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Yu Takita

Biography | Yu Takita

Biography | Yu Takita

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Yu (Yusaku) Takita (1931-1990) was a Japanese mangaka who started as an apprentice to Suiho Tagawa (1949-50) and made his debut in 1952 (Manga Shonen / Gakudosha)

In 1956 he started drawing for 'Tokyo Manga Publishing' thus establishing his start as a full-time manga artist .
Introduced by the president of rental manga company 'Tokosha', he published 'Ashigaru' in 'Garo' (April 1967) - the avant-garde mangazine founded in 1964
A variety of works were published one after another (sometimes three works were published at once) such as the black humor 'Shizuku', in which the main character is a death row inmate
Around this time, he began drawing illustrations that expressed the characters' feelings and situations instead of the classic speech bubbles
For example; a Deba or Sushi knife when murderous intent, a train moving away from a person who is about to die, a station employee putting a "padlock' on a woman standing on the platform ... Objects like the Deba knife and the padlock became a major feature of Takita's work

Starting from december 1968 'Terajima Town Kitan' was serialized in 'Garo', a semi-autobiographical work based on his own childhood.
Influenced by Yoshiharu Tsuge's style, it expressed the author's inner self through detailed drawings and has since become one of his masterpieces
He gradually shifted his activities from mangazines to literary magazines leaving behind his rather simple drawing style and emphasizing more on shadows and drawing in detail across the entire page - At the same time, Takita's works became highly evaluated for it's literary quality. He started publishing more art books, illustrations for magazines, books, etc.

Although he had a friendly appearance and personality, he would suddenly become moody and even aggressive and often lose his temper. Being a big drinker caused some trouble but also a lot of detailed stories such as the one where he was found asleep in a garbage container after a night at Shinjuku's Golden Gai. The story is detailed in his book 'Doroninan Kanwa'.

Because his work transpired the atmosphere of the Showa era (1926-1989), he appeared a lot on TV and even in movies and this way he became familiar to not only his readers
His representative works include 'Terajimacho Kitan', 'My Showa Rhapsody', 'Yu Takita Rakugo Theater', 'Dokuinan Kanwa', 'Showa Yume Soshi', 'Grudge Theater', '100 Views of Grudge Bridge' and many more

On October 9, 1982, he collapsed at home due to a cerebral thrombosis. After a break, he returned to work, gave up drinking (which he loved) but the left side of his body remained paralyzed. He published essays, illustrations etc but he did not create manga strips anymore

He passed away, at the age of 58, on August 25 1990 due to liver failure.
His grave is at Sayama Lakeside Cemetery , Higashimurayama City , Tokyo.
In 1991 'My Tokyo Rhapsody' ( Futabasha ) was published. Before his death, while he was in the hospital, he revised and wrote postscripts to his works, and this is now a collection of his posthumous manuscripts

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