Gajo Sakamoto

牙城 阪本

(1895 - 1973) Birth place: Itsukaichi-shi, Nishitama-gun (present-day Akiruno-shi), Tokyo. In January 1934, he started the serialization of Tank Tankuro in Yonen Club (from the Dainippon Yubenkai Kodansha publishing company), which made him a popular artist. In 1939, Sakamoto served as a part-time employee for the government’s public relations department in Manchuria (Northeastern part of China) but returned home a year after Japan's defeat. After his return, he continued his active career as a manga artist, working 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 or nan-ga (ink-and-wash painting) and studied Zen Buddhism. In 1956, the same year as the marriage of his first daughter, 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. He died on August 8, 1973, at 77 years of age.