90 original pictures by manga artist Keiji Nakazawa shown to press at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum

by Uzaemonnaotsuka Tokai, Staff Writer

On December 22, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum revealed to the press original pictures and materials that will be donated from Keiji Nakazawa, 70, an A-bomb survivor and the manga artist known as the author of the "Barefoot Gen" manga series. Mr. Nakazawa and the City of Hiroshima will exchange formal documents on the donation around next February.

A total of 90 original pictures were shown to the press, including those of "Kuroi ame ni utarete" ("Pelted by Black Rain") and "Okonomi Hacchan" ("Hacchan in a Japanese Pizza Restaurant"). "Kuroi ame ni utarete" is the first work that Mr. Nakazawa created on the theme of the atomic bombing. When he saw his mother's bones crumble to pieces at a crematory 21 years after the atomic bombing, he was infuriated, thinking, "The atomic bombing even deprived me of my mother's bones." He then decided to create this work. In elaborate detail, he depicted the devastation of the city of Hiroshima and expressed his rage against the atomic bombing.

The museum also showed the June 4, 1973 issue of the magazine "Weekly Shonen Jump," which carried the "Gen" series for the first time, along with about 40 books, including books of the "Gen" series in Japanese and in foreign languages.

Mr. Nakazawa announced this past September that he would retire from his career as a manga artist due to cataracts, and then decided to donate his original pictures and materials to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

(Originally published on December 23, 2009)

Related articles
Keiji Nakazawa donates original pictures of "Barefoot Gen" to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum (Dec. 11, 2009)