Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Osamu Tezuka

Dr. Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989) was a Japanese graphic novel author, or manga artist and very well known for wearing his Basque beret. 

Tezuka first started to work in the comics industry at the age of seventeen, drawing a comic strip for a newspaper; a year later he published his first full-length manga book,Shintakarajima, "New Treasure Island", based on a story by Shichima Sakai.Tezuka’s works had tremendous impact on Japanese culture, literature and film, especially during the post-war period. 

His work focused on the themes of the progress, technology, environmentalism, tolerance, and reincarnation, and his messages of hope and calls for greater social responsibility have made him one of the most respected cultural figures of 20th century Japan. 

In America, Tezuka’s best known creation is the world-renowned children’s series Astro Boy, but in his lifetime he drew more than 150,000 pages of manga, touching on every style and genre, writing for every age-group from young children to mature audiences, and single-handedly creating the majority of the genres and character-types we see in manga and anime today.
Distinct themes for which Tezuka is best known:

  • Prejudice and intolerance, and whether it is possible for two races to coexist in peace.
  • War, its psychological causes and effects on individuals and societies.
  • Transformation and the appeal of unleashing bestial and evil portions of the psyche.
  • Environmentalism and the balance between man and nature.
  • Science and Medicine, their purposes and limitations.
  • Reincarnation and the cycles of life and death and the rise and fall of civilizations.
  • Buddhism and where it succeeds and fails to satisfy the human need for spiritual guidance.
And, Tezuka was always happy to portray himself, in- and outside his stories, with his Basque beret. 

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