The Tezuka Osamu Story
One World English Course 2 (Heisei 17) pg. 105-109
People everywhere enjoy Japanese manga. Tezuka Osamu tried to explain why. "Manga is a universal language. If I drew a circle with eyes and a nose in it, everyone will know it's a face. In this way, manga can bridge cultures."
When he was a child, Tezuka loved to collect and draw insects. "My name is Osamushi!" he told his friends. Osamushi was his favorite insect.
When he was in junior high, World War II started. He was still drawing insects. He also started to draw comics. His friends loved his manga.
During his military training, Tezuka got sick and had to spend some time in the hospital. When he got better, he wanted to become a doctor.
After World War II, Tezuka went to medial school. One day he ran after a butterfly. When he was about to kill it, his hands froze. "Every life is important even if it is a small insect," he thought. He stopped collecting insects after that.
Tezuka's first comic book, New Treasure Island, came out in 1947 when he was still in medical school. After its big success, he started to create a lot of comic books. The Jungle Emperor, a story of a white lion, and Astro Boy, a story of a robot boy, are among them.
"Should I become a doctor or a cartoonist?" Tezuka asked his mother one day. She asked him, "Which would you rather be?" "A cartoonist," Tezuka answered. "Then you should be a cartoonist," his mother told him.
When comics became very popular among children, some people started to criticize them. They thought comics were bad for young people. Later, however, people started to think that comics were a necessary part of culture.
Tezuka produced the first Japanese animated TV show, Astro Boy, in 1963. It was a big hit. The age of animated TV shows started in Japan.
Tezuka's comics always had a message. For example, in Hinotori (The Phoenix) he wanted to say that life and the environment were important. To work together to save our earth is also a message in many of his works.
Tezuka died at 60 in 1989, but we can still see his influence in books, movies, and many other fields. His works never stop giving us dreams, hope, and courage to live.