(I've read volumes 1-3, but that was some time ago). Unfortunately, many Japanese are still starving and suffering from radiation poisoning, while the Americans soldiers are well fed. Nakazawa takes the endurance limit of the human psyche kilometres further than I could have imagined before reading it.
Start by marking “Barefoot Gen, Volume Four: Out of the Ashes” as Want to Read: Error rating book. This is part of a 10-volume series; I can't wait for volumes 5-10 to be released! after its surrender in WWII than a semester's history course! I was born in 1940, and so we were hit with the propaganda from our side of the war. This volume four especially highlights the long term damag. Thank you author, because despite the loss of faith in people, due to the circumstances of the bombing, I can still regain this faith by watching the continuous struggle of the pure hearts of the Nakaoka family. The story wanders from the efforts to feed their family to the coming of the American occupation forces (for good or ill) to falling in with gangsters to bullying at school to the desperate effort to make money for medicine for their baby sister Tomoko. Some people love books.
Learning about WW2 and especially the Japanese side, since I'm from Japan and that part of history always intrigued me. Author Keiji Nakazawa was seven years old when the atomic bomb was dropped on his hometown of Hiroshima. We thought the Japanese people were terrible and evil. I first learned of Barefoot Gen in high school in the early '90s; my school library had the original English translation, but I was too scared then to read it. Volume by volume I become more and more shocked at how much suffering and pain a person can endure and still want to live. It's really sad, as the baby was a symbol of hope for the future. In 1961, Nakazawa moved to Tokyo to become a full-time cartoonist, and produced. This last volume was interesting because the war is over now, and along with the lasting horror of the radiation sickness in Hiroshima the author introduces issues like the black market, the American Occupation, and the organized crime gangs known as Yakuza! I'm on volume 4 in the 10 volume series & can't exclaim enough about these graphic novels about the bombing of Hiroshima & its subsequent "recovery." As the Americans arrive more conflict and violence happen. Kenji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen series pulled me in as it combined the 2 genres I love, history and manga and this pulled me in from the concept, an autobiography of a survivor of WW2. This is a very sad volume, didn't expect this to happen. I had read about these books, and asked my oldest son if he had read them.
After the bomb and loss of his father and siblings, Gen and the rest of his family are getting back up on their feet. I'd give 5 stars to the beginning of the book and three to the end since the end was a repeat of the beginning. Sometimes people steal in order to live, they have no other choices. Rumors fly about what the Americans will do to the Japanese men and women that are left, but once the Americans start dispensing candy and gum to the Japanese children, those rumors start to fade. There were street gangs of children, who were doing anything to survive. As the Americans arrive more conflict and violence happen. Refresh and try again. Seen from Gen's perspective, the American troops that occupy post-war Japan are menacing and sinister. The first two books in the series, dealing with the bombing and the immediate results, are easily the most "forever seared into my brain." The oldest son finally enlists, to the heartache of his father, in the army to prove his family's patriotism. Oh noooo. He was born in Hiroshima and was in the city when it was destroyed by an atomic bomb in 1945. in this book we learn about the interactions between the Japanese an the Americans. The book skips later on, where Gen starts school facing new challenges.
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