Japan's Top Anime People

Some of the people listed here already have extensive descriptions provided in wikipedia.  Rather than duplicate or try to compete against that, I instead will put a short description of each person or entity in along with a series of links to the wiki entries and to any youtube videos that may be available.  For some of the really early people, there are no existing films of their works.  Later creators are a lot easier to document.  Anyway, the idea here is not to start out making an encyclopedic "who's who", but rather to give you the option to learn more about anime history, and to make your own choices as to whose work to explore in more depth.

All of the below names, and some of the descriptions for the first year's winners, came from the Tokyo Anime Fair Awards program books.

Additional information can be found at my " A Look at Manga " pages.

June 25, 2009: Started adding entries for Merit award winners for 2006 and later.
June 12, 2009:
Created this knol, based on the 2005 TAF Award of Merit winners.

 1st Award

  2nd Award

  3rd Award

  4th Award

  5th Award

Winners of the First Award of Merit at the 2005 TAF.


Sumikazu Kouchi (1886-1970)


Kouichi opened his own movie studio in 1916, and produced his first film "Hanawa Hekonai meito 'shinto no maki'", in June, 1917.  Due to financial problems, he abandoned animation to work on newspaper cartoons until 1923.  He was then asked to produce political cartoons, which he did until 1930.  He then created "Chongire Hebi", and aftewards left animation all together.  Kouichi is thus recognized as one of the "fathers of animation".


Nakamura Katana (1917)
Reuters Article


Seitaro Kitayama (1888-1945)


Starting out as a subtitle writer for Nikattsu studios, Seitaro suggested that they produce domestic animation, and then studied foreign films to learn the techniques.  His first work was "Saru Kan Gassen", based on a Japanese folktale, released May, 1917.  This made him the second person to have a movie in the theaters, following Hekoten.  He was also the first to create an animated PR film (Chokin no susume, for the Postal Agency's Savings Bureau). He formed his own studio in 1921, but it was destroyed in the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923.  He then left Tokyo and moved to Osaka, where he was in charge of shooting newsreels. 


Mention in the History of Anime
Reuters Article


Hekoten Shimokawa (1892-1973)


Shimokawa started out as a cartoonist, and was asked by Tenkatsu Films to produce animated films for them.  He agreed, then had to figure out on his own how to do this.  "Imokawa Mukuzo Genkanban no Maki" was thus the first animated film to hit the theaters, in January, 1917.  His second film, "Dekoboko Shingacho, Meian no Shippai", came out in February.  He wrote a commentary on talking animation production methods, published in 1943 by Kobunsha.




Yasuji Murata (1896-1966)


Murata started out at a company producing educational films as subtitler, and the same company was commissioned by the American Bray Studios to write its subtitles.  Murata got interested in animation at this time, and developed a motor that could be mounted to hand-cranked cameras to advance the film more consistently. This equipment was used in the making of "Kaeru wa Kaeru" (1928). Meanwhile, Murata became a master at making paper cutout animation, and his "Tsukinomiya no Ojo-sama", 1934, is considered to be the best paper cutout animation of all time.  He has 26 films to his credit.


Oira no Yakyu (1931)


Sanae Yamamoto (1898-1981)


Sanae started at Nikkatsu when they began production of animated films, then left to start his own company, Yamamoto Manga Seisakujo, in 1925.  His first film was "Obasute-yama", 1925, followed by "Tsubo".  He produced training films for the military during WW II, then went on to become Studio Vice-Chief under Hiroshi Ohkawa , at the Toei Doga Studio.  In 1958, he produced Japan's first color animated feature film, "The White Snake Enchantress".


Mention in the History of Anime
Wanpaku Ouji no Orochi Taiji (wiki entry only)
Gulliver's Travels Beyond the Moon (wiki entry only)


Kenzo Masaoka (1898-1988)


While working at Nikkatsu in Kyoto, Kenzo produced "Nansensu Monogatari, Dai-ippen, Sarugashima", (1930).  He founded Masaoka Eiga Seisakusho in 1931 and released Japan's first talking animated film, "Madamu no Nyobo" in 1932.  He built a new studio in Kyoto, Masaoka Eiga Bijutsu Kenkyujo, and made the shift from paper cutout animation to cels, with "Chagama Ondo" (1934).  He is known for the first talkie anime, as one of the first to fully use cel animation, and as the mentor of several talented animators.  His "The Spider and Tulip" (1943) is considered to be one of Japan's greatest masterpieces.


