist and illustrator
Praise for Nakazawa Keiji's
Gen haunts me. [It] effectively bears witness to one of the central horrors of our time. Give yourself over to . . . this extraordinary book.
Art Spiegelman, creator of Maus
Rights and Permissions
National Book Network