Mitsuteru Yokoyama

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Mitsuteru Yokoyama
Born June 18, 1934
Kobe, Japan
Died April 15, 2004(2004-04-15) (aged 69)
Tokyo, Japan
Nationality Japanese
Occupation Manga artist
Known for Tetsujin 28-go [1]
Giant Robo'

Mitsuteru Yokoyama(横山 光輝,Yokoyama Mitsuteru, June 18, 1934 – April 15, 2004) was a Japanese manga artist born in Suma Ward of Kobe City in Hyōgo Prefecture. His personal name was originally spelled Mitsuteru(光照), with the same pronunciation. His works include Tetsujin 28-go , Giant Robo , Akakage , Babel II , Sally the Witch , Princess Comet , and adaptations of the Chinese classics Water Margin and Romance of the Three Kingdoms .

Mangaka people who create manga

"Mangaka" (漫画家) is the Japanese word for manga artist. Outside Japan, manga usually refers to a Japanese comic book, and mangaka refers to the author of the manga, who is usually Japanese. As of 2006, about 3000 professional mangaka were working in Japan.

Suma-ku, Kobe Ward of Kobe in Kinki, Japan

Suma is one of 9 wards of Kobe City in Japan. As of February 1, 2012, it has an area of 30.0 km², and a population of 166,324, with 71,745 households.

Kobe Designated city in Kansai, Japan

Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan and the capital city of Hyōgo Prefecture. It is located on the southern side of the main island of Honshū, on the north shore of Osaka Bay and about 30 km (19 mi) west of Osaka. With a population around 1.5 million, the city is part of the Keihanshin metropolitan area along with Osaka and Kyoto.


Early life

Yokoyama spent his boyhood during World War II and was evacuated to Tottori with his family. He graduated from Kobe municipal Ota junior high school and went on to the Kobe municipal Suma high school. Osamu Tezuka's "Metropolis" made a deep impression on Yokoyama who wished to become a manga artist in earnest and so he contributed his works to a comic book in his high school days. He entered the Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation after graduation from high school, but quit his job before five months passed because there was no time to draw a manga. He found a new job as a publicity department member for a movie company based in Kobe and pursued his manga artist career on his free time.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Tottori Prefecture Prefecture of Japan

Tottori Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan located in the Chūgoku region of Honshu. Tottori Prefecture is the least populous prefecture of Japan at 570,569 (2016) and has a geographic area of 3,507 km2. Tottori Prefecture borders Shimane Prefecture to the west, Hiroshima Prefecture to the southwest, Okayama Prefecture to the south, and Hyogo Prefecture to the east.

Osamu Tezuka Japanese cartoonist and animator

Osamu Tezuka was a Japanese manga artist, cartoonist, animator, and film producer. Born in Osaka Prefecture, his prolific output, pioneering techniques, and innovative redefinitions of genres earned him such titles as "the father of manga", "the godfather of manga" and "the god of manga". Additionally, he is often considered the Japanese equivalent to Walt Disney, who served as a major inspiration during Tezuka's formative years. Though this phrase praises the quality of his early manga works for children and animations, it also blurs the significant influence of his later, more literary, gekiga works.


Yokoyama came out with the book "Otonashi no Ken(音無しの剣,Sword without sound)" for his manga artist début, which caught Osamu Tezuka's attention.

In 1955, Yokoyama had a title serialized in the magazine Shōjo for the first time, "Shirayuri Koushinkyoku(白ゆり行進曲,White Lily March)".

In 1956, "Tetsujin 28-go" appeared serially in the shōnen magazine after he resigned from the movie company. "Tetsujin 28-go" became a popular work equal to Tezuka's Astro Boy and its animated adaptation also made a smashing success. This prompted Yokoyama to become a full-time manga artist and to move to Tokyo the same year.

