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Osamu Tezuka Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (1)  | Trade Mark (5)  | Trivia (21)  | Personal Quotes (8)

Overview (3)

Born in Toyonaka, Japan
Died in Tokyo, Japan  (stomach cancer)
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Tezuka Osamu was born on November 3, 1928 in Toyonaka, Japan as the first child of Fumiko & Yutaka Tezuka. At 5, he & his family moved to the village of Kohama in Hyogo prefecture (present day city of Takarazuka). When he was 7, he entered Ikeda Elementary School in Osaka. Due to his diminutive stature, he was bullied a lot in school. His mother was a good story teller & would tell stories to him. His father was a big comic & animated movies fan. Therefore, he would do a private showing of movies he bought at his house. This influence would later inspire him to write story length comics that was as exciting as watching a movie. He drew his first comic when he was in 3rd grade titled Bin Bin Namachan, a story of a bald-headed boy that was modeled after himself. During those days, he read comics such as Norakuro & Nakamura Manga Library. He even drew a story about martians called Kaseijin Kuru! He also invented his famous character Hyotantsugi in a work he titled Fuku-chan to Uotsuri. . Another one of his works called Shina no Yoru caused quite a sensation.

His other love in life was insects. He would roam around the fields to study them & he would draw his own encyclopedia. One day, he found an insect named Osamushi, which resembled his name. Therefore, he adopted Osamushi as his pen name. He started to draw using pen & ink as well as write comics when he was 15. He self-published 13 books that year. In 1945, he entered Osaka University's medical division. The following year, he made his professional debut w/ the comic Maachan no nikki-cho in an Osaka children's newspaper. Later that year, he met Nanama Sakai at the Kansai manga club meeting & was asked to draw a feature length cartoon. W/ Sakai as story writer, he published Shin Takarajima the following year, selling 400,000 copies. He then went on to win 1st place at the YMCA for his piano performance. He was also a member of the university's acting club during & dabbled in school plays. What separated him from artists before him was that his comic had a 3-dimensional feel to his pictures & more lively motion to his characters.

In 1950, he began writing Jungle Taitei, which was published in the magazine Manga Shonen. After graduating from Osaka University the following year, he wrote the pilot episode for Tetsuwan Atom titled Atom Taishi, which was featured in the magazine Shounen. In 1952, he passed the exam to become a practicing physician. Atom Taishi ended in March & is renamed Tetsuwan Atom w/ syndication continuing until March 1968. He was in a dilemma as to which profession he would choose as his career: to be a manga artist or a doctor. He consulted his mother about his career choice & she advised him to choose whichever he loved the most. Encouraged by this, he chose manga.

In 1953, he moved to the now legendary Tokiwaso apartment where many young comic talents from all over Japan lived to start their career. Most of them were not only younger, but considered him as their guru, becoming a mentor. In 1959, he married Etsuko Okada. That same year, Tetsuwan Atom airs on Fuji TV featuring live actors. In 1961, he started his own animation production company called Tezuka Osamu Production Animation Department & beginning work on the pilot of animated version of Tetsuwan Atom. On January 1, 1963 Tetsuwan Atom starts airing on Fuji TV & is broadcasted by NBC as Astro Boy in the U.S. the following year. He followed up w/ the animated version of his comic Big X & W 3. In 1965, he created his 1st color anime Jungle Taitei, later airing in the Americas as Kimba the White Lion. His works from late the 60s such as Magma Taishi & 70s such as Mitsume ga tooru & Black Jack aren't as well known outside Japan, but he continued to draw at a prolific pace during those years. In 1972, due to internal strife, Mushi pro disintegrates. He later created another production company named after himself called Tezuka pro. During the 80s his work load slowly declined & he was more of a cultural icon, becoming a guest on many social events & TV interviews. He was also busy running his production company.

In 1988, he felt pain in his abdomen & underwent surgery. Not knowing this was due to stomach cancer as his his physician chose not to reveal his terminal illness, he was heard saying, "This doctor doesn't understand my question" as he asked about his condition. He passed away on February 9, 1989. Magazine headlines read Manga Taitei iku. Now, he's remembered as the greatest manga artist of all time, single-handedly jump starting both genre of modern day manga & anime with many manga artists were influenced by Tezuka's works. He was also 1 of the most prolific artist in the field w/ over 700 stories spanning over 170,000 pages to his credit . His impact on the entire social culture of Japan's also seen as immeasurable as he influenced so many different areas of art & society through his comics. Never in history has a comic artist influenced the society of a single country the way he did. He'll be remembered as the founding father of modern day manga.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: ebiros2

Family (1)

Spouse Etsuko Okada (4 October 1959 - 9 February 1989)  (his death)  (3 children)

Trade Mark (5)

Wore thick glasses and often sported a black beret.
Loves reusing a character and have he or she portray a different role in a different story.
He developed the distinctive "large eyes" characteristic of Japanese animation.
He often uses rebirth as a plot element in his stories.
He uses child-like artwork in conjunction/contrast to his often dramatic and tragic tales.

