Barefoot Gen: Out Of The Ashes, Vol. 4 Paperback – Oct 1 2005
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"Robert Perry weaves history, traditional information, family stories and his own fiction to create a facinating look into the magical world of the Little People. Follow Him into this world. You will be enthralled." -- Gatle Ross, author of How the Turtle's Back was Cracked. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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As this volume opens, the Emperor has just announced the surrender of Japan. Gen's two brothers return to live with them in Eba, one from the Navy and one from an evacuation camp. US soldiers are landing to study the results of the bomb. The distrust and hatred of the local community eventually becomes too much and the family moves back to what is left of Hiroshima. We see the U.S. occupation and the rebuilding of the city through the eyes of seven year old Gen.
Gen's compassion, humanity, and determination make this an inspiring book about the strength of the human spirit. The close loving values of his family are in sharp contrast to the amoral self interest of the black marketeers and the criminals who thrive in the disorder and poverty.
The work has been wonderfully translated from the Japanese original: Hadashi no Gen. It was originally published in serial form in 1972 and 1973 in Shukan Shonen Jampu, the largest weekly comic magazine in Japan, with a circulation of over two million. The drawings are all in black and white. This US edition was published as part of a movement to translate the book into other languages and spread its message. It is a powerful testimony to the strength of the human spirit and the horrors of nuclear war. There are a few introductory essays at the front of the book that help to put this book into perspective. It is a tragic but uplifting story that I highly recommend for anyone interested in the topic. This and the other volumes in the series are important books for their message on the dangers of nuclear war.
This book is powerful and moving, but it is heartwrenching and very difficult to read. Technically this book is fiction but Keiji Nakazawa did live through the bombing of Hiroshima and these stories are based on his experiences. It will make you cry.
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