Chikara to Onna no Yo no Naka (wiki entry only)
The Spider and Tulip (1943)
Suteneko Tora-chan (1947)


Noburo Ofuji (1900-1961)


Sickly as a child, and given a camera as a gift by his sister, Noburo explored film from a young age and opened "Jiyu Eiga Kenkyusho" in 1925.  His first film, "Bagudajo no Tozoku" (1926) was a parody of the American "Thief of Bagdad", and used Edo Chiyo paper for the cutouts.  Because film was still only black and white at the time, the fabled colors of the paper were lost in shooting.  The shadowgraph techniques in "Whale" (1927) were reportedly inspired by Germany's "The Caliph's Crane" (1924) and was Japan's first record-style talkie.  He received an award from the Venice Children's Film Festival for "The Fantom Ship" (1956) and the Ofuji Award of the Mainichi Film Concours is named after him.


Mention in the History of Anime
IMDB entry
The Routing of the Tengu (1934)


Ryuichi Yokoyama (1909-2001)


Ryuichi started out as a researcher at PCL (the Photo Chemical Lab, now Toho) and later became a cartoonist with "Edokko-Kenchan" running in the Asahi newspaper.  After a few name changes, the strip became "Fuku-chan".  He self-directed the animated "Yoshi no Fuku-chan", but he was not certified as a director so Isoji Sekiya is named in the credits.  With a staff of 6 people, he created the 25-minute silent "Onbu Obake" (1955) on the second floor of his house.  It was later remade as a TV anime.  His studio was formally established in 1956 as Otogi Productions.  He created the first domestically produced anime TV program, the 1 minute "History Calendar".  The Ryuichi Yokoyama Memorial Museum opened in Kochi in 2002.


Otogi Manga Calendar (wiki entry only)
TV special on the Yokoyama Museum


Tadahito Mochinaga (1919-1999)


Tadahito was both a puppet- and cel-based animator who moved to Manchuria to escape the constant air raids in 1945.  He was in charge of the backgrounds and image composition on Japan's first full-length film, "Momo-taro no Umiwashi" (1941), and he built the country's first 4-tier multi-plane camera stand.  After the war, he stayed in Manchuria to train local youths as animation staff members.  Using the name "Tsuyon", he produced China's first puppet animated film "Huang di Meng" (1947).  In 1957, he founded Ningyo Eiga Seisakusho in Japan, and he partnered with Arthur Rankin, Jr., and Videocraft International to produce 130 5-minute films for "The New Adventures of Pinocchio", although he left the company after the 1967 "Mad Monster Party".


IMDB entry
Article in the Animation World Magazine


Mori Yasuji (1925-1992)


Where most animators focused on "just drawing pictures", Mori's goal was to "depict the movements of the hearts of the characters".  He applied to Nihon Doga-sha, then led by Kenzo Masaoka , where his first job was coloring "Tora-chan to Hanayome" (1948).  After Nihon Doga-sha acquired Toei Doga (present day Toei Animation), he colored "The Snake Enchantress" (1958) and "Koneko no Rakugaki" (1957).  He then created the character "Hilda" for "Little North Prince Valiant" (1968).  He continued to work as a character animator until his death at age 68, and is considered to have been a major influence on other directors, including Studio Ghibli's Miyazaki Hayao.


Future Boy Conan (key animator, wiki only)
The Tale of the White Serpent (wiki only)


Hiroshi Ohkawa (1896-1971)


Following the end of WW II, three failing movie studios merged to create Toei, and Hiroshi assumed its presidency.  He proceeded to turn Toei into the top company in the industry, and formed Toei Doga, the animation arm.  He sent Koichi Akagawa and Yasuji Yabushita to the U.S. to study western techniques.  Under his guidance, Toei Doga produced "The White Snake Enchantress" (1958), "The Adventure of the Little Samurai" (1959), "Enchanted Monkey" (1960), "Cyborg 009" (1966) and "Little North Prince Valiant" (1968).  For these efforts, he was awarded for his contributions to the anime industry.


The Tale of the White Serpent (wiki only)
Wanpaku Ouji no Orochi Taiji (wiki only)


Tomio Sagisu (1921-2004)


Sagisu was one of the few people to put his stamp on anime, manga as well as special effects.  He started out doing line drawings for live action films, then after WW II began drawing manga for rental books (AKA: akahon).  A commission to do background cleanup on "The Adventure of the Little Samurai" (1959, Toei Doga) started him off on an animation career.  He later bought an animation stand and formed P Production in 1960.  Initially, P Production sub-contracted work on cultural films, and produced the composite animation for the 71mm film "Shaka" (1961), winning the 1961 Blue Ribbon Special Effects Category Award.  He then created the "Zerosen Hayato" TV series (1964), and the combined live-action/special effects TV series "Ambassador Magma" (based on Tezuka's original manga).  Sagisu was Osamu Tezuka's long-time friend and rival.


