IJSSH 2015 Vol.5(11): 955-961 ISSN: 2010-3646
DOI: 10.7763/IJSSH.2015.V5.586

The Dispute over Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen) and Its Implications in Japan

Mizuno Norihito
AbstractBarefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen) is a comic series, the central theme of which is the author Nakazawa Keiji’s experiences as an atomic survivor in Hiroshima during and after World War II, which became the subject of disputes in the summer and fall of 2013 in Japan. The Board of Education of the City of Matsue requested that all the elementary and junior high schools in the city move the comic books to closed shelves to restrict students’ free access in December 2012, citing an excess of violent description as the reason. A local newspaper report about the education board’s request published in August 2013 received broader attention from the major Japanese media and ignited disputes between journalists, critics and scholars, who engaged in arguments over two issues. Along with the propriety of the “closed shelf” request, the comic work’s attitude to Japanese wartime conduct became an issue in dispute. This article clarifies the conflicting arguments that were exchanged by giving a detailed account of the dispute, arguing that this domestic event had significant implications for the historical controversy which remains a vexing diplomatic and domestic issue, even after seven decades have passed since the end of the Second World War.

Index TermsBarefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen), Japan, Historical Controversy, Nakazawa Keiji.

Mizuno Norihito is with the Akita International University, Akita-shi, Akita 010-1292 Japan (e-mail: nmizuno@aiu.ac.jp).

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Cite: Mizuno Norihito, " The Dispute over Barefoot Gen (Hadashi no Gen) and Its Implications in Japan," International Journal of Social Science and Humanity vol. 5, no. 11, pp. 955-961, 2015.

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