Nakazawa Discussion





Nakazawa Discussion

Keiji Nakazwa is a renowned Japanese manga writer and artist. He is mainly famous for his controversial comic, Hadashi No Gen (Bearfoot Gen). He portrays how Chinese and Koreans were subjected to slavery by the Japanese and forced to work under deplorable conditions. Apart from manufacturing military resources, they were required to participate in the war by joining the army. In his comic, Nakazwa used Mr. Pak to elaborate how the Japanese brutality exceeded physical maltreatment. Mr. Pak, a Korean, was psychologically disturbed because he had been separated from his family members and forced to work in Japan.

Conversely, Nakazwa indicates that there were Japanese who were strongly opposed to their government’s misdeeds. In the comic, Mr. Nakaoka had been imprisoned for opposing the government. Nakazwa’s father was a human rights campaigner, who publicly expressed his disappointment relating to the mistreatment of the Chinese and Koreans, misleading information that was being issued by the government and schools and animosity spread by most Japanese. According to him, friendly relationships with the Korans and Chinese were the only way Japanese could prevent the war. Anti-government protestors and families were regarded as traitors because of their differing views. They also suffered other forms of mistreatment such as crop destruction and physical abuse.

Apart from the atrocities that resulted from the war, the Nakazwa also illustrates how families and people with common interests regarded familial and communal ties. Mr. Pak brought Mr. Nakaoka a bucket of rice to express his generosity and gratitude towards the family. In addition, Gen and Elko understood the difficulty their families were going through, and were willing to sacrifice and share the little resources they had. Furthermore, Mr. Pak wished all Japanese would behave like Mr. Nakaoka’s family. The family had no prejudice towards foreigners.

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