P Productions (wiki entry only)
IMDB entry
Magnum Ambassador Opening


Yutaka Fujioka (1927-1996)


Anime film producer, founder of Tokyo Movie and pioneer of Japan's efforts to break into the overseas markets.  Fujioka worked both as a booking manager for a touring puppet theater as well as one of the puppeteers.  After establishing Tokyo Movie, he attracted top talent away from the other studios, including Toei and Tezuka's Mushi studio.  He then created a subdivision called A Productions, such that Tokyo Movie would do management and planning, while all of the actual production would be contracted to A Productions.  He produced "The Star of the Giants" TV series (1968-1971), the first "Lupin the 3rd" series (1971-1972) and then proceeded to create his own feature film, "Little Nemo in Slumberland" (1989, based on the cartoons of Windsor McKay).


IMDB entry
Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland (wiki only)
Ulisse 31 (1981)


Osamu Tezuka (1928-1989)


Tezuka is easily one of the most recognized names in anime and manga, having created the first full 30-minute black and white TV anime series (Astro Boy), and the first 30-minute color TV anime series (Kimba).  He gave the world "Astro Boy" (1963-66), "Kimba the White Lion" (1965), "Black Jack", and "The Phoenix", among others.  He is credited with producing 150,000 original drawings. He started out at Toei Doga working on "Enchanted Monkey" (1960) before forming his own Mushi Productions.  Feature films include "Phoenix 2772" and "Pictures at an Exhibition" (based on Mussorgsky's music).  He also produced films for Nippon Television's "24 Hour Book", starting with One Million-Year Trip: Bander Book" (1978).


Broke Down Film (1985)
Interview (1983)
Video Biography


Tatsuo Yoshida (1932-1977)


Tatsuo's primary interest and background was in the graphic arts, both as a cartoonist and a book illustrator.  However, as the founder of Tatsunoko Productions, he was involved in the production of 25 animated TV films.  His company was fully staffed with top talent for all stages of anime production, from planning to coloring, shooting to editing.  Thus, not only did Tatsunoko produce some of the best works of the time, but also nurtured up and coming staff members.  Works included "Maha GoGoGo" (1967), "Gatchaman" (1972-74), "Time Boken" (1975-76) and "Neo-Human Casshan" (1973-74).


Maha Gogogo Opening
Ninja Butai Gekko


Machiko Hasegawa (1920-1992)


The only woman to receive the first set of Merit Awards, Machiko is also one of the few people in the list to be known for one single series.  In this case, it's " Sazae-san ".  Her true mark to fame is having one of the longest-running anime on Japanese TV.  First airing in 1969, "Sazae-san" is still being broadcast on Sunday evenings.  She opened the Hasegawa Machiko Museum of Art in 1985 as a way to publicly display her collection of works from other artists.  What's less well-known is that she also created "Ijiwaru Basan", which was animated and aired from 1970 to 71, and again from 96-97.


Sazae-san: Kiki Roku


Fujiko F. Fujio (1933-1996)


Growing up as a fan of anime, manga and SF, Fujio F. started drawing his own "SF manga".  But, in his words, SF meant "sukoshi fushigi" (slightly strange).  He founded Studio Zero, and went on to create "Obake Q-taro" (1965-67), "Paman" (1967) and "Doraemon" (1979-present).  "Doraemon" is by far the most famous of his titles and is still enjoying a strong audience today.  In fact, Fujio F. started out as Hiroshi Fujimoto.  Together with Moto Abiko they formed the duo under the pen name Fujio Fujiko.  The two eventually split up in the 1980's, with Hiroshi using the name "Fujiko F", and Abiko as " Fujio A ".


Chinpui , Ep. 1


Mitsuteru Yokoyama (1934-2004)


It's safe to say that Mitsuteru single-handedly created the giant roboto genre.  His first work was "Tetsujin-28" and it ran in "Shonen" magazine along with Tezuka's "Astro Boy".  TCJ (now Eiken) turned it into an anime TV series 1963.  Later, "Sally, the Witch" (1966-68, by Toei Doga) gave rise to the phrase "magical girls".  "Tetsujin-28" was re-released as a TV series in 2004, and as a live-action film.


Romance of the Three Kingdoms
Giant Robo (live action)


Ikki Kajiwara (1936-1987)


Ikki was a manga artist whose creations were turned into anime TV series and movies by other studios.  However, the mass of his works make him easily recognizable, and other manga artists work his techniques and gimmicks into their own stories as jokes or tributes.  His titles include "Champion Futoshi", "The Star of the Giants", "Tiger Mask" and "Tomorrow's Joe" (Ashita no Jo-).


