Gen suddenly lost his father, elder sister and younger brother in the atomic bombing. What would you do if you saw your family burn to death in front of you?
With tens of thousands of nuclear weapons still existing on our planet, we live with the continual threat of nuclear war. What happened to Gen is by no means just a manga fantasy. You actually could find yourself in the same situation.
Gen’s father had often told him: “Survive well and be strong like wheat, which grows up straight and strong no matter how many times it’s stepped on, until it bends its head with ripened fruit.”
These words from his father gave him the courage to survive whenever he was close to despair. This admonition, which appears repeatedly in Barefoot Gen, is also a message to us. No matter how hard it gets, we must never stop our efforts to abolish nuclear weapons. We must maintain the courage to keep struggling toward this decisive goal.