Sometimes there are events almost too tragic to capture on film. Two nuclear bombs were dropped onto Japanese cities, and it was two too many. Barefoot Gen is almost completely removed from the background of the war, the politics surrounding the surrender, the mounting firebombing of the surrounding cities. While some might point to this as a weakness, I see it as a strength. There is no need for a film like this to entangle itself into that debate which turns human lives into statistics and percentages. It depicts the innocent civilians who were far away from this process, and who had to bear the shocking tragedy instead.
—sharky_5527, IIMDb

 

 

It is the summer of 1945… 3 1/2 years after the war… between Japan and the Allies began.

Despite initial successes the Japanese have seen the tide of battle turn against them.

The Americans have leapfrogged across the Pacific… sweeping the Japanese before them.

Japan’s Imperial fleet has been neutralized… its air force overpowered.

From the island air bases they now control… the Americans’ B-29 Flying Fortresses… are able to strike at the Japanese home islands.

A systematic fire-bombing campaign… is launched against cities and industrial centers.

It is the most devastating attack… against civilian targets ever carried out.

Meanwhile, in America… Robert Oppenheimer and other scientists… have spent three years working in secrecy… to develop a new type of bomb.

They have at last succeeded.

But their achievement is not yet known to the world… and certainly not to the citizens of Hiroshima… in the summer of 1945.

All clear!

The enemy has gone!

All clear!

Well, c’mon!

All clear!

I’m still hungry.
I am, too.

We’ve got work to do first.

Father, is this wheat almost ready for harvesting?

I can’t wait.
I’m gonna eat so much bread!

Bread and bread and bread until I throw up.

Noodles! I’m gonna eat noodles till I burst!

Gen.
Uh-huh?

Shinji.
Yep?

Look at it, boys.

Its life begins in the coldest season of the year.

The rain pounds it, the wind blows it… it’s crushed beneath people’s feet… but still the wheat spreads its roots and grows.

It survives.

So, let the wheat be an example to you, my boys.

Right?

We’re sick of that dumb ol’ story.

Sick of it, are you?

Yay!
Yay!

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Yay!
Yay!

Ayee!
Ayee!

Hiyah!

You do my mother and me great honor by coming here… and wishing me well in my service to the emperor.

Fight bravely, Oyama. Banzai!

I’m off to join the army now…

You get filthy blanket…

Their dishes are made of metal…

So are the chopsticks…

One small scoop of rice in a tiny bowl…

A bowl of rotten rice with some bugs on top.

I’m hungry.
I’m so hungry I’m dizzy.

I’m so hungry…

I could eat a whole goat!

If you’ve got a ration stamp, today’s your lucky day.

The soup’s even got rice in it today.

Look at that!

I haven’t seen this much rice in weeks!

Hey!

Father, can we have some soup, too?

I’m sorry, boys. Not today.
There’s no more ration stamps.

You’ll just have to be patient.

We’re hungry.
We’re starving.

Get outta my way!

What makes you think you can cut in line?

You wait your turn, or I’ll…
What?

Who made you soup monitor, huh?

How dare you?
Get him!

Hit him hard right in… Wait!

Isn’t that terrible, Father?

Grown men fighting over a bowl of soup.

If they’re gonna fight, it should be over some fish.

Mother! We’re home!

We’re back!

Did you miss us?

What’s to eat? I’m starving.

There might be something.
Let’s see.

You were hiding something
up there, weren’t you?

Sweet potato!

Wait a minute, Shinji.
Aren’t ya gonna share it?

No!
Come back here!

It’s not yours!

No! You’ll just eat it all!

Gimme it! I’m not kidding!

No! No! No!
Shinji!

Who do you think you are,
you little runt?

Come here!
No! Get away!

That does it! Stop!

Stay away!

We’re supposed to share,
and you know it.

Don’t you dare!

Give it to me!
You’re gonna get it!

Ow!

Shinji, you’re such a…

Brat!

You’re gonna be so sorry!

OK. Now give it!

Hey. That’s mine.
Give it, Eiko.

You know that this is
supposed to be for her.

What do you mean, for her?
Why’d she give it to us?

She was just being nice.

Mother needs to be strong
for the baby that’s coming.

If you eat this potato,
the baby will die.

Now, do you both still want it?

Eiko, go on,
it’s all right, dear.

Let your brothers have it.

But, Mother, it’s not fair.

The baby needs it
more than they do.

Here. You take it.

Please, eat it for the baby.

Stop it, you two. Come on.
You’ll get something later.

You know, dear,
it’s a terrible thing…

having to watch
children go hungry.

And what’s worse, there’s hardly
any food to be bought…

even if we had the money.

We’ll just have
to be patient, that’s all.

Ah!
What?

Don’t worry. It’s just our baby
moving around in there.

It tickled me.

What, again? You know what
that means, don’t you?

It’s strong… a healthy one.

It’s a healthy one, all… Ooh!

It’s got spirit.

What’re you laughing at?

The baby’s moving.
It wants to come out.

