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Osamu Tezuka's Illustrations for Rakugo Actor Uncovered

posted on 2017-01-12 03:45 EST
Late rakugo actor's family discovered drawings in envelope

The family of the late rakugo actor Katsura Harudanji III discovered an envelope containing art by manga pioneer Osamu Tezuka last month. The envelope contains nine drawings that Tezuka drew during his student days to promote a traveling show by Katsura Harudanji II. Katsura Harudanji II and Tezuka lived close to each other when Tezuka stayed in Takarazuka as a student.

According to sociology professor Osamu Takeuchi, who has studied Tezuka's drawing style, Tezuka drew the pictures with ink brush and pen, but sketched the illustration with a pencil first. The final poster for the show differs slightly from the recently-found drawings. Tezuka Productions Co. holds a copy of the final poster.

Seven of the drawings were for the play "Akegarasu Yume no Awayuki," while the remaining two were for the classic rakugo act "Yadogae" and the "Kokkei Nininbaori" comedy performance.

Katsura Harudanji II passed away in 1953, while Katsura Harudanji III passed away last January.

Tezuka's eldest daugher Rumiko Tezuka previously found 200 illustrations in Tezuka's workplace in 2014, among other undisclosed works. Shinchosha's Shinchō literary magazine published 29 of those images based on the theme of "eroticism" in November.

Other manga drafts and images have been discovered since Tezuka's death. Manga creator Leiji Matsumoto (Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999) unveiled nine unpublished manuscript pages in 2013 from Tezuka's early years. A manga drawn by the creator when he was in his late teens was discovered in 2012 after a former middle school classmate of Tezuka's held on to it for over six decades.

Source: The Asahi Shimbun (Satoshi Yamazaki), Kyōdō Tsūshin 47 News


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