Osamu Tezuka, God of Manga

June 14, 2015
Astro Boy
Astro Boy

Japanese comics, manga, and animation, anime, are among Japan's most popular cultural exports.  Fred Schodt is the guy to talk to about Japan's contemporary graphic arts explosion.  He talks about the "God of Manga," Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy.

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In 1951 it was pretty much illegal for people in Japan to talk about nuclear issues. Laws imposed by the US post-WWII occupation forces until 1954 precluded "atomic" anything in Japanese discourse. The Castle-Bravo H-bomb test in the Marshall Islands on March 1, 1954 (for which the Bikini got its name after the atoll where it was detonated) rained fallout on the Lucky Dragon V, a Japanese fishing boat, as well as the island and people of Rongelap. That sparked anti-nuclear activism in Japan, since they then were able to deal with nuclear issues publicly.

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