"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.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has held a meeting with his top financial diplomat, as well as the Bank of Japan's governor, amid a report the "architect of Abenomics" had called for a Group of 20-wide response to the market rout. (cnbc.com)
Tokyo Electric Power, whose Fukushima Daiichi power plant was the scene of a nuclear disaster nearly five years ago, may get approval to resume nuclear power generation at another facility as soon as this summer, as Japan's nuclear safety agency is moving toward giving the "all clear" to the utility's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata Prefecture. (Nikkei)
North Korea on Friday declared the scrapping of its comprehensive investigation into the issue of Japanese nationals abducted to the country decades ago, in retaliation against Tokyo's decision to impose sanctions on the reclusive state following its recent nuclear test and missile firing. (Jiji Press)
A lawmaker from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party who announced plans to take paternity leave has resigned over revelations that he engaged in an extra-marital affair while his wife was pregnant, reports TBS News (Feb. 12). (Tokyo Reporter)
Dubbed the "Black Widow" after the mate-eating spider, Chisako Kakehi awaits trial: Initially arrested on suspicion of murdering eight lovers for insurance payouts, her case is notorious in Japan as much for its body count as the shortcomings of the investigation. (scmp.com)
The Kobe District Court on Friday sentenced the daughter-in-law of a woman, who is believed to have masterminded a series of murders in the western Japan city of Amagasaki, to 23 years in prison. (Japan Today)
Los Angeles alternative rock outfit Red Hot Chili Peppers and Icelandic post-rock trio Sigur Ros were among acts named Friday to perform at the 20th anniversary of Fuji Rock Festival in July. (Japan Times)