"Hadashi no Gen" ("Barefoot Gen"), a manga series by the late Keiji Nakazawa, marks the 40th anniversary of its publication this year, reminding both child and adult readers alike of the horrors of nuclear warfare.
The series started in the June 4, 1973, edition of Shueisha Inc.'s Weekly Shonen Jump after Tadasu Nagano, editor-in-chief of the magazine, persuaded Nakazawa to depict his experiences as a survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bombing on Aug. 6, 1945.
"Hadashi no Gen" describes the life of a 6-year-old boy named Gen before and after the city's obliteration. Shueisha received a large number of letters from readers, including children, who said they had been able to understand the suffering of A-bomb victims for the first time or that they wanted to learn more about the event, even though they could barely look at some of the scenes depicted.
The gut-wrenching theme of the series failed to win widespread popularity, however, forcing Shueisha to discontinue it after one year and four months. Nevertheless, Nakazawa was able to "accurately get across his message to the public," Yamaji said.
Government figures show a sharp and continuous fall-off in the number of farmers over the past five years that potentially threatens the landscape as its stewards leave the sector and are not replaced. (Japan Times)
Japan plans to boost financial aid to developing countries to help them tackle climate change by providing about ¥1.3 trillion (about $10.6 billion) a year by 2020, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Thursday. (The Japan News)
The Japanese government plans to tighten its energy-efficiency standards for lamps to effectively ban production and imports of fluorescents and incandescents, informed sources said Thursday. (Jiji Press)
No major gangster bloodbath has occurred in the three months since Japan's largest yakuza organization, Yamaguchi-gumi, split into two rival mobs, but to say the sides are living in harmony would be an exaggeration. (Asahi)
A 60-year-old man in Tochigi Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo, who claims to be an exorcist was arrested Thursday on suspicion of killing a diabetic boy by halting the administration of insulin, police said. (Japan Today)
Police and animal protection center officials captured the last of two emus, an ostrich-like bird from Australia, that escaped from a farm in Takasaki, Gunma Prefecture, earlier this month. (Japan Times)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the head of an adult video (AV) label specializing in productions featuring gay men for employing an underage male actor, reports Nippon News Network. (Tokyo Reporter)