Trivia (21)

Gave guidance to many known cartoonists such as Shotaro Ishinomori and Gô Nagai.
Father of Macoto Tezuka.
He graduated in 1960 from the Medical University of Nara (Japan) with a dissertation about the membrane structure of sea nails.
During the US occupation of Japan after World War 2, he sold pin-up drawings of women to US troops, often trading his artwork for military rations.
During his lifetime, over-zealous Japanese fans called him "The god of Japanese comics".
He was accused of racism after drawing blacks in sterotypical fashion, but insisted that he was only continuing the styles he saw in American comics and films. This point has often been a source of constant soul-searching among Tezuka's publishers, especially in the USA. As of 2003, Dark Horse has begun to publish Tezuka's manga wholly unedited in the US, adding a disclaimer that states that while Tezuka held no racism himself, his artwork was a product of its time, and that further that it would be wrong to retroactively change his works without his input.
An incredibly prolific (and fast) artist, he was known to draw as many as ten pages of artwork in a single day.
Was an avid baseball fan, and licensed the "grown up" version of his character Kimba the White Lion as the logo for the Seibu Lions of the Nippon Professional Baseball League.
The Disney film The Lion King (1994) came under controversy for allegedly being inspired by Tezuka's tale "Kimba the White Lion", about a young lion who grows into a mature ruler.
His hobbies were bug collecting, entomology, Walt Disney and baseball.
Liked to make cameos in his manga.
He was a fan of the American comic book superhero Superman, and was made honorable chairman of the Superman Fan Club in Japan on October 6 1983.
In his childhood he kept a ground beetle named "Osamushi". He later made this name his pen name.
He cites cartoonist Walt Disney and the 1930 graphic novel "He Done Her Wrong" as a major influence on his work.
In January 1965, Tezuka received a letter from American film director Stanley Kubrick; Kubrick had watched Astro Boy (1963) and wanted to invite Tezuka to be the art director of his next movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Tezuka could not afford to leave his studio for a year to live in England, so he refused. Although he could not work on it, he loved the film, and would play its soundtrack at maximum volume in his studio to keep him awake during long nights of work.
Tezuka grew up in Takarazuka City, Hyogo and his mother often took him to the Takarazuka Theatre. The Takarazuka Revue is performed by women, including the male characters. The Takarazuka Revue is known for its romantic musicals usually aimed at a female audience, thus having a large impact on the later works of Tezuka, including his costuming designs.
His childhood nickname was "gashagasha-atama", or "messy head" ("gashagasha" is slang for "messy" and "atama" means "head").
When he was younger, Tezuka's arms swelled up and he became ill. He was treated and cured by a doctor, which made him want to be a doctor. However, he began his career as a manga artist while a university student, drawing his first professional work while at school. At a crossing point, he asked his mother whether he should look into doing manga full-time or whether he should become a doctor (at the time, being a manga author was not a particularly rewarding job). The answer his mother gave was: "You should work doing the thing you like most of all." Tezuka decided to devote himself to manga creation on a full-time basis. He graduated from Osaka University and obtained his medical degree, but he would later use his medical and scientific knowledge to enrich his sci-fi manga, such as Black Jack.
Tezuka is a descendant of Hattori Hanzo, a famous ninja and samurai.
He came to the realization that he could use manga as a means of helping to convince people to care for the world.
His mother often comforted him by telling him to look to the blue skies, giving him confidence.

Personal Quotes (8)

My teacher said once that every man faces seven enemies in his lifetime. Sickness, hunger, betrayal, envy, greed, old age, and then death.
Coincidence doesn't happen a third time.
What is one man's life compared to the eternity of time and space? No more than a snowflake that glitters in the sun for a moment before melting into the flow of time.
I'm still living in my post-war.
Where there is ignorance, sickness will thrive.
A life must be saved as long as it can be no matter whose it is.
Comics are an international language, they can cross boundaries and generations. Comics are a bridge between all cultures.
Manga is virtual. Manga is sentiment. Manga is resistance. Manga is bizarre. Manga is pathos. Manga is destruction. Manga is arrogance. Manga is love. Manga is kitsch. Manga is sense of wonder. Manga is ... there is no conclusion yet.

See also

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