The Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, board of education is bent on covering up negative aspects of Japan's wartime history, as evidenced by its decision to have local elementary and junior high schools curb student access to the longtime iconic anti-war manga "Hadashi no Gen" ("Barefoot Gen"), experts said.

The manga series by the late Keiji Nakazawa depicts a Japanese boy who tries to get by in postwar Japan after surviving the 1945 A-bombing of Hiroshima. It also contains graphic drawings of atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army, including the rapes and beheadings of Chinese.

The five-member Matsue board of education discussed the curbs without reaching a decision Thursday, although it said 44 of 49 school principals it polled oppose having the series restricted. The board, whose head has deemed the manga graphically violent, will meet again Monday.