Written by Keiji Nakazawa, who was only six years old when the bomb dropped on his hometown of Hiroshima, Barefoot Gen is a semi-autobiographical account of Nakazawa’s experiences in wartime Hiroshima. Told through the eyes of his fictional alter ego Gen Nakaoka, whose name, especially in the katakana form in which it is given in the title, seems to intentionally allude to the ‘atomic’ part of the Japanese word for the A-bomb, “genbaku”. Gen is the second youngest child of a poor Japanese family, struggling to survive on their dwindling rations. When the A-Bomb drops on Hiroshima, Gen’s family are killed save for Gen and his pregnant mother. Gen must now protect his mother and baby sister as he faces the horrors of a nuclear aftermath.