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Posts Tagged ‘Keiji Nakazawa’

This is probably my final read for this year’s edition of ‘January In Japan‘.

I Saw It‘ is Keiji Nakazawa’s memoir, about the time when he was a child when the atomic bombing of Hiroshima happened, and how he and his family survived it and what happened in the aftermath. It is said that this was the first (or probably one of the first) memoirs which described factual, historical events in comic form, and this led to other books like Art Spiegelman’sMaus‘. From that perspective, ‘I Saw It‘ broke new ground and was a pioneering work.

As Nakazawa’s book is a memoir, it is more about his family and how they survived this terrifying period in history. The atomic bombing is interwoven into the story of his family and their community. It is a heartbreaking book because it shows how horrific things like the atomic bombing, and war in general, impact normal people and change their lives beyond imagination. It is also a book which is beautiful in parts. The book is also a beautiful love letter to Nakazawa’s mother. It made me remember Romain Gary’s ode to his mother, ‘Promise at Dawn‘.

I loved ‘I Saw It‘. It is an important book and it is a must-read. Nakazawa used his memoir as inspiration to write a longer fictional manga series called ‘Barefoot Gen‘. I want to read that sometime.

I am sharing some pages from the book, to give you a feel for the story and the artwork. I have included a couple of pages depicting the bombing, but have avoided the pages depicting the more horrifying, heartbreaking scenes.

Have you read Keiji Nakazawa’sI Saw It‘? What do you think about it?

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