<i>Astro Boy</i> Japanese manga series

Astro Boy, known in Japan by its original name Mighty Atom, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka. It was serialized in Kobunsha's Shōnen from 1952 to 1968. The original 112 chapters were later collected into 23 tankōbon volumes by Akita Shoten. The English volumes would not become available until 2002 when the rights were licensed by Dark Horse. The story follows the protagonist, Astro Boy, an android with human emotions who is created by Umataro Tenma after the death of his son. Eventually, Astro is sold to a robot circus run by Hamegg, but is saved from his servitude by Professor Ochanomizu. Astro becomes a surrogate son to Ochanomizu who creates a robotic family for Astro and helps him to live a normal life like an average human boy, whilst accompanying him on many adventures.

Tokyo Metropolis in Kantō

Tokyo, officially Tokyo Metropolis, one of the 47 prefectures of Japan, has served as the Japanese capital since 1869. As of 2018, the Greater Tokyo Area ranked as the most populous metropolitan area in the world. The urban area houses the seat of the Emperor of Japan, of the Japanese government and of the National Diet. Tokyo forms part of the Kantō region on the southeastern side of Japan's main island, Honshu, and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo was formerly named Edo when Shōgun Tokugawa Ieyasu made the city his headquarters in 1603. It became the capital after Emperor Meiji moved his seat to the city from Kyoto in 1868; at that time Edo was renamed Tokyo. Tokyo Metropolis formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. Tokyo is often referred to as a city but is officially known and governed as a "metropolitan prefecture", which differs from and combines elements of a city and a prefecture, a characteristic unique to Tokyo.

In 1964, he established Hikari Production, an incorporated company. Making good use of his vast exposure to movies during his previous job, he produced consecutive popular hits in various genres, both in comics and anime, such as Iga no Kagemaru(伊賀の影丸,Kagemaru of Iga ), Akakage, Sally the Witch, Giant Robo, Babel II and so on. With the writing of "Suikoden(水滸伝, Water Margin )" (1967–1971) and Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi ( Records of Three Kingdoms ) (1971–1986), he began a new chapter in his career as he drew mostly comics based on original stories with material from China's and Japan's History.

Anime Japanese animation

Anime is hand-drawn and computer animation originating from or associated with Japan.

Iga Province province of Japan

Iga Province was a province of Japan located in what is today part of western Mie Prefecture. Its abbreviated name was Ishū (伊州). Iga bordered on Ise, Ōmi, Yamato, and Yamashiro Provinces. It roughly coincides with the modern municipalities of Iga and Nabari.

<i>Water Margin</i> 14th century Chinese novel, attributed to Shi Nai’an, about how a group of 108 outlaws gather at Mt Liang to form a sizable army, are eventually granted amnesty, and campaign to resist invaders and suppress rebels

Water Margin, also translated as Outlaws of the Marsh, Tale of the Marshes, All Men Are Brothers, Men of the Marshes or The Marshes of Mount Liang, is a Chinese novel attributed to Shi Nai'an. Considered one of the Four Great Classical Novels of Chinese literature, the novel is written in vernacular Chinese rather than Classical Chinese.

In 1991, Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi won the prize for excellence from the Japan Cartoonist Association [2] and an animated version was broadcast on TV Tokyo.

In July 1997, Yokoyama was hospitalized with myocardial infarction and had an operation. He returned to work in next year March.

Myocardial infarction Interruption of blood supply to a part of the heart

Myocardial infarction (MI), commonly known as a heart attack, occurs when blood flow decreases or stops to a part of the heart, causing damage to the heart muscle. The most common symptom is chest pain or discomfort which may travel into the shoulder, arm, back, neck, or jaw. Often it occurs in the center or left side of the chest and lasts for more than a few minutes. The discomfort may occasionally feel like heartburn. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, nausea, feeling faint, a cold sweat, or feeling tired. About 30% of people have atypical symptoms. Women more often present without chest pain and instead have neck pain, arm pain, or feel tired. Among those over 75 years old, about 5% have had an MI with little or no history of symptoms. An MI may cause heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, cardiogenic shock, or cardiac arrest.

In 2004, while under medical treatment, Yokoyama won the MEXT Prize of the Japan Cartoonist Association.

