Keiji Nakazawa was born in Hiroshima and was in the city when it was destroyed by a nuclear weapon in 1945. He settled in Tokyo in 1961 to become a cartoonist. He produced his first manga for anthologies lie Shonen Gaho, Shonen King, and Bokura. By 1966, Nakazawa began to express his memories of Hiroshima in his manga, starting with fictional 'Kuroi Ame ni Utarete' ('Struck by Black Rain') and autobiographical 'Ore wa Mita' ('I Saw It').
Nakazawa's life-work, 'Barefoot Gen' (1972) was the first Japanese comic ever to be translated into western languages. Dealing with the nuclear holocaust in Hiroshima, the comic is very intense, and when the first English translation of 'Barefoot Gen' came out in America, there were many complaints that the effects of the bomb were depicted too graphically. These complaints weren't about a picture of the actual bomb exploding, but more about what the bomb did to people and their lives. Although the complaining Americans might suggest otherwise, this comic does not blame anyone - it is a scathing attack on injustice, militarism and war itself.