Tezuka Osamu

Tezuka Osamu (手塚 治虫) (November 3rd 1928 - February 9th 1989)

Japanese manga artist and animator, creator of Astro Boy. His prolific output and his pioneering techniques and genres earned him such titles as "the father of manga" and "the god of manga." The distinctive "large eyes" style of Japanese animation was invented by Tezuka, who based it on cartoons of the time such as Betty Boop by Max Fleischer and Mickey Mouse by Walt Disney.

He was formally trained as a physician, but he instead devoted his life to the production of an enormous body of manga work, the vast majority of which has never been translated from the original Japanese and is thus inaccessible to Western audiences. The "complete works of Tezuka Osamu" (published in Japan) comprises 400 volumes, over 80,000 pages. (This collection is not perfectly comprehensive, however).

Famous creations include Astro Boy, Black Jack, Princess Knight, and Kimba the White Lion (upon which Disney's The Lion King was probably based).

He headed the animation production studio Mushi Pro ('Bug Production'), which pioneered TV animation in Japan. The name of the studio derives from one of the kanji used to write his name.

It is also a well-known episode that many of the yet-to-flourish young manga artists once lived in the apartment where Tezuka lived, Tokiwa-so. (Note: the suffix 'so' indicates, then as now, that this was a small, inexpensive apartment!) The residents included Shotaro Ishimori, Fujio Akatsuka, and Fujiko Fujio (both of the duo).

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