Name : 手塚 治虫 Osamu Tezuka
Nationality : Japanese
Birthdate : 03/11/1928
Place of birth : Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
Date of death : 09/02/1989 (60years old)
Cause of death : Stomach cancer
Alma Mater : Nara Medical University (MD & PHD)
Occupation : Mangaka, producer, screenwriter, animator, author, illustrator, storyboarder, scriptwriter
Years active : 1946 – 1989
Marital Status : Married to Etsuko Okada (1959 – 1989)
Children : Makoto Tezuka
Osamu Tezuka’s work : Here !
Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese manga artist, cartoonist, animator, and film producer. Born in Osaka Prefecture, his prolific output, pioneering techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as “the father of manga”, “the godfather of manga” and “the god of manga”. Additionally, he is often considered as the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during Tezuka’s formative years.
Tezuka began what was known as the manga revolution in Japan with his New Treasure Island published in 1947. His legendary output would spawn some of the most influential, successful, and well received manga series including Astro Boy, Jungle Emperor Leo, Black Jack, and Phoenix, all of which won several awards.
Tezuka died of stomach cancer in 1989. His death had an immediate impact on the Japanese public and other cartoonists. A museum was constructed in Takarazuka dedicated to his memory and life works, and Tezuka received many posthumous awards. Several animations were in production at the time of his death along with the final chapters of Phoenix, which were never released.
Tezuka died of stomach cancer on 9 February 1989 in Tokyo. His last words were: “I’m begging you, let me work!”, spoken to a nurse who had tried to take away his drawing equipment.
The city of Takarazuka, Hyōgo, where Tezuka grew up, opened a museum in his memory. Stamps were issued in his honor in 1997. Also, beginning in 2003, the Japanese toy company Kaiyodo began manufacturing a series of figurines of Tezuka’s creations, including Princess Knight, Unico, the Phoenix, Dororo, Marvelous Melmo, Ambassador Magma, and many others. To date, three series of the figurines have been released.
His legacy has continued to be honored among manga artists and animators. Artists such as Akira Toriyama (Dr. Slump and Dragon Ball) have cited Tezuka as inspiration for their works.
From 2003 to 2009, Naoki Urasawa and Takashi Nagasaki adapted an arc of Astro Boy into the murder mystery series Pluto.
Tezuka was a personal friend (and apparent artistic influence) of Brazilian comic book artist Mauricio de Sousa. In 2012, Maurício published a two-issue story arc in the Monica Teen comic book featuring some of Tezuka’s main characters, such as Astro Boy, Black Jack, Sapphire, and Kimba, joining Monica and her friends in an adventure in the Amazon rainforest against a smuggling organization chopping down hundreds of trees. This was the first time that Tezuka Productions has allowed overseas artists to use Tezuka’s characters.
His complete oeuvre includes over 700 volumes with more than 150,000 pages. A complete list of his works can be found on the Tezuka Osamu Manga Museum website.
Tezuka’s creations include Astro Boy (Mighty Atom in Japan), Black Jack, Princess Knight, Phoenix (Hi no Tori in Japan), Kimba the White Lion (Jungle Emperor in Japan), Unico, Message to Adolf, The Amazing 3 and Buddha. His “life’s work” was Phoenix—a story of life and death that he began in the 1950s and continued until his death.
In January 1965, Tezuka received a letter from American film director Stanley Kubrick, who had watched Astro Boy and wanted to invite Tezuka to be the art director of his next movie, 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). Although flattered by Kubrick’s invitation, Tezuka could not afford to leave his studio for a year to live in England, so he had to turn it down. 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 is known for his imaginative stories and stylized Japanese adaptations of western literature. Tezuka’s “cinematic” page layouts was influenced by Milt Gross‘ early graphic novel He Done Her Wrong. He read this book as child, and its style characterized many manga artists who followed in Tezuka’s footsteps. His work, like that of other manga creators, was sometimes gritty and violent.
Tezuka headed the animation production studio Mushi Production (“Bug Production”), which pioneered TV animation in Japan. He invented the distinctive “large eyes” style of Japanese animation, drawing inspiration from Western cartoons and animated films of the time such as Betty Boop, Mickey Mouse, and other Disney movies.
The Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum (宝塚市立手塚治虫記念館, lit. “Takarazuka City Tezuka Osamu Memorial Hall”), located in the city of Takarazuka, Hyōgo Prefecture, was inaugurated on April 25, 1994, and has three floors (15069.47 ft²). In the basement there is an “Animation Workshop” in which visitors can make their own animation, and a mockup of the city of Takarazuka and a replica of the table where Osamu Tezuka worked.
Outside of the building’s entrance, there are imitations of the hands and feet of several characters from Tezuka (as in a true walk of fame) and on the inside, the entry hall, a replica of Princess Knight’s furniture. On the same floor is a permanent exhibition of manga and a room for the display of anime. The exhibition is divided into two parts: Osamu Tezuka and the city of Takarazuka and Osamu Tezuka, the author.
The second floor contains, along with several exhibitions, a manga library with five hundred works of Tezuka (some foreign editions are also present), a video library, and a lounge with decor inspired by Kimba the White Lion.
There is also a glass sculpture that represents the planet Earth and is based on a book written by Tezuka in his childhood called “Our Earth of Glass.”
- 1957 Shogakukan Manga Award for Manga Seminar on Biology and Biiko-chan
- 1975 Bungeishunjū manga Award
- 1975 Japan Cartoonists Association Award—Special Award
- 1977 Kodansha Manga Award for Black Jack and The Three-Eyed One
- 1980 Inkpot Award, San Diego Comic-Con
- 1983 Shogakukan Manga Award for Hidamari no Ki
- 1984 Animafest Zagreb Grand Prize for Jumping
- 1985 Hiroshima International Animation Festival for Onboro-Film
- 1986 Kodansha Manga Award for Message to Adolf
- 1989 Nihon SF Taisho Award – Special Award
- 1989 Order of the Sacred Treasure, 3rd class (posthumous)
- 2004 Eisner Award for Buddha (vols. 1–2)
- 2005 Eisner Award for Buddha (vols. 3–4)
- 2009 Eisner Award for Dororo
- 2014 Eisner Award for The Mysterious Underground Men