It’s moving? But how?
It hasn’t been born yet.

It moved again.

That’s funny. You know what?

I think it must be a boy.

You can never tell
until it’s born.

Well, I can’t wait.

Oh, you just want another
little brother to boss around.

Well, you can’t
have this one, Gen…

’cause if it’s a boy,
he’s gonna be my little brother.

So I suppose you’ll
boss him around…

and I’d hate to think
what you’ll teach him.

It’d frighten me half to death.

Ha! See?
You’d be a bad example.

No, I wouldn’t.

I didn’t mean it.

I was only joking.

You’re a good boy, Shinji.

I know you’ll be
a good brother to the baby.

When’s it coming?

Come out, little brother.
Hurry it up.

Children, wake up!

Attention! Attention!
Air raid!

Go to your shelters at once!

Air raid! To your shelters!

Everyone in the shelter.
Eiko, bring your brothers.

Oh, no.

Come on, Gen. We’ve got to go.

Wake Shinji up. Come on.

Shinji, come on.

Just leave him to me, Eiko.
I’ll wake him up.

Wowww! Rice, Shinji!

Look at it all!

And see? Noodles… lots of ’em!

Where?

Real noodles?

Hey. What’s going on?

This bowl’s empty!

You ate ’em all!

We’re supposed to share.

Get off!

Share what?

The noodles.

What is going on here?

Dunno.

What are we doing?

Hurry up, boy.

Suppose you want one
to land on your head…

is that what you want?

Bet it’s just another spy plane.

They never drop bombs on us.
We’re too boring.

How can you say that?

Have you forgotten the child
from the 400 block who was shot?

Tokyo, Yokohama, Nagoya,
Osaka…

They’ve come against
all the big cities…

and bombed them into ruins.

It’s serious, Gen. I won’t
have you making light of it.

There’s one thing
that bothers me.

It’s like you said,
every major city around us…

has been bombed over and over
again, but never Hiroshima.

The enemy has gone!
All clear! The enemy has gone!

Ha! Told ya!

All clear!

Return to your homes!

I knew it was just a spy plane.

So I had to wake up and
get out of bed for nothing?

All safe and sound… Ohh!

Mother! Are you all right?
Is it the baby?

Kimei, what’s wrong?

Just a little dizzy.

Kimei!
Mother!

Boys, go fetch the doctor!

Right!

Eiko, make up the bed.
Yes, Father.

Kimei, hang on.
It won’t be long.

The doctor should
be coming in no time.

Hey, Gen, is Mother gonna die?

Oh, no!
Mother’s dying, isn’t she?

Shinji, shut up!
Mother’s not going to die.

Wake up, Doctor! Wake up!

Our mother needs help!

Hurry up!
It’s really important!

She’s got my little brother
in her tummy!

Slow down, boys. Slow down.

I’ll die of a heart attack
before we get there.

You should’ve thought of that
before you got so fat.

Our mother’s sick, and if you
don’t make her better…

you’ll be sorry.

Will she be all right?

She’s suffering from
severe malnutrition.

If she gets plenty to eat,
her strength will return…

and she should be fine.

Of course,
that’s easier said than done.

It seems we don’t have enough
food or medicine for anybody.

I’m sorry.

This is serious.
We’ve got to do something.

This is really serious.
We’ve really gotta do something.

What is it, Eiko?
What’s the matter?

It’s just that the last of
the rice is gone, Father…

and we have no money
to buy any more.

Don’t worry.
Something will come along.

We’ll find the money.

We just have to keep at it
and finish our work.

Then maybe we’ll get paid
what we’re owed.

Eiko, you mustn’t overdo it.
You’re not very strong.

Oh, I’m all right.

I’m sure.

Hey. Come here, Gen.

What is it?

Has anybody ever eaten a worm?

Eaten a worm?

Like a caterpillar?

I don’t know.

If they won’t make you sick,
then Mother could eat them.

Idiot!

Good morning, boys.
I heard noises last night.

Hi, Mr. Pak.

Everything all right?
Has the baby come?

Our mother’s sick.

The doctor,
he said she’s got malnutrition.

That’s terrible, and just when
she needs all her strength.

Somebody once told me carp’s
blood is the best thing…

for a woman in her condition.

Huh?

Carp? Like the fish?

Yeah?

Gee, I sure didn’t know any of
that stuff about carp’s blood.

If we could catch one for her,
Mother would get all better.

So, let’s do it!

Yes, sir!

Sergeant!

Captain!

Move out!

Company, forward!

Rats!

Hold still!

Move over!

Look, Shinji.
Look at all the carp.

And they’re so big.

Scan the perimeter, Sergeant.
Any sign of the enemy?

Negative, sir.

Hey! Look! Look!

I think I caught one.

That was fast.
He must be hungry, too.

He almost pulled me in!

He’s a big one!

Really big!

Hang on, Shinji. Don’t let go.

I won’t.

I’m going in after it.

Got him, Shinji! See?

I can’t believe it! Victory!

Now let’s take him home.

