Keiji Nakazawa

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Keiji Nakazawa
Born(1939-03-14)March 14, 1939
DiedDecember 19, 2012(2012-12-19) (aged 73)
Hiroshima, Japan
OccupationManga artist
Known forBarefoot Gen

Keiji Nakazawa (中沢 啓治, Nakazawa Keiji, March 14, 1939 – December 19, 2012) was a Japanese manga artist and writer.


Nakazawa was born March 14, 1939 Naka-ku, Hiroshima, Japan and was in the city when it was destroyed by an atomic bomb in August 1945. Most of his family members who had not evacuated died as a result of the explosion after they became trapped under the debris of their house, except for his mother and an infant sister (who died several weeks later whether from malnutrition or radiation from her mother afterward).[1]

In 1961, Nakazawa moved to Tokyo to become a full-time cartoonist and produced short pieces for manga anthologies such as Shōnen Gaho, Shōnen King, and Bokura.[2]

Following the death of his mother in 1966, Nakazawa returned to his memories of the destruction of Hiroshima and began to express them in his stories.[1] Kuroi Ame ni Utarete (Struck by Black Rain), the first of a series of five books, was a fictional story of Hiroshima survivors involved in the postwar black market. Nakazawa chose to portray his own experience in the 1972 story Ore wa Mita, published in Monthly Shōnen Jump. The story was translated into English and published as a one-shot comic book by Educomics as I Saw It.[2]

Immediately after completing I Saw It, Nakazawa began his major work, Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen).[2] This series, which eventually filled ten volumes, was based on the same events as I Saw It but expanded and fictionalized, with the young Gen Nakaoka as a stand-in for the author. Barefoot Gen depicted the bombing and its aftermath in extremely graphic detail, with Gen's experiences being even more harrowing than Nakazawa's own. It also turned a critical eye on the militarization of Japanese society during World War II and on the sometimes abusive dynamics of the traditional family. Barefoot Gen was adapted into a trilogy of live action movies, two animated films, and a live action TV drama.[3]

Nakazawa announced his retirement in September 2009, citing deteriorating diabetes and cataract conditions.[1] He cancelled plans for a Barefoot Gen sequel.[3] In September 2010, Nakazawa was diagnosed with lung cancer; in July 2011, metastasis from lung cancer was found. He died on December 19, 2012.


  • Ano Machi Kono Machi (あの街この街)
  • Kuroi Chinmoku no hate ni (黒い沈黙の果てに)
  • One Day, I Saw A Blue Sky (いつか見た青い空, Itsuka Mita Aoi Sora)
  • Okinawa (オキナワ)
  • Struck by Black Rain (黒い雨にうたれて, Kuroi ame ni Utarete)
  • Geki's River (ゲキの河, Geki no Kawa)
  • Chinchin Densha no Shi (チンチン電車の詩)
  • Maboroshi no 36 Go (幻の36号)
  • Under the Eucalyptus Trees (ユーカリの木の下で, Yūkari no Kinoshita de)
  • I Saw It (おれは見た, Ore wa Mita)
  • The flow of the Black River (黒い河の流れに, Kuroi Kawa no Nagare ni)
  • A Flock of Black Doves (黒い鳩の群れに, Kuroi Hato no Mure ni)
  • Ītama Ippon (いいタマ一本)
  • Suddenly, One Day (ある日突然に, Aru Nichi Totsuzen ni)
  • Knowledge and Broadsword (チエと段平, Chie to Danbira)
  • There is a Story of Love (ある恋の物語, Aru Koi no Monogatari)
  • Good Morning (おはよう, Ohayō)
  • Stupid Baseball (野球バカ, Yakyū Baka)
  • Ano Machi Kono Machi (あの街この街)
  • Guzu Roku Kōshinkyoku (グズ六行進曲)
  • Genkotsu Iwata (げんこつ岩太)
  • Hiroshima Carp Birth Story (広島カープ誕生物語, Hiroshima Kāpu Tanjō Monogatari)
  • Madcap (悪太郎, Aku Tarō)
  • O Konomi Hachi-chan (お好み八ちゃん)
  • Itsuka Mita Aoi Sora (いつか見た青い空)
  • Otoko Nara Shōri no Utawo (男なら勝利の歌を)
  • Stupid Curry (カレーバカ, Karē Baka)
  • Us Forever (われら永遠に, Warera Eien ni)
  • Advance! Donganden (進め!!ドンガンデン, Susume!! Donganden)
  • Adventurous Baby Jim (冒険児ジム, Bōken Jijimu)
  • Son of Godzilla, Monster Island Battle (怪獣島の決戦 ゴジラの息子, Kaijū Shima no Kessen Gojira no Musuko)
  • There was a Black Summer (クロがいた夏, Kuro Gaita Natsu)
  • Murasaki Shoku no Pika (むらさき色のピカ)
  • Barefoot Gen (はだしのゲン, Hadashi no Gen)


Nakazawa was the subject of the Japanese documentary, Barefoot Gen's Hiroshima (2011), directed by Yuko Ishida.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "ゲンの作者が漫画家引退" [Gen author, artist retires]. Chugoku Shimbun. September 15, 2009. Archived from the original on September 22, 2009. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c Gleason, Alan (October 15, 2003). "Keiji Nakazawa". The Comics Journal (256). Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  3. ^ a b "Barefoot Gens Nakazawa Drops Sequel Due to Cataract". Anime News Network. September 15, 2009. Retrieved September 16, 2009.
  4. ^ "Barefoot Gen's Hiroshima". Japanese Film Database. UniJapan. Retrieved 6 May 2014.

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