Tezuka Osamu”

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Full Name:

Osamu Tezuka

Occupation / Title:

, , , ,

Date of birth:

03/11/1928

Date of death:

08/02/1989

Birthplace:

Toyonaka City, Osaka, Japan

Biography


Born on the 28th of November, 1928, the eldest of three children in a liberal, artistic family, Tezuka Osamu fostered an early love of illustration. He was particularly drawn to the illustrations of Jean-Henri Fabre, to the degree that he eventually incorporated the ideogram of “insect” into his signature. He decided to pursue medical school at the age of 17, graduating from Nara Medical University, but ultimately abandoned medicine to become an artist. In 1947, he published his first long-form work, the fantasy-adventure manga, Shintakarajima.

During the economic hardship in the post-war period, manga gained popularity in Japan as an accessible, inexpensive form of entertainment. Tezuka particularly saw great success for his fanciful sci-fi and fantasy stories, exploring themes of human frailty, justice, and courage in the face of oppression. These themes would find their perfect vessel in the form of Atom, a childlike, superpowered robot who first appeared in 1951’s Atom Taishi. By 1952, Atom was the lead of his own manga series, Tetsuwan Atom. 

Tetsuwan Atom soon took on a life of its own, appearing in adaption as a live-action television show, a radio play, and, in 1963, as an animated television series. The English translation of the 1963 series, Astro Boy, aired throughout North America and Europe, and is credited with popularizing anime in the West.

Tezuka continued to influence the medium throughout his career: another prominent work from the 1950s was Ribon no Kishi. A tribute to the all-female Takarazuka Revue theatre, the manga featured Princess Sapphire, a princess born with a two-gendered heart, who dressed and fought like a boy. His 1954 manga, Jungle Taitei, adapted to animation in 1965, attracted some controversy in the 1990s, when Disney was accused of plagiarizing its plot for their 1994 film, The Lion King.

Prolific throughout his life, Tezuka passed away in Tokyo in 1989.

External Links:


“About.” Osamu Tezuka Official, tezukaosamu.net/en/about. Accessed 8 May 2021.

“Tezuka Osamu: God of Manga.” British Museum, blog.britishmuseum.org/tezuka-osamu-god-of-manga. Accessed 8 May 2021.




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