Multi-lingual editions of popular A-bomb manga on display at Hiroshima museum

Multi-lingual editions of popular A-bomb manga on display at Hiroshima museum

HIROSHIMA — An exhibition of foreign language editions of a manga depicting people’s lives after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima is being held at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum here.

Japanese manga artist Fumiyo Kono’s major work “Yunagi no Machi, Sakura no Kuni” (Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms) is set in Hiroshima 10 years after the atomic bombing of the city, and also in Tokyo and Hiroshima in 1987 and 2004. It depicts the A-bomb casting a shadow on people’s lives in a calming matter.

The manga won the grand prize in the Japan Media Arts Festival’s manga division in 2004. Director Kiyoshi Sasabe made the manga into a live-action movie in 2007, and a TV drama based on the manga was aired in 2018.

On display at the Hiroshima museum are the title’s 10 translated versions: Korean, French, English, traditional Chinese, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Hindi, Vietnamese and Russian (in order of translation and publication). The exhibition also introduces the Japanese doujinshi (self-published in 2003) and comic versions. The event was inspired when Kono donated the Spanish and Vietnamese versions to the museum in May this year, and the facility decided to exhibit them, together with other international editions kept there.

The Korean version was published as early as 2005, and the English and French editions in 2006. In recent years, the Vietnamese version was published in 2017 and the Russian edition in 2019. The English version was released by a publisher in San Francisco, the Portuguese one in Brazil, and the traditional Chinese edition in Taiwan and Hong Kong. Of these, English, French, Russian and Hindi are the languages ​​spoken in some of the countries possessing nuclear weapons. Kono’s original drawing was shown at the atomic bomb exhibition held in Paris in 2005.






Translated editions of Fumiyo Kono’s “Yunagi no Machi, Sakura no Kuni” (Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms) are seen at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Hiroshima’s Chuo Ward on July 3, 2022. From left, the Spanish, Portuguese, Russian and Italian versions are on display. (Mainichi/Noboru Ujo)

Shinobu Kikuraku of the museum’s arts and science division, who organized the event, said, “It’s a work with a construction that makes it easy even for younger generations overseas to sympathize with. I want visitors to know that the manga has provided an opportunity for people across the world to know Hiroshima (and the A-bomb).”

The exhibition will be held until the end of September in the library on the first basement floor of the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum East Building.

(Japanese original by Noboru Ujo, Hiroshima Bureau)

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