Guest Author - Lesley Aeschliman
Osamu Tezuka is a manga artist, animator, and producer. He is often cited as the "Father of Anime," and is also seen by many as the Japanese equivalent of Walt Disney. Tezuka is also the one who invented the "large eyes" style of Japanese animation.
Tezuka was born on November 3, 1928 in Toyonaka City, Osaka. He began to draw comics around his second year of elementary school, and he created his first work (Diary of Ma-chan) at the age of 17. This was soon followed by Shin Takarajima (which is translated into English as New Treasure Island).
Tezuka attended Osaka University to study medicine; however, he began his career as a manga artist while in school. Tezuka ended up graduating from Osaka University with a medical degree, but he never actually practiced medicine. He would later use the medical knowledge he acquired in his schooling in some of his works.
Tezuka's love for the environment influenced him when he named his studio Mushi Prodctions ("mushi" translates to "insect"). Tezuka's manga and anime creations include Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Black Jack, Princess Knight, Phoenix, Adolf, and Metropolis. After seeing Astro Boy, film director Stanley Kubrick asked Tezuka to be the art director for 2001: A Space Odyssey. Unfortunately, Tezuka had to turn Kubrick down, because he couldn't afford to be away from his studio and live in England for an entire year.
Tezuka earned several awards during his career. In 1958, he received the Shogakukan Manga Award for Manga Seminar on Biology and Biiko-chan. In 1975, Tezuka received the Bungeishunju Manga Award, as well as a special award from the Japan Mangaka Association. In 1977, he received the Kodansha Manga Award for Black Jack and The Three-Eyed One. In 1983, Tezuka was awarded the Shigakukan Manga Award for Hidamari no Ki. In 1985, he received an award at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival for Onboro-Film. In 1986, Tezuka was awarded the Kodansha Manga Award for Adolf. And in 1989, Tezuka was awarded a special award from the Nihon SF Taisho Award, as well as Zuihosho 3rd class.
Osamu Tezuka passed away on February 9, 1989 at the age of 60 from stomach cancer. In 1994, the city of Takarazuka, Hyogo (where Tezuka grew up) opened a museum in his memory. And in the early part of the 21st century, his son, Makoto Tezuka, created Tezuka Productions to help extend Tezuka's manga series with new issues.