Hey guys, Samurai here. Got some bad news to report today. Anime News Network reports that Keiji Nakazawa, the creator of the semi-autobiographical manga “Barefoot Gen” passed away on December 19th at the age of 73. According to reports, Nakazawa-san has been battling lung cancer since 2010 which was the cause of his retiring from creating manga along with failing eyesight and tendon wear. Per his request, there was no funeral services held for him. More after the break.
Nakazawa-san was only six-years-old when the bombing of his hometown of Hiroshima occured. Like the title character in his manga, his mother, older brother, and his unborn sibling were the only ones to survive the bombing; his father, little brother, and older sister all perished. The story of “Barefoot Gen” was translated in numerous languages, giving a dramatic first-hand account of the events leading up to and immediately following the bombing as told through the eyes of a young boy. Later, the manga would be changed into two feature-legnth animated movies to be released on a worldwide level.
It goes without saying that this news was a shock to me as I had just reviewed “Barefoot Gen” last month. While it is indeed sad that Nakazawa-san is no longer with us, the fact that he had the chance to tell his story and have it relayed all over the world should be a great comfort to his family, friends and fans along with the knowledge that he is no longer suffering the physical afflictions of his body, and is now reuited with those family members he lost on that tragic August day.
Rest in Peace, Nakazawa-San.