..December 2012.. ..New York to Hiroshima..
“I want to give more information to children,
to help them learn the reality of war and nuclear weapons.
I hope the next generation hates war.
I want them to learn the importance of peace.”
-Keiji Nakazawa, November 2010
The world has lost another important voice for peace. Today I received the sad news that Mr. Keiji Nakazawa passed away on December 19th at the age of 73. I photographed Mr. Nakazawa two years ago in Hiroshima for From Above. It was one of the last portraits taken before the book deadline.
Mr. Nakazawa was a world renowned magna artist most known for creating the Barefoot Gen series which chronicled the life of a boy who survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and its aftermath.
Mr. Nakazawa was in fragile condition when I photographed him. I was fortunate to have the opportunity because he had been in and out of the hospital. He seemed most proud that Barefoot Gen was translated into 10 different languages so audiences worldwide could learn about the dangers of nuclear weapons. More that 6.5 million copies of the series have been sold.
On August 6th 1945, Keiji Nakazawa, 6 years old, was walking to school when the atomic bomb was detonated over Hiroshima. He was 1.2km from the hypocenter. His father, sister and younger brother all perished during the bombing. Only his mother and two brothers, who were not at home, survived. His infant sister, born days after the bombing, also died soon after.
Mr. Nakazawa was one of those people who I will never forget photographing.