On the morning of April 15, 2004, Yokoyama suffered burns all over his body due to a fire breaking out in his house. His condition deteriorated and he fell in a coma. Yokoyama died in the hospital near his home at 10:00 p.m. on the same day, aged 69.


The attractions of Yokoyama's works are calculated story deployment and an elaborate setting. On the other hand, Yokoyama liked light characterizations and didn't let characters show their feelings too much. He was better at a serious story manga rather than with comedy, though he nonetheless drew comics in the latter genre.[ citation needed ]

While Tezuka established the technique to draw Japanese comics, it was Yokoyama who established the format of various genres of current Japanese comics and anime. Whereas many comic artists prefer their original stories not to be changed when adapted, Yokoyama was realistic and tolerant, so many of his works were made into animation or Tokusatsu.

Influence on the manga world

Hirohiko Araki

Hirohiko Araki said that he was conscious of Yokoyama's hard-boiled style in that he sticks to suspense and describes the hero's character drily. [3]

Katsuhiro Otomo

A few characters of Katsuhiro Otomo’s "AKIRA" are named after characters from "Tetsujin 28-go."

Naoki Urasawa

Some names of characters in Naoki Urasawa's "20th Century Boys" are references to "Tetsujin 28-go."

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Shotacon, short for Shōtarō complex, is Japanese slang describing an attraction to young boys. It refers to a genre of manga and anime wherein pre-pubescent or pubescent male characters are depicted in a suggestive or erotic manner, whether in the obvious role of object of attraction, or the less apparent role of "subject". In some stories, the young male character is paired with a male, usually in a homoerotic manner. In others, he is paired with a female, which the general community would call straight shota. It can also apply to postpubescent characters with neotenic features that would make them appear to be younger than they are. The phrase is a reference to the young male character Shōtarō (正太郎) from Tetsujin 28-go. The equivalent term for attraction to young girls is lolicon.


Gekiga (劇画) is a Japanese term for comics that literally means "dramatic pictures". It describes comics aimed at adult audiences with a cinematic style and more mature themes. The name gekiga was coined in 1957 by Yoshihiro Tatsumi and adopted by other more serious Japanese cartoonists, who did not want their trade to be known by the more common term manga or "whimsical pictures". It is akin to English speakers who prefer the term "graphic novel", as opposed to "comic book".

<i>Akira</i> (1988 film) 1988 Japanese animated action film directed by Katsuhiro Otomo

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Toei Animation Japanese animation studio

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<i>Akira</i> (manga) Manga series by Katsuhiro Otomo

Akira, often stylized as AKIRA, is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Katsuhiro Otomo. Initially serialized in the pages of Young Magazine from 1982 until 1990, the work was collected into six volumes by its publisher Kodansha. The work was published in the United States by Marvel Comics under their Epic Comics imprint, becoming one of the first manga works to be translated in its entirety into English. Otomo's art is considered outstanding, and a watershed for both Otomo and the manga form.

Shotaro Ishinomori Manga artist

Shotaro Ishinomori was a Japanese manga artist who became an influential figure in manga, anime, and tokusatsu, creating several immensely popular long-running series such as Cyborg 009, the Super Sentai series, and the Kamen Rider Series. He was twice awarded by the Shogakukan Manga Award, in 1968 for Sabu to Ichi Torimono Hikae and in 1988 for Hotel and Manga Nihon Keizai Nyumon. He was born and named Shotaro Onodera in Tome, Miyagi, and was also known as Shotaro Ishimori before 1986, when he changed his family name to Ishinomori with "ノ".

<i>Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still</i> film

Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still is a 1992 to 1998 original video animation series based on Mitsuteru Yokoyama's manga series Giant Robo. It was written and directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa.

<i>Gigantor</i> 1963 Japanese television animation

Gigantor is a 1963 anime adaptation of Tetsujin 28-go, a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama released in 1956. It debuted on U.S. television in 1964. As with Speed Racer, the characters' original names were altered and the original series' violence was toned down for American viewers. The dub was created by Fred Ladd distributed in the US by Peter Rodgers Organization.