Don’t forget to tell Father
who caught it.

Get out of here!

Dirty little thieves!

Let go of that fish!

You hit Gen!

You can hit me again, sir.

Really, you can hit me
as much as you like.

Go on, but just let us keep
the fish when you’re done.

Please, sir.

That’s right!

You can hit me as much
as you want, too.

But give us the fish.

Go on. I’m ready.

Will you tell me why you boys
want that blasted carp?

It’s for our mother, sir.

She’s going to have a baby,
and she’s not very well.

And Mr. Pak said carp blood’s
the only thing that’ll help her.

Without it, my mother
will get worse or even…

You wouldn’t want my mother
to die, would you?

Oh, please, help us.

Please save her.

You won’t?

Oh, no!

You’re a mean old fart,
aren’t you?

Her ghost will come back
and haunt you till you die!

How does the old saying go?

Be good to your parents
while you can.

Very well. Keep it.

Take the carp along
to your mother, please.

You mean it, really?

Remember, old man, if you lie,
you’ll go straight to hell.

Funny, I was just about to say
the same thing to you two.

If you boys stole it, you know
just what I’ll do to you.

We didn’t.
The old man gave it to us.

Don’t you believe us?

Cook it and give it to Mother.

It’s the best thing for a woman
in her condition.

Hurry up and cook it… now.

Eiko, you heard him.

OK.

Will Mother get better now?

I hope she will.

You boys shouldn’t have
to worry about such things.

I’ll just have to work harder.

I’d like to know
if we’ll ever have enough food.

Will we?

Yes, son, when the war is over.

When will it be over?

It won’t be long.
Japan has all but lost the war.

Why do we keep on fighting
if we’ve lost the war?

Why? Because our government
is run by madmen.

They’re just stupid, crazy.
All of them.

Father, you shouldn’t
say stuff like that.

They might call you
a traitor or something.

Traitor, coward…
those words mean nothing to me.

Actually, come to think of it…

I’m proud if they want
to call me those things.

This war can’t be right…

but it’s only the cowards
like me who dare say it.

If there were
only a few more like us.

You know, sometimes it takes
more courage…

not to fight than to fight,
to not want to kill…

when all around you
are calling out for blood.

That’s real courage in my book.

If you boys remember nothing
else that I teach you…

I hope you’ll remember that,
all right?

Hey, Father?
What is it?

I just wanted to say
I love you, Father.

Yeah, I want to say
I love you, too, Father.

I know.

Are you sure you don’t mind?

I should be sharing this
with all of you.

Don’t be silly, Mother.

You’re not well,
and you’re eating for two now.

You’re right.

Well, how is it?

It’s delicious.

Why the big grin, son?

A secret.

Shinji, what did you say
to make Mother cry?

All I did was ask if I could
suck on the fish bones…

when she was done with them.

You’re kidding.
You asked her that?

Yeah, that was it.
Idiot!

What was that for? How come
you’re always hitting me?

Hurry up, Shinji. Come on.

You big bully, Gen. Father!

Eiko! Eiko!

Yes, Mr. Pak?

I brought a little something
for you and your family.

Take it.

Rice!
It isn’t much.

Mr. Pak…

Thank you.

We sure did a good job getting
that carp, didn’t we?

Yeah, Mother’ll be
all better again in no time.

Hello, is anybody home?

Never thought that old grouch
would come to our house.

I bet he’s gonna
tell Father all about…

how we tried to steal his carp.

Father’ll get mad, won’t he?

I had no idea. I’m sorry.

The boys will be punished, sir.
I assure you.

Oh, no, please.
You misunderstood me.

I didn’t come here for that.

I admire the boys.
Such high spirits.

Such devotion
to you and their mother.

You have good sons there,
Nakaoka.

I envy you…

though I’m sure they’re
quite a handful at times.

What’ll we do?

What do you think?
Prepare to get hit.

He wouldn’t do that, would he?

There you are.
Shinji.

Well, then?

Come in and sit down.

Told ya.

Never thought I’d be getting
a piece of cake out of this.

Hey, we did good, right?

Yeah.

That old fisherman
is not so bad after all.

I ought to let him
join our platoon.

I might give him a medal.

At 2:45 a.m.,
three American B-29s took off…

from an air base on Tinian
in the Marianas.

Two of them
were observation planes.

The third was the Enola Gay…

named after
the captain’s mother.

Mother, leave the washing to me.
You’re still not well.

It’s OK. If I rest too long,
I’m liable to get lazy.

Father, isn’t this the greatest
boat you ever saw?

Gen made it for me!
Did he really?

The minute
he’s home from school…

we’re going to take it
to the river.

Are you? Won’t that be fun?

Enemy planes again?
It’s so early.

All clear!

The enemy has gone!

All clear! The enemy has gone!

Another spy plane, I betcha.

Well, that’s a B-29 vapor trail.

Look how clear the sky is.

It’ll be hot today.

Weather observation plane
Easerly calling Enola Gay.

Calling Enola Gay.

