Osamu Tezuka was born in Osaka in 1928. He went on to become on of the most influential figures in manga and anime, best known for his famous ‘puppydog eyes’ style. The complete collection of his work comprises over 700 volumes and over 150,000 pages, most of which has never been translated. He was heavily influenced by the work of Walt Disney.
As a child, Osamu Tezuka was inspired by his mother’s storytelling and his father’s love of movies, and started producing comics in 3rd grade. At 15 he discovered the medium of pen and ink, and by the time he entered medical school at Osaka University in 1945 he had already published several comics. He was also fascinated by insects.
In 1946, Osamu Tezuka made his professional debut with a comic published in the Children’s newspaper Osaka edition called Maachan no Nikki-Cho, or Maachan’s Diary. Later that year he teamed up with Nanama Sakai to produce the feature length cartoon Shin Takarajima, or New Treasure Island, which went on to sell almost half a million copies. He also started work on the mecha anime Tetsuwan Atom, which starred his creation Astro Boy and was syndicated in various forms for the next 16 years. In many ways represents the birth of mecha anime.
After graduating from medical school, Osamu Tezuka made the decision to become a full time manga artist on the advice of his mother, who encouraged him to do what he loved. He moved to Tokiwa-so where he mentored many younger comic artists and later met his wife, Etsuko Okada.
In 1961, Osamu Tezuka founded his own production company, Mushi Pro. It was here that the animated version of Astro Boy was conceived, which later led to Stanly Kubricj inviting him to direct 2001: A Space Odyssey. Unfortunately Osamu Tezuka was forced to decline for financial reasons. He created his first colour anime, Jungle Taitei, in 1965.
Osamu Tezuka passed away from stomach cancer in 1989. Stamps were issued to honour his death, and in Japan, Osamu Tezuka is still known as Manga-no-kami sama, the god of manga.