Manga Study Guide: Barefoot Gen/Plot summary

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Manga Study Guide: Barefoot Gen
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The Setting (Year 1945, Hiroshima)

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  1. Barefoot Gen starts with an air strike by American bombers.
  2. The father refuses to be trained because he knows it is meaningless; he thinks Japanese cannot win with bamboo sticks while Americans are using machine guns and other firearms.
  3. The father is arrested due to his refusal of training and is beaten.
  4. Gen’s family gets in trouble because people are hostile to anti-war ideas.
  5. Gen bites off fingers of the chairman and his son.
  6. Gen’s sister is stripped because she is accused of stealing money.
  7. Mr.Pak shares his valuable bowl of rice.
  8. Gen’s father scolds his children several times (Respect for Koreans and so on)
  9. Gen’s elder brother goes to war in order to take honor back to his family.
  10. 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.
  11. Gen and Shinji disguises as beggars to help their family financially
  12. 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.
  13. Enola Gay drops an atomic bomb called Little Boy in 8:15, 6th August, 1945.
  14. Gen witnesses the horror and devastation caused by the atomic bomb.
  15. Despite all the difficulties that occurred, Gen saves the chairman and his son
  16. Gen and his mother survive, but the rest of the family burns alive because they could not escape from a collapsed building.
  17. After witnessing the excruciating death of the family members, the mother loses her sanity.
  18. With the help of Mr. Pak, Gen is able to safely evacuate him and his mother from the burning buildings
  19. Instantly after the bombing, Gen’s mother gives birth
  20. Gen helps bring up his sister
  21. The volume ends with an intense scene: the newborn witnesses the grievous scene of the bombing, vowed not to tolerate any further tragic affairs.