Weather’s fair and clear
over Hiroshima.

Conditions favorable
for bombing.

Roger. Enola Gay getting ready
to drop on target.

I better get going or
I’ll be late for school.

You’re coming right home
after school, OK?

We’re going down
to the river, right?

Right!

Promise?
Promise!

Father, Eiko, come here!
Look at this!

What is it? Good heavens.

Look at all the ants.
Where are they coming from?

I’ve never seen so many.
I wonder why?

B-29.

Yeah?

Gee, and it’s all alone.
What’s it doing?

Probably a spy mission.
It’s very strange.

Why isn’t the air raid siren
going off?

I don’t know.

Altitude 3,600 feet.

Fixed on target. Release bomb.

Roger. Releasing bomb.

Wow, what happened?

How’d I end up here?

Guess they finally decided
to bomb us.

Ugh!

What a mess.

I’m coming!

Hang on.

She’s dead!

Hey!

Somebody, hel…

Is anybody here?

Am I dreaming?

Are they ghosts or what?

Fire!

My house is on fire!

Oh, please, not my house!

I’m coming. Father! Mother!
Eiko! Shinji!

Hey, Shinji, where are you?

Is anyone here? Where are you?

Father!

Please, somebody, help us!

That’s Mother’s voice!

Somebody help me! Hurry!

Mother, what happened?

Oh, my sweet boy, you’re alive!

Hurry, Mother, get us!

It really hurts!

Shinji! Eiko! Father!

Hurry, Gen.
Help me lift this beam!

Yes, Mother.

Hurry up, Gen!
It’s getting hotter.

Hang on.

Do it fast!

It really hurts bad!

It’s so hot!

Hurry, Gen! I’m scared!

Hurry, Gen! I’m scared!

It won’t move.

We’ll get them out! We have to!

That’s enough. Go on.
Get away.

What are you saying?

Get out now. Go while you can!

No, darling, no!
I won’t! Never!

Kimei.

Listen to me. You’ve got
to go while you still can!

Never! I would rather die!

Kimei,
you’re talking like a fool.

You’ve got Gen and the baby
to think of now.

No, I won’t!

I will never leave you!

Gen, you know what
you have to do now, son.

What do you want me to do,
Father?

You get your mother
out of here now!

No, Father, I won’t do it!

I’m scared! Gen!

Oh, Mother, please, Mother…

I’m so weak.

Oh, why couldn’t I be stronger?

Gen!

It’s up to you to look after
your mother and the baby.

They’re going to need you, boy.

I know you’ll do your best.

No, no! I won’t go!

I want to stay here and die!

Oh, it’s getting hotter!

Mother, where are you?
It’s really, really hot!

I have to go to him!

Where is everybody?

Mommy!

Mommy!

Shinji!

They’re all burning up.

My family… burning.

They’re burning like a bonfire.

Are you all right, Mother?

Mother,
Mother, we’ve got to go now.

Come away from there! Hurry!

Mr. Pak! Mr. Pak!

Gen, is that you?

Here, leave your mother to me.

Hurry.

Come on. Get moving.

Children, grab on
to any floating pieces of wood.

Keep your heads above the water.

That’s it. That’s it.

Wha… No! Hang on, children!

Hang on!

Well, you should be safe
here for the moment.

Gen, I have to go now.

Take care of your mother.
Good luck.

Thanks, Mr. Pak.

What’s the matter, Mother?

It’s coming now.

The baby?

You must try and find
a doctor or a midwife, Gen.

All right.

And I’ll need a basin
that will hold lots of water…

and some strips of any clean
cloth you’re able to find.

Right.

A pair of scissors and thread.

What are the scissors for?

Somebody will have to cut
the cord.

Is there a midwife
or a doctor around anywhere?

Is anyone a doctor?
I need a doctor!

Listen to me!
My mother’s having a baby!

Doesn’t anybody know a doctor?

Everything’s gone crazy.
There’s nobody to help me.

What’ll I do now? What’ll I do?

I’m sorry, Mother.

I looked everywhere, but I
couldn’t find anybody to help.

No one.

Well, we’ll do it ourselves.

You and me, Mother?
But that’s impossible!

You must try, my boy.

All right, I’ll try.

First of all, fetch some water.

Got it!

Be sure to have
some rags ready, Gen.

You’ll have to wash
the baby when it’s born.

Don’t worry. I’m ready.

You’ve got to be very careful
about holding up its head.

Hey, this baby
doesn’t look like me.

It’s a girl, Mother, but it
really looks like a monkey.

All babies do. You did, too.

Well, I guess she’ll turn out
to be real pretty then.

Listen here, baby.

I’m the one
who brought you to life…

so you better thank me
when you grow up…

and you better do everything
I tell you to do, OK?

They’re going
to need you now, boy.

It’s up to you
to look after them now.

It’s going to be a boy!

And he’s going to be
my little brother!

Father, are you out there?

Eiko! Shinji!

The baby’s here, everybody!
Can you see her?

It’s a girl!

