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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 August 21 - 27  > Education board withdraws request for access limitation on ‘Barefoot Gen’
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2013 August 21 - 27 TOP3 [EDUCATION]

Education board withdraws request for access limitation on ‘Barefoot Gen’

August 24&27, 2013
With the growing public criticism, the Matsue City Education Board in Shimane Prefecture on August 26 decided to withdraw its request for restriction on access to “Barefoot Gen”, a manga series about the 1945 U.S. atomic bombing of Hiroshima, by students at public elementary and junior high school libraries.

Commenting on the education board’s decision, Nakazawa Misayo, wife of author of the Gen books Nakazawa Keiji who died December 2012, said, “I feel relief.” “I don’t know any work like ‘Gen’ which clearly describes how horrible the A-bombing and the war were. I want children to be able to read this work,” she added.

The city education commission last December requested principals of city-run primary and secondary schools to limit their students’ access to “Barefoot Gen” at school libraries on the grounds that the work includes strong images.

Hibakusha groups, labor unions, and civil groups urged the commission to take back the request.

The Japan Library Association in a written protest which was sent to the education board and the head of the board’s administrative body on August 22 expressed its deep concern that the access limitation will obstruct students’ free use of their libraries.

The Japan Confederation of A- and H-Bomb Sufferers Organizations (Nihon Hidankyo) on August 23 sent a letter of protest to the board. Referring to Article 13 of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child which states that as a right, children have the freedom to “seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds”, Hidankyo said that infringement on this right under the pretext of “educational point of view” should be prevented.

Past related article:
> Hibakusha voice anger over restriction on access to ‘Barefoot Gen’ [Aug 19, 2013]
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