Prior to the 69th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombings of
The work by late cartoonist
The story was serialized between 1973 and 1987 as a 10-volume manga series, while a digest version containing the 24 drawings was also published.
Among the drawings displayed at the gallery is one depicting the moment the bomb exploded, while others show the suffering of the victims -- walking naked through the street as their skin peels off -- and countless bodies piled up or being carried downriver.
Gen's father and siblings burned to death after becoming trapped in the rubble of their home, according to the drawings.
While Barefoot Gen has been recognized for its role in passing down the legacy of the atomic bombing to succeeding generations, last year a local authority sought to have access to the work restricted.
The education board of Matsue city in Shimane Prefecture asked municipal primary and junior high schools to prevent students from reading the comic series on the grounds that it contains scenes and language not suitable for young people, although it later withdrew the request.
"We organized this exhibition because we were roused by the developments in Matsue," said
"People now tend to see only self-serving aspects of history, but Gen portrays the misery of the war beyond national boundaries," Okamura said.
Of the 15 panels, 14 are displayed at the gallery, while the remaining work -- "Nagasaki" -- is owned by
The husband-and-wife team also made other tragedies, including the Auschwitz concentration camp, the Nanjing Massacre and Minamata Disease, the subject of their paintings.
Iri died in
"I believe we should maintain various ways of passing down the history of
"I expect visitors to enjoy the colorful drawings but also to appreciate the acute contrast between life and death, as one picture depicts the birth of Gen's sister while
Barefoot Gen has so far been translated into 17 languages, including Chinese, English, French, Persian, Russian and Spanish, and the translations are also displayed at the gallery.
Nakazawa died of lung cancer in
The Godzilla movie depicts a monster from the deep that is awoken by the U.S. hydrogen bomb test and comes to attack
The Barefoot Gen exhibition runs through
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