Ashita no Joe , Opening
Tiger Mask , Opening


Shotaro Ishinomori (1938-1998)


Invited to Tokyo to join Tezuka's animation staff on the production of "Enchanted Monkey" (1960), Shotaro left after only 1 month because the work schedule took him away from the production of his own manga.  He co-founded Studio Zero with Fujio and Shinichi Suzuki, and he became the company's president 7 years later.  He's best known for "Cyborg 009", released as 3 different movies and TV series.  "Cyborg 009" was the first animated "hero team" and established the genre for later live action series.  "Kamen Rider" gave birth to the "shape-changing pose superhero" (Ala Ultraman).  His hometown in Miyagi prefecture has two museums named after him: the Ishinomori Shotaro Mangattan Museum , and the Ishinomori Shotaro Memorial Museum .


Cyborg 009 (color)
Cyborg 009 (B&W)

Notes: Digital Meme offers a 4 DVD set titled " Japanese Anime Classic Collection " that contains several works of some of the people listed above.

Winners of the Second Award of Merit at the 2006 TAF.

Note here that the awards aren't necessarily posthumous.  Names are listed in order of birth.  There's still a problem of certain people having almost no information on them on the net, in English or Japanese.


Taiji Yabushita (1903-1986)


According to IMDB, Taiji worked as an animator and inbetweener up until WW II.  Afterwards, he started working as a director and producer.  He co-directed "The Animals Play Baseball" (1949).  Later, his company was purchased by Toei, and he then worked as the director on "White Snake Enchantress" (1958) , and later directed, or co-directed, 8 other full-length films, plus the short "A Million Years in the Life of Men".  He left Toei in 1968.  He also wrote for two documentary films called "The History of Animation" (1972-73).


IMDB entry


Mitsuyo Seo (1911 - )


Also from IMDB, Seo started as the assistant to Kenzo Masaoka, directing several animated shorts in the "Monkey Sankichi" series, from 1933 to 1935.  He then left to work on his own, producing short films for the "Norakuro" talkies.  During WW II, the Imperial Navy commissioned the country's first medium-length film, "Momotaro's Sea Eagles" (1943), and "Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors" (1945), with Seo directing.


IMDB entry


Yoji Kuri (1928 - )


Little is written on Yoji in English.  He's credited as the director of the award-winning "Love" (1964, Silver Dragon from the Krakow Film Festival) and  "Nihiki no Sanma" (1968, Ofuji Noburo Award from the Mainichi Film Concours).  He's also credited as an animator on "Fuyu no Hi" (AKA: Winter Days, 2003).


IMDB entry


Tadanari Okamoto (1932-1990)


Initially studying law, Okamoto graduated from Osaka University then went on to become a businessman.  However, he was interested in movie production, and entered the art department at Nihon University, where he studied film.  Impressed by the puppet films of Czech director K. Zeman, he joined MOM Productions with Rankin and Bass and worked on programs for them for American TV.  He founded Echo studio in 1964, where he worked as a producer and director.  He liked working with a variety of styles, from puppets and paper cutouts to relief puppets and cels.  "Magic Medicine" (1989) won the Ofuji award.  He was given the Mobil prize in 1989 for his contributions to the field of animation.  He also directed "Mizu no Tane" and "Nanmu Ichibyou Sokusai".


IMDB entry


Renzo Kinoshita (1936-1997)


Independent animator, founder of the ASIFA (International Animated Film Association) Japan group, and, along with his wife, Sayoko, founder of the Hiroshima Animation Festival .  He worked for about 1 year at Tezuka's Mushi Productions on "Astro Boy" before setting off as an independent.  While he did a number of self-financed short films, he made ends meet by taking on work for commercials.  He is known for creating the "Uncle Geba Geba" animation edited in with a live-action comedian on the "Geba Geba" show (1965), and he also made "Made in Japan", "Japonese" (1977), "Picadon" (1978) and "The Last Air Raid Kumagaya" (1993).  (Most of the information here came from an Animation World Magazine article .)


IMDB entry


Daikichirou Kusube (1934-2005)


According to IMDB, Kusube started as an animator for Toei Animation Film Production in the 1950's, moved up to direct the "Boy Ninja Fujimaru" TV series in 1964, and then left to join A Productions.  There, he directed "Ghost Q-taro", "Pa-Man" and "Star of the Giants" (1968-71). A Productions became Shin-Ei Animation Company in the 1970's and Daikichirou became the Supervisor Director, starting with "Doraemon" (1979).  Note that in other sources Kusube is listed as founder and president of Shin-Ei.


IMDB entry
wiki entry on Isao Takahata


Seiichiro Uno (1927 - )


Uno is another member of the anime community that has almost no information on him in English online.  He's mentioned in one review of "Puss 'n Boots" (1969) as having scored many of Toei's animated films.  His first credits on IMDB are as the composer for "Tokyo Yoitoko" (1957), and they continue up to "Kokugo Gannen" (1985).  He composed the score for for "Omoide Poro Poro" (1991) for Studio Ghibli, and he appeared in an interview on one episode of "Premium 10".


