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In this graphic depiction of nuclear devastation, three survivors of the bombing of Hiroshima--Gen, his mother, and his baby sister--face rejection, hunger, and humiliation in their search for a place to live
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Keiji Nakazawa was six when the atomic bomb dropped on his city. His first published cartoon work appeared in 1963 and he has since has had over fifty book-length serials published. Now retired from cartooning, Nakazawa lives in Tokyo.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
A Note From the Author:
The atomic bomb exploded 600 meters above my hometown of Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 at 8:15 a.m. I was a little over a kilometer away from the epicenter, standing at the back gate of Kanzaki Primary School, when I was hit by a terrible blast of wind and searing heat. I was six years old. I owe my life to the school's concrete wall. If I hadn't been standing in its shadow, I would have been burned to death instantly by the 5,000degree heat flash. Instead, I found myself in a living hell, the details of which remain etched in my brain as if it happened yesterday.
My mother, Kimiyo, was eight months pregnant. She was on the second floor balcony of our house, had just finished hanging up the wash to dry, and was turning to go back inside when the bomb exploded. The blast blew the entire balcony, with my mother on it, into the alley behind our house. Miraculously, my mother survived without a scratch.
The blast blew our house flat. The second floor collapsed onto the first, trapping my father, my sister Eiko, and my brother Susumu under it. My brother had been sitting in the front doorway, playing with a toy ship. His head was caught under the rafter over the doorway. He frantically kicked his legs and cried out for my mother. My father, trapped inside the house, begged my mother to do something. ...
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