You were wrong, Shinji.
It’s a girl!

Oh, why aren’t you here?
Father! Shinji!

She’s the prettiest baby girl
in the whole world…

and you never saw her.

Gen, give her to me.
Let me hold her.

Take a good look around,
little one.

Look closely. You see?

This is the war
that killed your father.

Remember it.

What in the world?

It’s raining.

Stop it, stop it.

What?

That’s not right.

Mother, have you ever seen rain
that’s black like this?

This black rain began falling…

on the northwest section
of the city.

The impact
of the bomb’s blast…

had sent dust, debris,
and radiation…

high into the atmosphere…

where it gathered
in a gigantic, lethal cloud…

before returning to the earth
as radioactive rain.

The bomb that had
fallen on the city…

detonated with a destructive
force of 20,000 tons of TNT…

and generated temperatures
an excess of 4,000 degrees.

Some 60% of the city
had vanished.

But the damage
did not end there.

The people of Hiroshima
did not know it yet…

but the bomb’s after-effects,
such as the black rain…

would bring them
many years of suffering.

Those people,
they make so much noise.

How am I supposed to sleep?

Perhaps if we took them
some of our water.

Here.
This is some water. Drink.

Go on. There’s more
where this came from.

Look at that woman.

She’s dead!

I don’t understand.

Why? What’s making them die?

They died when they drank.

Could something be wrong
with the water?

We’ve got to stop them
from drinking the water.

You’re right.

Mother, what are we going to do?

Well, let me see now.

We’ve no place to go, really.

Our relatives will be dead…

or if not, they’ll be
no better off than we are.

Frankly, son, I don’t know what
we’re going to do.

I’m finding it difficult
to think clearly.

There, there, now.
I don’t have any milk.

That’s bad, Mother.
Babies need milk to live.

We’ve eaten nothing for 3 days,
and my milk has dried up.

When mothers go hungry,
their babies go hungry, too.

I really must try to find
some food, for her sake.

You just leave everything to me.

What do you mean?
What can you do?

It’s up to me
to see we have food.

Father said it’s up to me now.

I won’t ever let you die.
You won’t have to worry.

I’ll protect you!

But where am I going
to find food around here?

Hey,
where did you get that rice?

My mom and baby sister
are hungry.

There’s army trucks
distributing food.

You haven’t seen them?

Oh, that’s great.
Where are they?

Ah, forget it!
Find ’em yourself!

I got this rice
down by the bridge.

By the bridge?
I know where that is.

An army truck, right?

Wait!
Do you have any more rice?

Dead bodies. Nothing else.

Get that fire started.

We’ve got to burn them
before they rot.

My God.
There’s just so many of them.

When will it stop?

The smell’s awful.

There must be more dead people
here than live ones.

Hey, look at this…
a fireman’s hat.

Those soldiers are so mean.

They’re just treating
those people like bags of trash.

It’s almost like
they never lived at all.

Maybe this is what hell’s like.

Look at all these damn maggots.

I didn’t even notice them.

When they start
moving around in there…

it itches like crazy.

Do you think it’s all right
to eat them?

Are you crazy? It’s not time
to talk about food.

Please, can somebody help me?

Is there anyone here
who can help feed my baby?

She needs milk. She’s starving.

Oh, please, will you…

Please, isn’t there anybody who
can help me with a little milk?

My baby is starving.

Be quiet! Let it die!
It’s better off!

Kill it! Kill it!

You’re mad to say that!

All right, then.
I will kill it for you!

Give it to me! Give it to me!

No! Please! Not my baby!

There, little one.

Eat now. Take all I have.

You still have milk.

I can’t believe I really
said those terrible things.

It’s just that your baby
reminded me of my own.

She’s dead now, over there.

I have no one to drink my milk.

Your baby’s welcome
to have all I have left.

Thank you.

You’re lucky, my child.

So very lucky.

Everybody’s dead.
Everything’s gone.

How come you’re shivering
when it’s so hot?

Do you feel sick or something?

I’m freezing. Must’ve caught
a chill from the rain.

Hey, I think you wet your pants.

Shut up, you brat!
What are you talking about?

Blood!

Must’ve sat in something.

Hey, somebody
cut holes in your hair!

Listen, kid, I’ll cut holes
in you, if you don’t…

My God. What’s happening?

Mister, what’s wrong?
Do you need some help?

What’s wrong? Hey!

Help!

I need help!

Get up!

I’ve got you.

Come on, up!

You know, I don’t think
it’s going to work.

There! That’s a pretty clever
stretcher, huh?

Hang in there, soldier.
You’ll be fine.

Hello! Does anybody know
where the hospital is?

Please help me.

Tend only to those who
show some chance of recovery.

Yes, sir.

We don’t have
enough medicine for them…

let alone all these others.

Hey, somebody should
look at this soldier.

He’s real bad, I think.

Another one.

Tell me, boy,
was he vomiting blood…

and complaining
that he was cold?

Right. I guess that means you
know what’s wrong with him.

No use looking at this one.

