News has broken that Keiji Nakazawa, author of the ironic semi-autobiographical manga about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and life in its aftermath, Barefoot Gen, died of lung cancer at age 73 on December 19th.
Nakazawa was six years old, on his way to school about 1.2 km from the hypocenter at the time of the August 6th, 1945 bombing. His anti-war manga about the experience served to educate many, both in Japan, and for the international audiences who read the series translated into 18 languages including English, French, Korean, Thai and Russian.
The manga ran in magazines including Weekly Shōnen Jump, from 1973 to 1985, then was adapted into three live action films directed by Tengo Yamada between 1976 and 1980, as well as Madhouse anime movies, one in 1983 and one in 1986. In 2007, a live action television drama series adaptation aired in Japan on Fuji TV over two nights.
First translated into English by a group of volunteers, Project Gen, in 1976, Barefoot Gen was one of the first manga to be localized for American readers. It is currently available though publisher/retailer Last Gasp.
An English interview with Nakazawa can be read here.