Manga Study Guide: Barefoot Gen/Plot summary
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The Setting (Year 1945, Hiroshima)
- Barefoot Gen starts with an air strike by American bombers.
- The father refuses to be trained because he knows it is meaningless; he thinks Japanese cannot win with bamboo sticks while Americans are using machineguns and other firearms.
- The father is arrested due to his refusal of training and is beaten.
- Gen’s family gets in trouble because people are hostile to anti-war ideas.
- Gen bites off fingers of the chairman and his son.
- Gen’s sister is stripped because she is accused of stealing money.
- Mr.Pak shares his valuable bowl of rice.
- Gen’s father scolds his children several times (Respect for Koreans and so on)
- Gen’s elder brother goes to war in order to take honor back to his family.
- Gen’s elder brother goes to training camp - one of his teammates commit suicide after continuous excessive trainings. He realizes the war is really wrong.
- Gen and Shinji disguises as beggars to help their family financially
- Gen breaks glasses in order to support the owner of glass-house, and receives a toy battleship as a gift. Gen gives the battleship to his younger brother.
- Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb called Little Boy in 8:15, 6th August, 1945.
- Gen witnesses the horror and devastation caused by the atomic bomb.
- Despite all the difficulties that occurred, Gen saves the chairman and his son
- Gen and his mother survive, but the rest of the family burns alive because they could not escape from a collapsed building.
- After witnessing the excruciating death of the family members, the mother loses her sanity.
- With the help of Mr. Pak, Gen is able to safely evacuate him and his mother from the burning buildings
- Instantly after the bombing, Gen’s mother gives a birth
- Gen helps bring up his sister
- The volume ends with a intense scene: the newborn witnesses the grievous scene of the bombing, vowed not to tolerate any further tragic affairs.