This soldier’s dead.

God help us.

Is it possible that one bomb
could have done all this?

The initial explosion
of the atomic bomb…

claimed more than 100,000 lives.

But that was only the beginning.

The radiation remained…

contaminating soldiers
cleaning up the city…

as well as those relatives
of the victims…

who came looking for them.

For years afterwards…

these people would suffer
from leukemia and cancer…

part of the collateral damage
inflicted by the bomb.

God help us.

Is it possible that one bomb
could have done all this?

Damn it! Damn it!

Huh? What’s this?

Rice!
But it looks like charcoal.

This must’ve been
some kind of storehouse.

What a waste! All this rice
for people to eat…

and it’s been burnt
to a crisp! Damn it!

Underneath, it’s OK!

I found a gold mine!

Ha! There’s more rice
than we’ll be able to eat!

Ha ha! Hooray!

Found some pickles, too.

Mother, you and the baby will
never have to be hungry again!

Gen, you’ve done well.
Thank you.

Well, I see
you got the camp all set up.

She’s sleeping, huh?

Hey, isn’t it time we came up
with a name for her?

I think you’re right.
Our daughter should have a name.

There are more and more
fires all the time.

They’re burning the dead.

There are so many dead, Mother.

So many.
It’s horrible.

Yes, it is, Gen.

Mother.
What?

I hope she always has
lots of friends.

I know what…
let’s call her Tomoko.

Yes. That means friend.
Very good.

Well, OK. It’s all set, then.
You’re Tomoko.

Gen, what’s happened
to your hair?

Those bald spots.

What are you talking about?

My hair!

My hair!

This soldier’s dead.
God help us.

Is it possible that one bomb
could have done all this?

Gen!

Don’t let it happen to me,
Mother!

I don’t want to die!

There, there, my little one.

You’re not going to die,
do you hear?

You are not going to die.

After the bombing
of Hiroshima…

the United States
issued an ultimatum…

calling on Japan to surrender…

and threatening to drop a second
atomic bomb if it did not.

The Japanese high command
ignored the warning.

They made certain the extent
of the damage to Hiroshima…

was little reported.

Three days later
on August 9th…

another B-29 appeared
in the sky above Nagasaki.

Japan’s high command
was convinced at last.

On August 15th,
the emperor Hirohito…

in the first public address
made by a Japanese sovereign…

announced
that the war was over.

Yes, Mother?

Your father, sister,
and brother…

they’ve all been taken away
from us, haven’t they?

That’s right.
All of them are dead, Mother.

What’s the matter, mister?
Why are you crying?

The emperor announced it
on the radio just now.

Japan has been defeated.

We’ve lost the war.
We’ve surrendered.

Tell me, why now?
Why not before?

It’s all right.
Come on, Mother, cheer up.

We’re going to be OK. Trust me.

I’ve already started planning
what to do.

And I know the first thing
we’re going to need… a house.

August 15, 1945.

Japan officially surrenders
to the Allied powers.

Don’t cry, Tomoko.
Hush now, hush.

I still don’t have
enough milk for her.

We’ll have to find some for her.

She needs milk,
not this rice soup.

I never thought it possible…

but we’re running out
of rice, too.

Come and eat now.
Hand her to me.

If I could only find some kind
of work, but it’s hopeless.

We’re in quite a fix.

Don’t worry.
I’ll think of something.

What are you doing?

Who are you?

Hey!

Come here, you little thief!

Gotcha!

If I weren’t so hungry,
I’d beat you to a pulp.

So what? Don’t you think
we’re hungry, too?

Huh?

Mother, look at this boy.

Look at his face.
Show her your face.

What are you doing?

Whoever Shinji is, I’m not him.

I thought you were
my little brother.

I’m not!

No, of course you aren’t.
He’s dead.

My name is Ryuta Kondo.

I haven’t eaten all week.

Then I smelled your rice.
I couldn’t help it.

Where’s your family, Ryuta?

They were all killed
in the explosion.

You look exactly like
my little brother Shinji.

Well, I’m not. I’m Ryuta!

Here. You can have my rice,
if you want it.

You’d give it to me?

Take it.

You mean I can have all of it?

Sure.

Slow down.
You’ll make yourself sick.

No.
You might want it back again.

I won’t want it back. Really.

Why should I believe you?

Will you relax?

Where have you lived
since the bomb fell, my boy?

Out in the open.

If you’re still hungry,
you’re welcome to finish mine.

Sit down.

You really mean it?

Mother, he even behaves
like Shinji. It’s amazing.

It is remarkable, Gen.

I’ve heard it said everyone has
five doubles of him or herself.

Still, that he should have
found us, it’s uncanny.

Hmm, is there any more?

There’s nothing in there.

Somehow it seems
like he belongs here.

I know what you mean.

Are you thinking
what I’m thinking?

Well, you know we’re having
a difficult enough time…

making ends meet as it is…

but still,
if Shinji were alive…

So, it’s all right then?

Wow, that was the best!

I almost don’t even feel hungry.

