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Kickstarter to Give Barefoot Gen Manga to Schools, Libraries Reaches Goal

posted on by Karen Ressler
Last Gasp Publishing to distribute 4,000 copies of first-person account of Hiroshima bombing

Last Gasp Publishing's Kickstarter campaign to print 4,000 hardcover copies of Keiji Nakazawa's Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen) manga for schools and libraries met its goal on Thursday.

As of press time, the project has earned US$36,552 of its US$36,000 goal with five hours remaining.

Nakazawa was born in Hiroshima in 1939. At the age of 6, he survived the 1945 Hiroshima bombing and the loss of most of his immediate family — his father, older sister, younger brother, and younger sister. Only he, his mother, and two brothers who were not at home survived.

He drew Barefoot Gen from 1973 to 1985, based on his experiences during the bombing and of his struggle to survive in the aftermath. The resulting 10 volumes of Barefoot Gen have since sold over 10 millon copies and have been translated in English, Russian, Korean, and many other languages.

Nakazawa underwent treatment for lung cancer and related ailments in 2010 and 2011. He abandoned plans for a new Barefoot Gen sequel in 2009 due to his worsening eyesight from a cataract and a damaged retina. However, he said, "Our generation must continue to tell of the horrors of atomic bombs and war." Nakazawa passed away in 2012 due to lung cancer. He was 73.

Last Gasp Publishing already republished the manga in North America. The manga inspired two animated films and a live-action television drama special in Japan. Producer Northrop Davis and a partner have pitched the story to Hollywood studios.

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