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Hadashi-no Gen
Why Was This So Unpopular?
Date:28, Mar, 2023
Investigated and Written by Misaka Youhei
About our introductory articles


Is it popular in Japan? If you ask me, I will be lost in thought for a while before answering. I know lots of Japanese people have heard the name, and few own the books or DVDs. Can it be called popular? I am just wondering. What am I talking about? It's Hadashi-no Gen (Gen the Naked Boy), the Japanese manga created y Nakazawa Keiji in 1970's. Keiji got birth in 1939 Hiroshima, experienced the atomic bomb disaster there in 1945 when he was only a child. Based on the unforgettable actual experience of his own, he released the autobiographical manga when he was in his 30's. It was Hadashi-no Gen.

In 1975, released the soft-covered book. They say it didn't make a sale at all. One day appeared the change. The book was praised highly by Oe Kenzaburo, the Japanese popular storyteller whom many youngsters admired at the time. And some of Japanese Diet members picked it up, too. Then the manga got well-known over Japan. And it got to export all over the world translated into several languages like English, German, French, and Russian.

Keiji became kind of rich. And he spent his funds upon creating the animation movie of Hadashi-no Gen. They say Keiji was shocked by Shin-takarajima created by Tezuka Osamu, and decided to be a manga artist. Tezuka Osamu, as widely known, established his animation studio Mushi-pro in 1961. And Mad House, who mainly produced the Hadashi-no Gen animation, was a group that separated from Mushi-pro. Keiji was, I suppose, so glad to order this film. The animated movie didn't become popular, however. I believe you are pretty hard to find those who have watched this in Japan. Why? I guess the first principle was to express misery of the war vividly, not to entertain the audience. The film must be a valuable record of 1945 Hiroshima. And most people desire to watch something interesting as far as seeing a movie, don't they?

about Hadashi-no Gen

・Directed by Masaki Mori
・Written by Nakazawa Keiji
・Basic Manga: Nakazawa Keiji
・Distributed by Kyodo Eiga Zenkokukeiretsu Kaigi
・Release: July 21, 1983
・Running Time: 85 min.





 

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