We’ve been thinking. Would you
like to have a home again?

Yeah, you want to stay here?

And live with us?

Be part of our family?

Stay and live with you?

I won’t be much help.

I’m only a kid,
but I can give you a back rub.

Daddy always said
I was a good back rubber.

That’s very kind of you,
but you don’t have to.

We’re not asking for anything
in return, child.

You’ll just be
one of the family.

Really? Gee, thanks.

I…

OK, stop it. Stop crying.

You’re going to wake up
Tomoko if you…

Now we’ve got two of them
howling.

That’s all right.
You go right on and cry.

I don’t worry about her.

Your baby looks funny.
Is it sick?

Yeah. Malnutrition.

That means she’s not
getting enough to eat.

She needs milk.

Hey, I’ve got an idea.

Hey, will anyone give us a job?

Anybody got a job for us?
Any job at all?

Anybody?

Hello!

Any job at all!

Nobody looks very interested,
do they?

No, big brother.

Wait a minute.
What did you call me, Ryuta?

Big brother.
What’s wrong with that?

Nothing! Say it again.

Big brother.

Again!

Big brother. Why?
Do you like being called that?

A lot!

You want me to say it
some more then?

Big brother!

My big brother Gen!

Hey, listen, everybody.
This is my big brother!

Idiot!

You boys, did you mean it…

when you said you’d take
any kind of job?

Yep. You’ve got something?

Yes, I believe I have…

if you boys would like to
make 10 yen a day.

Ten yen? You bet, mister!

Ten yen?
Yeah, of course we would.

Well, then, come with me.

Is this your house?
You must be a millionaire.

Hush, keep your voices down.

Daddy’s found two more boys.

They’ll run away,
just like the others.

This is where you will work.

Peuw!

It really stinks.

What’s in here?

Smells like an outhouse!

It’s full of worms and flies.
Is that guy dead?

Yecch!

Seiji, I’ve found two more boys
to look after you.

Ask them to do anything.
They’re being paid well enough.

Wait, Eizo.
Look after him well.

Come back!

Can’t we talk for a while?

Brother!

I knew they’d do that.

They’ll be gone in no time.

They stuck him in there
until he dies, I guess.

Disgusting.
What should we do about him?

Ten yen will buy a lot of milk.

Sure will.

Hey, you buzzards!

Does he mean us?
Looks that way.

Get these maggots off me
and clean up around here. Now!

Yes, sir!

Whatever you say!

The worms crawl in,
the worms crawl out…

The worms play pinochle
on your snout…

And when you see
the hearse go by…

You’ll know that you’re
the next to die.

They usually run off by now.

Those boys are crazy.

Girls, I’ve told you
to stay away from your uncle.

Do you want to be infected?

My dear,
I’m tired of his being here.

Seiji should be in a hospital.

The hospitals are overflowing
with bomb victims like him.

Don’t be silly.

With your money,
he’d have the best of care.

You must try not to resent
his presence in our home.

He’s my brother and therefore
my responsibility.

Oh, you are such a hypocrite.

You know you loathe going
near him as much as I do…

and it’s no wonder.

He stinks. He looks ghastly.

He’s always roaring
and shouting like a savage.

The neighbors act like
we live in a haunted house.

At least think of the girls,
if nothing else.

It will be a blessing
for all of us if he dies soon.

Little idiot!

What was that all about?

Were you trying
to tear my skin off?

I try to be careful…

but those maggots keep getting
stuck in the scabs like glue.

I don’t want to hear it!

You have to be more careful,
you little buzzard.

Listen here…

You think anyone will stop me
if I wring his neck?

Wait. Calm down.

Fetch me that gray book
on the desk, buzzard.

Stop calling me that.

My name’s Gen.
I’m not a buzzard!

That’s right! Me, neither.
And my name’s Ryuta Kondo.

You’re nothing but scavengers
living off my rotting flesh.

Buzzards, all of you!

You’re no different
from the others.

Wait! Don’t forget the 10 yen!

Right! Allow me!

Here.

Now go get it.

Oh, my, you dropped it.

Bring me some water over here.
I’m thirsty.

Here’s your book.

Pick it up.

Leave it there!

We’ll never get our 10 yen now.

Oh, forget about the 10 yen.

It’s nowhere near enough!

Take that!

And that!

You’re just a spoiled brat,
even if you are a grownup.

Now I know why they stuck you
out here all by yourself.

We’re leaving!

Yeah. We quit!

Wait. Don’t go!
Gen, Ryuta…

Calling us by our names
is not going to help.

It’s too late.

I’m sorry I hit you.

No, no. I’m glad that you did.

Come on!
You like being slapped around?

That’s kind of weird.

You want to hit him this time?

My pleasure.

That’s right, that’s right.
Hit me. I won’t mind.

Wait a minute. It’s
not normal to want to be hit.

When you’ve gone without human
contact as long as I have…

you’re grateful
for anything, even a slap.

Funny how people change.

My brother and his family
used to be fond of me…

before the bomb did this to me.

