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Friday, December 19, 2014

Osamu Tezuka Celebrated In Tokyo's "Astro Town"

Above, a Niigata bank's "Astro Boy" window display in 2010. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

There's an area in Shinjuku where manga creator Osamu Tezuka and his character creations are celebrated. It sounds like an interesting place to visit.

The Japan News (Yomiuri Shimbun) reported:
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the death of Osamu Tezuka, known as the “god of manga.” Events and exhibitions are being held nationwide, with stage performances scheduled in the metropolitan area during the year-end season. After the end of World War II, Tezuka moved from Takarazuka, Hyogo Prefecture, to Tokyo, where he left behind numerous masterpieces. Even a quarter-century after his death, many people are still enchanted by his work. 
Whenever a train on the Yamanote Line departs from JR Takadanobaba Station in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo, the “Astro Boy” theme song reverberates throughout the area. Outside the station, characters from Tezuka’s works can be seen on a gigantic mural 2.7 meters high and 16 meters wide, and streetlights along the shopping street in front of the station bear plates depicting well-known creations of the manga artist.
I remember first watching Astro Boy cartoons around 1963 on a Los Angeles television station. Later, I discovered new Astro Boy cartoons were made in the early 1980s and a new batch were made in 2003. I saw a few of the 2003 episodes while flying aboard Korean Air to Japan. While visiting Niigata in 2010, I saw a bank near Niigata Station with a huge Astro Boy display. And, at Niigata Station, an ATM booth was decorated with Astro Boy images.

Above, JR Takadanobaba Station is three stops above Shinjuku Station on the Yamanote Line.

I decided to skip the Astro Boy 2009 movie as it didn't look right to me.

To read the article (the first of a series of articles on Tezuka), go here.

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