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Gajo Sakamoto

Gajo Sakamoto (1895-1973) was a popular pre-WWII manga artist. He studied as a painter and subsequently drew comic strips and contributed cartoons for newspapers, magazines, and comic anthologies. With Shigewo Miyawo and others, Sakamoto helped form the Doshin Manga-kai manga artists' group. In January 1934, he started the serialization of Tank Tankuro in Yonen Club, which made him a popular artist. Other works from this period included Hora-gai Hora-taro and Janken Pon-chan. In 1940, he worked on titles such as Gara-gara Sensei, Bari-bari Hakase, and Genkotsu Osho as well as new stories for Tank Tankuro. Around this time, Sakamoto also became interested in the art of suiboku-ga (ink-and-wash painting) and studied Zen Buddhism. In 1956, Sakamoto ended his career as a manga artist to devote himself entirely to Buddhism and suiboku-ga. In 1969, he received an award for his distinguished service to children's culture from the Japan Children's Writers' Association.