IMDB entry
DVD Talk Review on "Puss 'n Boots"


Hisashi Inoue (1934 - )


According to wikipedia, Hisashi was orphaned at age 4, then later graduated from Sophia University, after which he worked in radio before moving on to writing stage plays.  His first was "Nihonjin no Heso" (1969).  He won the 67th Naoki Prize in 1972 for his novel, "Tegusari Shinju". He started the Komatsuza theatrical troupe, which performed his own plays based on the works of Meiji era writers Ishikawa Takuboku and Higuchi Ichiyo.  IMDB credits him with writing "Puss 'n Boots" (1969) and providing the lyrics for the "Himitsu no Akko-chan" anime TV series (1969 and 1988).  The article on him in Time magazine states that he established himself as a TV script and gag writer, while Anime Vice claims that he wrote for the Moomins series.


IMDB entry


Morihisa Yamamoto (1934-1978)


Morihisa is credited on IMDB as having written the lyrics for "Himitsu no Akko-chan (1969 and 1988), as well as being one of the writers for "Puss 'n Boots" (1969) and "Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves" (1971).  The Japanese wiki gives him co-writer credits for "Hyokkori Hyoutan-jima", "Dekiru ka na" and "Mama to Asobou! Pin Pon Pan", among others.


IMDB entry


Mari Shimizu (1937 - )


Mari voiced "Atom" in the original "Astro Boy" TV series (1963), as well as for "Shin Tetsuwan Atom" (1980).  She was also featured in "Wanpaku Tanteidan" (1968), "Takarajima" (1978) and "Shiryo no Wana" ("Evil Dead Trap", 1988).


IMDB entry
Mari Shimizu's Official homepage


Kamitakada Junior Chorus


The only mention of the Kamitakada Junior Chorus in English is from a review on Sequential Tart of the 2005 TAF , in which they're described as a "children's chorus linked with 40 anime theme songs".  As "Kamitakada Shounen Gasshoudan", they show up mostly in the credits for "Astro Boy".  The Japanese wiki credits them with "Wanpaku Tanteidan", "Tetsujin 28-go", "Boy Inventor King" (Shonen Hatsumei Oh), "Magma Ambassador" and "Pirate Prince" (Kaizoku Ohji).  Here, they're described as a "Tokyo-based children's choir group that performed from the 1950's to the first half of 1970, singing the themes for many anime and live-action TV shows".



Winners of the Third Award of Merit at the 2007 TAF.

Note here that the awards aren't necessarily posthumous.  Names are listed in order of birth.  There's still a problem of certain people having almost no information on them on the net, in English or Japanese.


Kazugorou Arai (1907-1995)

There is almost nothing on Arai in either English or Japanese. Most of the hits are reviews or references to two of his short films - "Kaguya Hime" (1942) and "Nippon Banzai" (1943).  "Nippon Banzai" is a war propaganda 10 minute short film.  IMDB lists Arai as the director and writer for "Kaguya Hime", "Matchi uri no shojo" (Little Match Girl, 1947) and "Jack to mamenoki" (Jack and the Beanstalk, 1941).  He's listed as an animator on "Yashinomi" (Coconut, 1947), and a "silhouette worker" on "Nippon Banzai".

IMDB entry


Chiaki Imada (1923-2006)

A long-time producer at Toei Doga, Chiaki is credited with producing "Rokudenashi Blues" (1992), several Dragon Ball Z movies, "Kin no Tori" (The Golden Bird, 1987), "Saint Seiya" (1986), the "Candy Candy" TV series (1976) and "Getta Robo" (1975), among many other series and movies.  He's given as Chief Executive Director on "Fist of the North Star" (1986).

IMDB entry


Kihachirou Kawamoto (1925 - )

According to wikipedia, Kihachirou designed and made puppets, as well as directed, wrote and animated independent stop-motion films.  He was also the president of the Japan Animation Association from 1989, following Osamu Tezuka .  In Japan, he's best known for the puppets he made for the TV series version of "The Romance of the Three Kingdoms".  Overseas, it's for his stop-motion work.  His films "Tabi" (1973) and "Shijin no Shogai" (1974) were made using paper cutouts, while the French-language "antropo-cynique" (1970) is mixed media.  He studied under Tadahito Mochinaga , then co-founded Shiba Productions in 1958.  In 1963, he studied under Jiri Trnka for one year in the Prague, and after that is when he started gaining popularity.  His feature films include "Rennyo and his Mother" (1981), "Winter Days" (2003) and "The Book of the Dead" (2005).