<i>Tetsujin 28-go</i> 1963 manga

Tetsujin 28-gō is a 1956 manga written and illustrated by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, who also created Giant Robo. The series centers on the adventures of a young boy named Shotaro Kaneda, who controls a giant robot named Tetsujin 28, built by his late father.


Akakage is a fictional Japanese superhero featured in several manga and anime, as well as live action movies and TV shows. Akakage first appeared in the 1967 TV series, Kamen no Ninja Akakage which was produced by Toei Company Ltd..

<i>Princess Comet</i> film

Princess Comet is a Japanese TV drama and manga series created and illustrated by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, the creator of Tetsujin 28-go and Giant Robo. The TV drama tells the story of Comet, one of the princesses of the Triangle Nebula who came to Earth in search for the missing prince. The manga is first serialized in Shueisha's monthly Margaret magazine from July to November 1967, marking as one of Japan's first Magical girl series produced.

Sangokushi (三国志) is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, based on Eiji Yoshikawa's retelling of the Chinese literary classic Romance of the Three Kingdoms. It was adapted into an anime television called Yokoyama Mitsuteru Sangokushi.

<i>Giant Robo</i>

Giant Robo is a manga by Mitsuteru Yokoyama, in which the huge robot of the same name as the title appears. Tokusatsu, anime, etc. based on this manga were produced.

<i>Weekly Shōnen Big Comic</i>

Weekly Shōnen Big Comic was a bi-weekly manga magazine published by Shogakukan in Japan from 1979 to 1987. From 1976 to 1979, the magazine was titled Manga-kun (マンガくん) before being renamed Shōnen Big Comics in 1979.

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Kazuhiko Shimamoto (島本 和彦 Shimamoto Kazuhiko, born Hidehiko Tezuka April 26, 1961 in Ikeda is a Japanese manga artist. He attended college at the Osaka University of Arts in the fine arts department. While in college in 1982, he debuted in the February special issue of Shōnen Sunday with Hissatsu no Tenkōsei. At this point he dropped out of college and devoted his energies to becoming a manga artist.

Tetsujin 28-gō is a 2004 Japanese anime series and the remake of the original 1960s anime adaptation, animated by Genco and Palm Studio and written and directed by Yasuhiro Imagawa. The series has been released in the United States under its original name by Geneon and in the United Kingdom by Manga Entertainment, the first time a Tetsujin-28 property has not been localized to Gigantor in America or other English speaking nations. It was then rescued by Discotek Media for a SD Blu-ray release on September 25, 2018, and the movie will be released on sub-only Blu-ray + DVD Combo Pack on January 29, 2019. While not fully based on the original manga, it followed an extremely different storyline than in the 1960s series.

Tetsujin 28: The Movie (鉄人28号) is a 2005 Japanese live-action film based on the 1956 manga Tetsujin 28-go by Mitsuteru Yokoyama. Directed by Shin Togashi, it was the first original film based on the series, as well as the first to be released theatrically.

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New Tetsujin-28 is a 1980 Japanese Mecha Animated series produced by Tokyo Movie Shinsha, and a modern style remake of Mitsuteru Yokoyama's manga Tetsujin 28-go. It was directed by Tetsuo Imazawa and produced by both Shigeru Akagawa and Toru Horikoshi. It aired on Nippon Television from October 3, 1980 to September 25, 1981 with a total count of 51 episodes. Fred Ladd and TMS converted the series into The New Adventures of Gigantor, which was broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel in the United States from September 9, 1993 to June 30, 1997.


  1. "Fire kills Japanese manga artist". BBC. April 16, 2004. Retrieved 2011-10-23.
  2. "List of recipients of the Japanese Cartoonist Association Awards" (in Japanese). Archived from the original on 2007-02-19. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
  3. Manga Meister vol.3 Archived 2009-08-17 at the Wayback Machine .(in Japanese)