Japanese school board bans acclaimed anti-war manga via the Guardian

Hadashi No Gen (Barefoot Gen), about aftermath of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, was removed from libraries in Matsue city

A Japanese manga series considered an anti-war classic has caused a stir in Japan after a school board in the country’s south-western city of Matsue removed it from all its school libraries.


The series began in 1973, when it was serialised in a leading manga magazine. It is regularly reprinted and read by children learning about the second world war, and has been adapted for film several times.

The comics criticise the late Emperor Hirohito, who ruled from 1926 to his death in 1989, and in whose name Japan fought the second world war. In addition to their stark depictions of the aftermath of the bombing, the final parts graphically illustrate atrocities committed by the former Japanese army, such as beheadings.

The Japan Times reported that 44 of 49 school principals in the city want the curbs lifted.

The Matsue city school board is due to meet on Monday 26 August to reconsider its decision.

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