Masao Kumakawa (1916 - 2008)

Masao has a lot of material written up on his home page, but it's all in Japanese, and almost nothing has filtered out to other Japanese or English websites.  The timeline on his site alone is worth gold.  Anyway, Masao is due recognition for the time he's been involved with anime, if nothing else.  According to IMDB, Masao provided drawings for "Kuroi Kikori to Shiroi Kikori" (1956) and "Suzume no Oyado" (1936); he did the backgrounds for "Hana to cho" (1954); he directed "Kangarru no Tanjobi" (1941), "Maho no Pen" (1946) and ""Tanuki-san Ooatari" (1959) and either animated or worked as the animation director on one episode of "Maho-tsukai Sally" (1967), "Wan wan Chushingaru (1963), "Wanpaku ooji no Orochi Taiji" (1963) and "Saiyu-ki" (1960).

IMDB entry


Reiji Koyama

Reiji has little written up in English or Japanese.  According to IMDB, he's credited as the art director on "Shonen Jack to Maho-tsukai" (Jack and the Witch, 1967), episodes of "Maho Tsukai Sally" (1966), and "Wanpaku ooji no Orochi Taiji" (1963).

IMDB entry


Yusaku Sakamoto

According to Anipages , Yusaku was "one of the leading animators" at Tezuka's Mushi Pro studio, where he co-directed "Tale of a Street Corner" with Eiichi Yamamoto, although he first started out at Toei.  He's credited on TV.com as one of the animators on one episode of the American "Darkwing Duck" series (1991).  IMDB credits him as an inbetweener on "Hakuja den" (1958).  Answers.com credits him as an animator on "Legend of the White Snake" (AKA: White Snake Enchantress, AKA Hakuja Den, 1958).

IMDB entry


Yugo Serikawa (1931-2000)

According to IMDB, Yugo worked as an assistant director on live action films for Shin-Toho before joining Toei Doga in 1961.  His first film as director was "Wanpaku ooji no Orochi Taiji" (1963).  From that, he went on to direct over 20 other TV series for Toei, including "Cyborg 009" (1966-67), "Maho Tsukai Sally" (1967-68), "Maho no Makko-chan" (1970-71) and "SF Saiyuki Starzinger" (1979).

IMDB entry


Akira Daikuhara (1917 - )

Animator for Toei.  According to IMDB, Akira worked either as an animator,
key animator or animation director on "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" (1971), "Wanwan Chushingura" (1963), "Saiyu-ki" (1960) and "Hakuja Den" (White Snake Enchantress, 1958).  He also directed "Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves" and "Shonen Sarutobi Sasuke" (1959).

IMDB entry


Masaki Tsuji (1932 - )

A scenerio writer for Toei, Mushi and Tokyo Movie Shinsha, Masaki worked
on a variety of TV series, films and even mystery novels.  According to wikipedia, he was primarily active from the 1960's to the 80's, contributing to "Astro Boy", "Devilman", "Cutey Honey", "Jungle Emperor Kimba", "Gegege no Kitaro", "Sally the Witch", "Dr. Slump" and "Urusei Yatsura".

Official homepage
IMDB entry


Hideo Furusawa (1920 - )

Yet another person with little biographical information on them online in either Japanese or English.  IMDB lists Hideo as an animator, illustrator, cinematographer and animation director.  His credits include "Kintaro Taiku Nikki" (cinematographer, 1940), "Ukare Violin" (original drawings, 1955), "Kappa Kawataro" (drawings, 1956), "Hana no ko Lun Lun" (director, 1979), "Fairy Princess Minky Momo" (director, 1982) and "Jack and the Beanstalk" (animator, 1967).

IMDB entry


Takamura Mukuo (1938-1992)

According to anido.com , Takamura was a background artist, having studied western painting at the Musashino Art University and graduating in 1963.  He started at Tokyo Movie Studo, then later formed his own Mukuo Group and Mukuo Studio in 1968.  He won all five Grand Prix awards for the art category organized by Tokuma-Shoten publishing during the 5 years the contest was held.  He worked as Art Director for Toei Animation Studio, Nippon Animation Co., and Mad House.  IMDB credits him with "A Dog of Flanders" (1975), "Galaxy Express 999" (1979), "Sayonara, Galaxy Express 999" (1981), "Harmagedon, Genma Taisen" (1983), "Hi no Tori: Hou-ou Hen" (1986) and "A Roadside Stone, Parts 1 and 2" (1994).

IMDB entry


Kouichi Murata (1939-2006)

AAA Anime identified Kouichi as a key animator, animator and executive producer.  Along with 3 other animators, he co-founded Oh! Production (sometimes known as Oh! Pro).  He's credited with "Panda Kopanda" (key animator, 1972), "Anne of Green Gables" (animator, 1979), "Serohiki no Goshu" (executive producer, 1982), "Lupin III, the Mystery of Mamo" (animator, 1978) and "Future Boy Conan" (animator, 1978).

