Turkeyriceの勝手に英訳ブログ Turkeyrice's Blog Written in both Japanese and English

音楽,映画,本,テレビ,長崎のことを好き勝手に日本語プラス英語で書いています。2017年に英検1級取得。Talking about Music, Films, Books, TV Programs, and Some Things in Nagasaki

Books as reminders of the importance of peace: 平和について考えさせる本 「Barefoot Gen (はだしのゲン)」


 As a resident in Nagasaki, there is one thing I make a point of doing. The thing what I do is to read books written about wars at least one per year. That’s because it’s the most powerful driving force in avoiding wars for people to keep realizing the misery of wars and have knowledge about it as much as possible.


 In recent years, I search a library’s foreign book section for that kind of books because I can improve my English reading skills at the same time. This year, I decided to reread a comic book in ten volumes “Barefoot Gen”, I had actually read it once several years ago. I had had first three volumes of the original version when I was a boy, but I haven’t read all the volumes.


  There are some good points about this manga, the first point is that the misery and the fear caused by an atomic bomb pierce readers’ heart visually, and directly.  There is no book like this which makes even children feel that such a horrible thing should never be repeated through the shocking description. The second is that it depicts well about the irrational oppressions by authorities and the psychology of people those who were buffeted by the situation. The crackdown on Gen’s father who openly opposes the war and the cruel treatments to the family from neighbors are some aspects of the misery caused by wars that cannot be disregarded. I wonder what I would do if I were there. The third point is that this is a quite interesting story as a coming-of-age story. The atomic bombing is described in the first volume, so what is depicted in the rest of the nine volumes is how Gen survives the chaotic period in the wake of the war.


 Now I’m realizing how it is good to read manga in English version. In fact, daily conversation is the most difficult part for me in learning English because I’ve never studied nor traveled abroad. No matter how many English novels I read, I can’t improve my speaking skills. In contrast, all the sentences in manga are conversations between characters. “Barefoot Gen” is full of lively conversations because the main character is a boy, but actually, awfully full of abuses and curses. I make a point of taking photos instead of jotting down when I find some expressions useful. In this respect, “Barefoot Gen” was quite informative for me.


Barefoot Gen 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima

Barefoot Gen 1: A Cartoon Story of Hiroshima