The other day I had the chance to visit an exhibition about the father of manga, Osamu Tezuka, in the Setagaya Literary Museum. The exhibition is organized in a chronological way and starts telling us things about the student life of Tezuka.
During the last years of the war, Tezuka Osamu studied medicine in Osaka University. In his class notes Osamu’s drawing skills can already be seen:
One of his hobbies was to draw animals in notebooks and write things about them.
Apart from studying medicine, in 1945 a young Tezuka went for the first time to a movie theatre and saw the animation movie Momotaro. He was so impressed with the possibility of creating stories using drawings that he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to draw and write manga.
Just two years after the war, Tezuka started his first work and sold 400,000 copies all of a sudden! It was just the beginning, he drew until he died in 1989, leaving a legacy of more than 700 manga volumes (around 150,000 pages). According to my own calculations he drew an average of 10 pages per day since 1945 until his death.
To achieve that feat he didn’t need iPads nor computers, these were some of the tools that Osamu Tezuka used the most:
Tezuka liked to use berets. This was one of his favourite berets.
One of the oldest sketches on the exhibition.
In these sketches it can be seen how Tezuka evolved his “film style”. The reader can quickly flip the pages and see the story flow in front of his eyes:
The rest of the exhibition is divided in sections showing the creating process of some of his most important works like Hi no tori or Adolf. The friendship relationship between Tezuka Osamu and Shinichi Hoshi, a science fiction short story author that had a big influence on Tezuka, is explained. In fact, one the characters of The Amazing 3 is based on Shinichi Hoshi.
The Atom hearth!
If you like manga and you are coming to Tokyo soon you can come and see the exhibition until June 27th in the Setagaya Literary Museum (closed on Mondays). You can get there walking five minutes from Rokakoen station (Keio line from Shinjuku)
Continue reading: Tezuka Osamu in Takanadobaba.