Now they’ve all left me
out here to die.

My only visitors…

are the people my brother
has paid to look after me…

and none of them has ever
lasted very long.

You were the only ones that
treat me as something more…

than a freak or a corpse.

You treated me like
a human being, and I’m grateful.

Ryuta.
Yeah, big brother?

You go tell Mother where I am.
And you?

I’ll stay here for a while, OK?

I understand.
I’ll tell her. Bye!

I’m here. Don’t worry.
I’m not going to run off.

Thanks.

Stop that.

Come on, Seiji, no more crying.

The only way
you’ll ever get better…

is to laugh a little,
like this.

Like what?

Don’t do that!

This!

The boy’s right.
I can’t just give up.

I never thought
I’d be able to paint again…

but I won’t know if I don’t try.

It’s no use! I can’t!

Sure you can. You can do it!

Yeah, keep trying.
Don’t give up now!

All right, I’ll try.

There’s 100 yen for you.

One hundred?

Zowie!

I might almost say
that it’s a miracle…

what you
have done for my brother.

I’m very grateful to you
for making him happy again.

Seriously?
My brother said that?

Uh-huh,
and he gave us enough money…

to buy all the milk
we’ll ever need.

You deserve it.
You two will come again?

Sure,
we’ll come to check up on you.

Remember, never give up!

Don’t worry, you have my word.
I never will.

You two have shown me
that nothing is impossible!

Oh, we like sweet potatoes…

We like ’em a lot…

We like ’em baked
all soft and hot…

We eat so many
that our tummies get big…

And we fart, fart, fart,
like a couple of pigs…

What do we do like
a couple of pigs?

Fish here! Fresh fish!

One at a time!

All right, who wants some?

Milk, ladies and gentlemen!

I’ve got it,
and it’s yours for a price.

Who wants milk?

Powdered milk!
Better than fresh!

Really. Straight from America.

Well, don’t be shy.
Anyone want some?

Excuse me.
I’ll take some of that milk.

Yeah? You got any money on you,
little boy?

Sure, I’ve got money.

See?

The kid’s got the cash,
all right.

Tomoko, I hope you’re hungry,
’cause we’re coming…

with lots and lots of milk!

We got the milk!

Lots of it!

The milk patrol to the rescue!

Mother!

Hello!

Look! You’ll never guess
what we’ve got.

Milk! So much milk!

We bought it in the market.

It’s in cans from America.
It’s better than fresh.

Yeah, just look at all of it.

Tomoko should be so glad.

Mission accomplished, Captain.

Good work, soldier.

Banzai!

Company eyes left!

Look, Mother,
all the milk you’ll ever…

Dear boys, too late.
Too late!

Tomoko, open your eyes.

No, you can’t die!

You can’t die, little sister.

No! We’ve got
all this milk for you.

Couldn’t you wait
just a little longer?

Don’t go, little sister.

Don’t go!

How can you leave
without saying good-bye?

It’s not fair!

I did everything I could!

Why couldn’t she have waited?

Father, Eiko, Shinji,
I couldn’t save Tomoko.

I’m sorry.

You know,
I heard this man saying…

the grass won’t grow here again
for another 70 years.

Do you think that’s true?

It’s hard to believe
it’s possible.

What’s going to happen to us?

Are you going to be sad forever,
big brother?

At least we’re still alive,
aren’t we?

Don’t worry, I’ll catch it.

I got it!

Hey, get over here.
Look what I found! Come here!

What is it?

Look! Something’s growing!

Yeah, it’s wheat!
The wheat’s coming up again.

Its life begins in
the coldest season of the year.

The rain pounds it,
the wind blows it…

it’s crushed
beneath people’s feet…

but still, the wheat
spreads its roots and grows.

It survives.

Learn from it, boys.

Grow big and strong
and let nothing beat you down.

Can you see it, Father?

The wheat’s growing again.

Good old wheat.

Nothing could kill it.

Not the fires, rain,
or diseases. Nothing.

Who said it wouldn’t grow
for 70 years? Ha ha!

What a stupid!

Hey, what’s happening
to your head?

My hair! I can feel it.
My hair’s growing back again.

Hey, maybe Tomoko gave you
all her hair when she died.

You think?

My hair. Tomoko?
She won’t be needing it.

Yeah, maybe you’re right,
little brother.

This way I’ll always have
part of her with me forever.

Isn’t it great?
The wheat’s growing…

your hair’s growing,
and even…

No. Nothing down there yet.

You idiot!

I’m going to tell Mother!

Don’t worry, Father.
I’ll never give up.

I’ll grow up big and strong…

and you’ll be proud of me,
you’ll see.

Come right home
after school, OK, big brother?

Don’t forget, OK?

‘Cause we’re going down
the river, right? You promise?

What’s that you’re making,
Gen, a boat?

Yeah.

OK, Shinji,
here’s your boat. You ready?

We’re finally going to put it
in the river like we said.

You ready, Ryuta?

Ready!

How about you, Mother? Ready?

Ready.