IMDB entry

ドラエモン(旧) 声優チーム

Doraemon Former Voice Actor Team

This one is a little difficult to categorize.  The "Doraemon" TV series first aired on NTV in 1973, running for 26 episodes, from TMS Entertainment.  Later, it started again in 1979 and lasted until 2005, on TV Asahi, by Shin Ei Animation.  A third series was launched in 2005, again for TV Asahi, but this time by Studio Pierrot.  The "Doraemon" cast list for the 1979-2005 run remained pretty much unchanged for all 1787 episodes.  The full list can be found on the wiki page. A number of the actors also appeared in other series, including "Sazae-san", "Maha Gogogo" and "Time Bokan".

Winners of the Fourth Award of Merit at the 2008 TAF.

Note here that the awards aren't necessarily posthumous.  Names are listed in order of birth.  There's still a problem of certain people having almost no information on them on the net, in English or Japanese.


Yasuo Ootsuka (1931 - )

Animator for Toei Animation and Studio Ghibli.  Originally, he worked for the Kanto-area drug enforcement office, where he was introduced to both the Baretta and Colt Government pistols.  These pistols, plus the trains that he drew as a child, would work their way into his animation.  He had limited success as a cartoonist leading up to entering the drug enforcement office.  He later suffered from tuberculosis and needed to be hospitalized.  After recovering, he applied to, and was accepted at Nihon Douga (later, Toei Animation) where he worked as an animator, and mentored both Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki.  He was the animation director on "Lupin III: Castle Cagliostro" (1979), and the character designer for "Moomin" (1969), the Lupin III TV series (1971), "Future Boy Conan" (1978) and "Jarinko Chie" (1981-1983).

IMDB entry


Tatsumasa Shimizu (1934-?)

Not all contributors to the anime industry are animators, artists, directors, producers or voice actors.  They also include the cameramen and directors of photography.  One such was Tatsumasa, who shot "Astro Boy" (1963-64), "Jungle Emperor" (1965), "Moomin" (1971) and "Tensai Bakabon" (1972). 

Animemorial article


Atsumi Tashiro (1940 - )

Another under-represented field is "sound".  Atsumi worked in the sound department, including as the recording director and sound director on "Moomin" (1971), "To-Y" (1987), "Astro Boy" (1964), "Panda Kopanda" (1973) and "Spring and Chaos" (1996).  He also apparently co-founded Group TAC Animation Studio, where he was the current president (as of the summer of 2009).

IMDB entry


Jinzou Toriumi (1928-2008)

Screen writer.  According to wikipedia, Jinzou started out writing for live action films at Nikkatsu, then moved to Mushi Productions where he wrote the scripts for "Astro Boy" in 1964.  For Tatsunoko Productions, he wrote for "Casshern" "Tekkaman" and "Time Bokan".  At Sunrise, it was "Armored Trooper VOTOMS", "Yoroiden Samurai Troopers" and "Mister Ajikko".  He wrote "The Introduction to Anime Scriptwriting", which he taught from as a vocational school teacher.  He chaired the Ohtori Koubou support organization for scriptwriters, and received the 2000 Scriptwriting Award from the Japan Writers Guild.

IMDB entry


Hidenori Murata

Hidenori is listed as the chairman of Eiken Co., Ltd., the company that produces the "Sazae-san" TV series, as well as films such as "Tetsujin-28", "Captain" and "Norakuro".  They co-produced "Mother Goose" and "The Dagger of Kamui".  Asatsu-DK, Inc., acquired a 70% stake in Eiken in 2002, and 10% was acquired by Fuji TV.

The Associations of Japanese Animations wiki entry
ADK announcement


Takashi Yanase (1919 - )

Creator of the popular " Anpanman " children's series in 1968.  According to wikipedia, he also wrote for  the anime "Yasashii Lion" (1970), "Chiisana Jumbo" (1977) and "Ringing Bell" (1978).

IMDB entry
Official Anpanman homepage


Takeo Watanabe (1933-1989)

According to the Geocities obit , Takeo was born in 1933, and died in 1989 from cancer.  He studied music in Paris, and produced a number of compositions for various anime studios, including Toei Animation.  Titles include: various "Gundam" films, "Fugitive Samurai" (1984), "Candy Candy", "Maho no Makko-chan" (1970-71) and "Tomei-tengu" (1960).

IMDB entry

コロムビアミュージックエンタテインメント株式会社 (旧:日本コロムビア株式会社)

Columbia Music Entertainment Co.
        Formerly Nihon Columbia Company

Not much is mentioned on the net regarding Columbia's ties to anime.  The obvious, though, is that as Nihon Columbia, the company sold music and record players, which would have been used at theaters prior to the introduction of sound film.  They introduced the first LP record to Japan in 1951.  All of the information here comes from Columbia's own History page .

Official Columbia Music Entertainment home page

太陽色彩株式 会社

Taiyou Paint Company

Maker of cel paints.  According to an article on EX.org , Taiyou produces 327 commonly used paints, but they have over 1000 listed in their catalog.  Taiyou is probably one of the most successful cel paint companies in Japan, and one of the most-used.

