The dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945 remain the deadliest and most horrifying attacks of World War II, and much effort has gone into preserving the memory of these attacks to ensure they aren’t repeated and to keep the stories of survivors of these attacks alive. This year marks the 75th anniversary of these attacks and a number of events and activities have been conducted to honor the event. In recognition of the 75th anniversary, Mainichi Shinbun have released an abridged version of the Barefoot Gen manga online in English for free for a limited time.
Barefoot Gen is a manga by Keiji Nakazawa loosely based on the mangaka’s own experiences as a survivor of the dropping of the nuclear bomb on the city of Hiroshima. The original Japanese version was published between 1973 and 1987, and the manga has since been published in a number of countries and languages since, including in English by Last Gasp.
This online publication of the series is an abridged version that uses this translation for the series to cover major memorable scenes from the story. Accompanying these English chapters are brief notes in Japanese for Japanese readers learning English.
The decision to publish the manga online in this format has been made not just to honor the memory of the attack on Hiroshima but to honor the life of Nakazawa, who died in 2012, who wished to spread the message that such attacks shouldn’t occur again in the future and strongly resisted nuclear weapons.
This abridged version of the Barefoot Gen manga consists of 20 chapters in total, each of which has been published online in English daily for the last few weeks leading up to the anniversary of the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. Now that all 20 chapters have been released, they will remain on the Mainichi Shinbun for free until the end of August.