Monday, August 08, 2016

"until the waters were dried up from off the earth" - Boy Barefoot Gen in Hiroshima of 1945

Fukushima City 

Boy Barefoot Gen in Hiroshima of 1945

There was a famous cartoonist or a manga creator who depicted the tragedy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.
Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gem) is a Japanese manga series by Keiji Nakazawa (1939-2012). Loosely based on Nakazawa's own experiences as a Hiroshima survivor, the series begins in 1945 in and around Hiroshima, Japan, where the six-year-old boy Gen Nakaoka lives with his family. After Hiroshima is destroyed by atomic bombing, Gen and other survivors are left to deal with the aftermath. It ran in several magazines, including Weekly Shōnen Jump, from 1973 to 1985. It was subsequently adapted into three live action film adaptations directed by Tengo Yamada, which were released between 1976 and 1980.
This series of comic books have been translated in various foreign languages.

The most heart-breaking matter about the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack is that survivors had to sometimes face discrimination in the Japanese society because the ignorant public at the time thought that victims of the atomic bomb had special disease that might contaminate others.

Especially girls who survived the atomic bomb attack had to conceal the fact that they were among victims.  The public wrongly thought that those girls could not bring sound and healthy babies into life.  For this reason, many women did not file an application to the public office to receive special aid money for atomic bomb attack victims.

The US military did not use atomic bombs in battle fields.  They dropped onto Hiroshima and Nagasaki, big cities of Japan, in the summer of 1945.  And each atomic bomb alone devastated each city.  It suggested future usage of nuclear weapons.  They could destroy easily not only enemy military bases but also large cities and major infrastructures of enemy nations in just one-time launching of attack.  Using nuclear weapons means not only for winning a war but rather for annihilation of citizens in cities of enemy nations.  It is beyond any justification if a war is fought for any material or economic interests.

Now, there is another fear that terrorist might obtain nuclear weapons to use them in cities in Europe or America.  If they should blast a nuclear bomb in a Western city, its impact would be 100 times more than that of the 9/11 Terror of 2011.

So, it is reasonable that President Obama has pursued significant reduction of nuclear weapons in the world if not total abolition.

Today, still there are about 60,000 survivors of the 1945 atomic bomb attack in Hiroshima, whose average age is 80 years or more.  Most of characters depicted in the cartoon work Barefoot Gen must have gone in these 71 years.  However, the lessons learnt from Hiroshima of August 6, 1945, must be alive.

 An excerpt from Barefoot Gen Volume 1 of English version

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Gen 8:6 And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Gen 8:7 And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.
Gen 8:8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;