OSAMU TEZUKA (1928-1989)
OSAMU TEZUKA (1928-1989)
OSAMU TEZUKA (1928-1989)
2 More
OSAMU TEZUKA (1928-1989)
5 More
OSAMU TEZUKA (1928-1989)

1. Kimba the White Lion; 2. Astro Boy; 3. Black Jack; 4. Phoenix; and 5. Princess Knight

OSAMU TEZUKA (1928-1989)
1. Kimba the White Lion; 2. Astro Boy; 3. Black Jack; 4. Phoenix; and 5. Princess Knight
1. signed in Japanese and dated ‘1.24.1981’ (lower middle)
2. signed in Japanese (lower left)
3. signed in Japanese (lower left); inscribed in Japanese (upper left)
4. signed in Japanese (lower right); numbered ‘27/100’ (lower left)
5. stamped (lower right); numbered ‘22/200’ (lower right)
1. watercolour and marker pen on paper
2. marker pen on paperboard
3. marker pen on paperboard
4. screenprint
5. cel print
1. 34 x 24 cm. (13 3/8 x 9 1/2 in.)
2. 27.3 x 24.2 cm. (10 3/4 x 9 1/2 in.)
3. 27.3 x 24.2 cm. (10 3/4 x 9 1/2 in.)
4. image: 19.5 x 19.5 cm. (7 5/8 x 7 5/8 in.); sheet: 35.5 x 35.5 cm. (14 x 14 in.)
5. 28.5 x 38.5 cm. (11 1/4 x 15 1/8 in.)
(5)1. Painted in 1981
4. edition 27/100
5. edition 22/200
Private Collection, Japan
The work Black Jack is accompanied by a certificate of registration issued by Osamu Tezuka Works of Art Registration Meeting

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Shanshan Wei
Shanshan Wei

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Lot Essay

If it was not for Osamu Tezuka, Japan would not be the Kingdom of Manga as we know today. Osamu Tezuka was born to a middle class family. His father’s love of the cinema gave him the opportunity to see many different kinds of movies. His mother also read manga to him when he was young. Although Tezuka was trained as a medical doctor, he ultimately chose the path of an artist. Created close to 700 sets of manga during his lifetime, his contributions brought revolutionary changes. As such, Osamu Tezuka is hailed as the “God of Manga” in Japan.
The history of manga in Japan can be traced back to the beginning of the 12th century. The Choju-jinbutsu-giga (Scrolls of Frolicking Animals and Humans) from the Heian period is considered the earliest known specimen of manga. Hokusai Manga by Ukiyo-e master Katsushika Hokusai from the Edo period is the earliest work that refers itself as manga in the title. Literally, “man” in the word manga means spontaneous and fantastic, and “ga” means images or illustrations. The format of manga has undergone tremendous changes to this day, and Osamu Tezuka’s contribution to its development legacy cannot be overstated.
In terms of creative techniques, Osamu Tezuka incorporated cinematic treatments in his drawing and created the New Manga movement in Japan. Tezuka was not the first person to create works in the manga format. Indeed, there were many other manga artists who came before him. However, he introduced many cinematic devices in his manga such as close-ups, focus changes, wide shots, bird'seye views, multiple-camera setup to construct storylines, and even different lighting effects to conjure atmosphere. These innovations free manga from the traditional format of four-panel comics and open up a world of possibilities. In 1961, the founding of Mushi Production proved to be a pivotal moment in the development of Japanese anime industry. Tezuka successfully developed a production method that is low-cost yet high quality. This made animation productions possible even during the times of economic downturns. The first serialized television animation Astro Boy and the first colour serialised television animation Jungle Emperor Leo were both produced following this new development.
Osamu Tezuka also made groundbreaking contribution in terms of the content of manga. Originally considered as merely a juvenile pastime, Tezuka included content that are expansive, sophisticated, and philosophical in manga. It elevates manga to the level of literature and art. The work offered in this auction All Stars (Lot 63) is a collection of the six most canonical characters created by Tezuka. Standing behind a banister, the characters smile cheerfully at the viewers. Astro Boy, Princess Knight, Black Jack, Jungle Emperor Leo, Phoenix, and The Three-Eyed One are all major works by Osamu Tezuka, and they are immensely popular works that have a special place in the hearts of the viewers. Another group of works (Lot 64) is a continuation of All Stars — the main characters of the latter work are individually portrayed in different media, including watercolour, marker, and print. World War II left a lasting impression on Osamu Tezuka. His experience with famine and the cruelty of war gave him a better appreciation for life, “My manga tell a wide variety of stories, but the fundamental subject matter is the same. It is about the dignity and preciousness of life, and the empathy for life itself”.
In his tireless pursuit of his dreams, Osamu Tezuka not only influenced manga artists, his works are hugely inspirational to contemporary artists and popular culture as well. Almost all Japanese manga artists, namely Fujio F. Fujiko, Shotaro Ishinomori, and Fujio Akatsuka, credit Tezuka as their inspiration. Contemporary artist Takashi Murakami also professes deep reverence for Osamu Tezuka, and his work Little Boy appears to pay tribute to Astro Boy. Osamu Tezuka’s works received countless awards and accolades, and amongst them Princess Knight is widely recognised as the first manga to feature a female protagonist for a female audience. First serialised in 1967, Phoenix is an exploration into the mystery of life. It was Osamu Tezuka’s magnum opus. Unfortunately, he did not get to finish the last instalment “Modern Chapter” before he died, and it remains an eternal mystery for the readers. Phoenix rises from the ashes and reborn in flames — it represents eternal life. Like the phoenix, the power of Osamu Tezuka’s works will endure, “A person should have at least one passion. It should be an interest that will never become stale. It is something that one can keep cultivating continuously. For me, it has to be manga”.

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