TEZUKA OSAMU MUSEUM

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Permanent Exhibition
Permanent Exhibition1 Takarazuka and Tezuka Osamu (3)

Tezuka Osamu and Medicine

 

A notebook from university
A notebook from university

 

Doctor degree certificate obtained from Nara Medical University

Doctor degree certificate obtained from Nara Medical University

Tezuka Osamu was admitted to the medical department of Osaka University, which was established as a wartime temporary organization for meeting the shortage of army surgeons and doctors in occupied lands. An experience he had had when he was a middle school student heavily influenced his decision to study medicine: the fragile Tezuka Osamu almost had to have both his arms amputated because of a heavy infection. An excellent doctor saved his arms, and Tezuka Osamu in turn thought that he would like to become a doctor to save other people's lives. There remain many episodes in which he is described as having drawn manga secretly at the back of the classroom in university, that he used nurses at the university hospital as his assistants, etc. In 1952, he obtained a qualification to practice medicine, and in 1961 acquired a doctor's degree in medicine with his thesis "A Microscopic Study of the Membrane Structure of Heterotypic Spermtids."

Tezuka Osamu and Takarazuka Revue

 

Kasuga Yachiyo portrayed in a picture card
Kasuga Yachiyo portrayed in a picture card
"Takarazuka Graph" magazine (November 1947 issue)
"Takarazuka Graph" magazine (November 1947 issue)
 

Under the influence of Tezuka Osamu's mother, Fumiko, who was a Takarazuka Revue fan, he literally grew up with Takarazuka Revue. After the family moved to Takarazuka, Takarazuka Revue became more familiar to him, partly because both big stars of the Takarazuka Revue Company, who were sisters, lived next to Tezuka Osamu's house. Takarazuka Revue's "fusion" consisted of musicals and revues, and also works whose subjects were taken from Noh and Kabuki plays, all performed to the accompaniment of a Western-style orchestra. Their work had undeniable influence on Tezuka Osamu's Manga. Although the Takarazuka Grand Theater was closed during the war, the postwar revival of performances at the theater made him such an enthusiastic Takarazuka Revue fan that he even invited his university friends and fellow cartoonists to go to the theater with him. In addition, after he made his debut as a Manga artist, he contributed manga to "Kageki" and "Takarazuka Graph," magazines published by the Takarazuka Revue Company. "Princess Knight" reflects his liking for Takarazuka Revue, and the concept of the Takarazuka in which women play the roles of men influenced the central characters of manga for girls later on.

The First Job

 

A Ma-chan doll and clippings from "Diary of Ma-chan"
A Ma-chan doll and clippings from "Diary of Ma-chan"

When Tezuka Osamu was a medical student, although he wavered as to whether he should become a doctor or Manga artist, he actively sold his manga to newspaper companies and other publishers. One such effort was "Diary of Ma-chan," a four-scene comic strip published in the Kansai edition of the Mainichi School Children's Newspaper in serial form starting January 4, 1946. The New Year's Day issue of the newspaper carried an announcement on the start of the publication of the comic strip, and Tezuka Osamu even visited the Osaka head office of Mainichi Newspapers Company in Dojima, Osaka on the early morning of January 1 in order to obtain a copy of the issue. "Diary of Ma-chan" was well received by the readers, and the initial one-month contract was revised to a three-month one, and even wooden Ma-chan dolls appeared on the market. Subsequently, Tezuka Osamu contributed his other comic strips to Kyoto Nichi-nichi Newspaper and other publications. Moreover, he contributed four-scene comic strips to "Hello Manga," the magazine run by Sakai Shichima, a veteran Manga artist in Kansai. These marked the debut of Tezuka Osamu as a Manga artist.

Unused Manuscripts

 

A manuscript of "New Treasure Island"
A manuscript of "New Treasure Island"
A manuscript of "Manga College"
A manuscript of "Manga College"
 

An encounter with Sakai Shichima led Tezuka Osamu to start drawing "New Treasure Island," a joint work with Sakai to be published in book form. Sakai wrote the story, and Tezuka Osamu drew manga for this work, but Sakai decided that the draft manga Tezuka Osamu had drawn according to his own interpretations of the story were not suitable for children and published the work only after deleting nearly 60 pages' worth of manga and redrawing some of the characters. For this reason, although "New Treasure Island,"was a best-sellerat the time, selling over 400,000 copies and propelling Tezuka Osamu into prominence, he long refused the republication of this book, and its reissue was finally realized when he himself rewrote it later on. These are the circumstances under which "New Treasure Island" was reprinted after years of obscurity. Later, when Tezuka Osamu published his manga in book form through a publishing house in Osaka, many of his manuscripts were left unused because of limited space. For "Next World" published in 1951, he even reduced his manuscripts from 1,000 to 400 pages.

"Akahon" (red book)

 

"New Treasure Island" (1947)
"New Treasure Island" (1947)
"The Mysterious Underground Man" (1948)
"The Mysterious Underground Man" (1948)
 

The success of "New Treasure Island" brought about the "Akahon" boom in Osaka. The majority of these "Akahon" were printed on low-quality paper using the method in which craftsmen directly carved the manga on metal plates for printing. Since Tezuka Osamu's early works were also published using this method, the drawings varied from book to book and some readers even misunderstood, thinking that there were two Tezuka Osamus. Nonetheless, Tezuka Osamu continued to publish his manga energetically, and in "The Mysterious Underground Man," published in 1947, he single-handedly established a style of "story Manga" that transcended the conventional concept of the manga. This gained popularity among children throughout the country.

Pirated Editions

 

Pirated editions of Tezuka Osamu's works
Pirated editions of Tezuka Osamu's works

Many "Akahon" publishers had no knowledge of the copyright system. It was common to reproduce books without the consent of their authors and sell copyrights to other publishers without holder approval. Some of them even sold the metal plates on which manga were carved. Pirated versions of Tezuka Osamu's works were published in large numbers because he was a popular Manga artist.

Note of Ideas

 

A rough announcement on "Next World"
A rough announcement on "Next World"

 

A notebook describing a rough synopsis of "Next World"

A notebook describing a rough synopsis of "Next World"

Since he was in his teens, it had been customary for Tezuka Osamu to jot down, in a notebook, ideas for magna and other matters that came into his mind. Some of these notes were directly used for his Manga and others contributed to new works at a later date. In addition, influenced by dramas and movies, it was his custom to write scenarios before starting to draw magna. According to the book "How to Draw Manga," which he wrote in 1977, published by Kobunsha, his scriptwriting consisted of the following processes: (1) Decide on a theme, (2) work out a rough plan, (3) sketch a plot (a simple one depicting story line and outcome), (4) outline each scene (in the form of a novel), (5) draw up the scenario, (6) develop the major characters, and (7) study historical evidence. He had a lot of fun going through these processes. Sometimes, he even prepared rough preliminary announcements that he had no particular intention of showing to others.