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13th Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Winners Announced (Updated)

posted on by Egan Loo

The Asahi Shimbun paper has announced the winners for the 13th Annual Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes this weekend. For the first time, two manga titles shared the Grand Prize: Fumi Yoshinaga's Ōoku: The Inner Chamber, and Yoshihiro Tatsumi's A Drifting Life. Ōoku had been nominated three years in a row before winning this year. Hikaru Nakamura won the Short Work Prize for Saint Young Men, her comedy manga about Buddha and Jesus sharing a Tokyo low-rent apartment. Suehiro Maruo won the "New Artist Prize" for Panorama-tō Kitan.

Ōoku's historical science fiction story takes place in an alternate history version of medieval Japan, in which a bizarre disease has dwindled the male population. This has led to a matriarchal society where women outnumber men by 4 to 1. The shogun and de facto ruler of Japan keeps her own harem of men, or ōoku. Director Fuminori Kaneko (Kisarazu Cat's Eye, Ikebukuro West Gate Park) is adapting the manga into a live-action film next year. Natsuko Takahashi scripted the animated television version of another Yoshinaga work, Antique Bakery, before tackling the Ōoku film. Viz Media will release the manga in North America in August.

A Drifting Life is the sprawling 840-page autobiographical manga tome from Tatsumi, the pioneer of the non-mainstream gekiga style of manga. Drawn & Quarterly already published the Harvey Award-winning Abandon the Old in Tokyo, The Push Man and Other Stories, and several more works from Tatsumi. Drawn & Quarterly is releasing A Drifting Life this spring, and a preview is available online.

The Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prizes commemorate the contributions of the manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka (Astro Boy/Mighty Atom, Kimba the White Lion/Jungle Emperor, Phoenix, Black Jack) by recognizing the manga that best follow his tradition. This year's nominating committee — which includes manga creator Gō Nagai, manga creator Keiko Takemiya, novelist Shion Miura, essayists, and university professors — selected from among the works that were published from January to December of 2008. The newspaper awards a 2-million-yen (about US$20,000) Manga Grand Prize to each of its winners. In addition, 1 million yen (US$10,000) goes to each of the winners of the New Artist Prize, Short Work Prize, and the Special Prize every year, although no Special Prize was announced this year. The actual awards presentation ceremony will take place on June 5.

Grand Prize

Ōoku: The Inner Chamber
Fumi Yoshinaga
To be released in North America by Viz Media

A Drifting Life (Gekiga Hyōryū)
Yoshihiro Tatsumi
Released in North America by Drawn & Quarterly

Short Work Prize

Saint Young Men
Hikaru Nakamura

New Artist Prize

Panorama-tō Kitan
Suehiro Maruo

Source: animeanime.jp

Update: Information about the winning titles added.

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