Barefoot Gen - Volume 8: Merchants of Death

Barefoot Gen - Volume 8: Merchants of Death

by Keiji Nakazawa

Cartoonist Keiji Nakazawa was seven years old and living in Hiroshima in the early days of August 1945 when the city was destroyed by an atomic bomb dropped by the U.S.A. Starting a few months before that event, the ten-volume saga shows life in Japan after years of war and privations, as seen through the eyes of seven-year-old Gen Nakaoka. Volume Eight opens in 1950; Gen is now in middle school, where he meets both a progressive-minded schoolteacher at odds with his conservative superiors, and a brilliant but cynical classmate who challenges the teacher's -- and Gen's -- values at every turn. Gen also finds himself confronting the corrosive effects on postwar Hiroshima society of drugs and the arms industry. With the Korean War offering new business opportunities, a new generation of death merchants holds sway in Japan. Gen, his teacher mentor, and other peace-minded citizens are forced to struggle against red-baiting school officials, violent nationalists, and government censorship.