Winners of the Fifth Award of Merit at the 2009 TAF.

Note here that the awards aren't necessarily posthumous.  Names are listed in order of birth.  There's still a problem of certain people having almost no information on them on the net, in English or Japanese.


Fujio Akatsuka (1935-2008)

The manga artist who created the long-running "Tensai Bakabon", as well as "Osomatsu-kun " and "Himitsu no Akko-chan".  All three titles were turned into TV series.  Fujio was born in Manchuria, China, but he grew up in Japan.  At age 19, he moved to Tokyo.  He drew manga while working at a chemical factory, and succeeded at getting a contract to draw shojo manga.  With "Nama-chan" (1958) he gained popularity as a gag artist, but he is probably best known for "Tensai Bakabon".  According to the wiki entry, his influences included Buster Keaton and MAD magazine. He was also a friend of Tezuka's and many of Tezuka's assistants during the 1950's, including Fujiko Fujo and Shotaro Ishnomori .

IMDB entry


Matsuo Ono (1930 - )

According to Julian Cope , Matsuo is an experimental electronic composer who provided the sound track for the "Astro Boy" TV series.  He performed at a 2009 Summer concert in Tokyo .


Shichiro Kobayashi (1932 - )

Art director on a number of anime movies and TV series, including "Tokyo Marble Chocolate" (2007), the "Revolutionary Girl Utena" movie (1999), various episodes of "Kimagure Orange Road" (1987), "Lupin III: The Fuma Conspiracy" (1987) and "Lupin III: Castle Cagliostro" (1979), "Ace o Narae" (1973) and "Angel's Egg" (1985).

IMDB entry


Kazuo Komatsubara (1943-2000)

According to wikipedia, Kazuo was an independent character designer and animator who contracted with Toei Animation in the 70's and 80's, and was a co-founder of Oh! Productions, as well as a board member.  He worked on "Devilman" (1972), "Cutey Honey" (1973), "Getter Robo" (1974), "Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind" (1984), "Arcadia of My Youth" (1982) and "Sayonara Galaxy Express 999" (1981).

IMDB entry


Hiroshi Sasagawa (1936 - )

Co-creator of "Time Bokan" (along with Ippei Kuri, Mitsuki Nakamura and Yoshitaka Amano), and worked on "Tensai Bakabon" (1967), "Science Ninja Team Gatchaman" (1972) and "Speed Racer X" (1997), among other titles for Tatsunoko Production.

IMDB entry


Tatsuo Takai

IMDB credits Tatsuo as the composer for "Astro Boy" (1963-64), and Tezuka's "Story of a Certain Street Corner" (1962).  Little else is available on him in English.

IMDB entry


Fujiko Fujio (A)   (1934 - )

According to wikipedia, Fujiko Fujio was the pen name for two  friends who first started writing manga together in 1952 under the name "Ashizuka Fujio" - Hiroshi Fujimoto and Motoo Abiko.  Later, Fujimoto went by the name Fujiko F. Fujio , and Abiko as Fujiko A. Fujio.  As Fujiko Fujio, the pair created and contributed to "Doraemon".  In 1987 they went separate ways, with Abiko creating "Ninja Hattori-kun" (1964-68, 1981-88), "Warau Salesman" (Smiling Salesman, 1968-71, 1989-96), "Pro Golfer Saru" (1974-80, 1982-88, 1989, 1999-2005) and "Shonen Jidai" (1978-79). 

IMDB entry


Takaharu Bessho (1934-2006)

There is very little information on Bessho in English. The only immediately-available data is a mention in the SF TV Encyclopedia , listing him as both the supervisor and co-producer of P Production's "Spectreman", a live action special effects show.  The Japanese wikipedia entry gives more detail, listing him as a producer at Fuji Television, and credits him with a string of anime and live-action titles, including: "Sazae-san", "UFO Robo Grandaiser", "Ashita no Joe", "Getta Robo", "Galaxy Express 999", "Astro Boy", "Mazinger Z", "Spectreman" and "Mirror Man", among many others.


Jyoji Yanami (1931 - )

Also spelled "Jouji", he was born "Shitaro Shigemitsu", according to the wiki entry.  He's a well-known, established voice actor who played the narrator on all versions of "Dragon Ball", Totosai in "Inuyasha", Chuuta Ban in "Star of the Giants", various characters in "Time Bokan", Professor Yumi in "Mazinger Z", Gun Fall and Boodle in "One Piece", Harumaki in "Ranma 1/2" and Pochi in "Devilman".  He's also worked as a dub actor for foreign movies imported to Japan, such as "Cars" (Fillmore) and "The Little Mermaid" (Grimsby).

IMDB entry