Barefoot Gen Volume One And Two Analysis

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Jhavet Wences Professor Vickie Hall HUM 220 15 October 2014 In the novels Barefoot Gen Volume One and Two, the author Keiji Nakazawa illustrates the pre and post effects of the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Through his characters, Nakazawa portrays the concept of “nationalism” and “othering” from a Japanese standpoint. Furthermore, Barefoot Gen ties into the orthodox history of the Hiroshima bombing from the United States and Japanese point of view. During the Second World War the Japanese people were consumed by deep-seated form of nationalism. Japanese people were highly patriotic and believed that supporting and participating in the war was the ultimate form of patriotism. This form of nationalism was only sustained by censoring the reality of the war from the Japanese…show more content…
Many of the Japanese people were led to believe that the war “was a ‘defensive war’ against Western Imperialism and a liberatory war of Asian Nations from Western colonial powers”(Kishimoto 26). Rather than admit “the savage and brutal nature of Japan’s atrocities”(Kishimoto 39) towards other nations, Japans strong sense of nationalism prevented them from making formal apologies for the atrocities they committed. Additionally, making a formal apology would ruin their sense of nationalism because it “would tarnish the memory of their loved ones who gave their lives for their country”(Kishimoto 27). Furthermore, the strong sense of nationalism led to the distortion of the Hiroshima bombing taught in Japanese schools. The Japanese government does not hide the fact that an atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima, in fact they openly teach students the horrific events of the bombing. However, what they do censor are the “atrocities in Asia that led to the tragic droppings of the atomic bombs”(kishimoto 35). By doing so the Japanese government maintains the orthodox of the war being a “defensive war”(Kishimoto

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