If the girls populating the illustrations of Kaechang, with their long limbs and large hands, their small heads and big eyes, remind you of Osamu Tezuka, the resemblance is not a coincidence. The so-called "Father of Manga" who created Astro Boy, Kimba the White Lion, Blackjack and Phoenix was Kaechang's original inspiration when she began drawing in her childhood years. Born in Yokohama in 1995, she graduated from Department of Information Design of Tama Art University.

Since 2010, Kaechang has been actively uploading her illustrations on Tumblr and her influence has spread through social media.

We interviewed Kaechang to learn a bit more about her artwork and her vision:


grape Japan (gJ): When did you begin drawing?

Kaechang: My parents took me to museums from a young age, so I began drawing in my childhood.

gJ: And when did you really get started as an artist?

Kaechang: I think I could say that my artistic activities really began when I became a college student.

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

gJ: Can you talk about the way Osamu Tezuka influenced you?

Kaechang: Osamu Tezuka taught me how to expand my range when it comes to ways of drawing hands.

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

gJ: The figures in your illustrations are characterized by long limbs but particularly the hands have a strong presence. Do you have a reason or motivation for this style?

Kaechang: I’m not good at drawing hands and I have a complex about my own. So, in order to make sense of all that, I ended up drawing hands in this way.

With permission from Kaechang

gJ: What seem to be spirits, monsters and zombies often appear in your illustrations in close physical proximity to the girls, either clinging to them, holding them or biting them. Is there are reason for this?

Kaechang: Ever since my beloved pet dog Tanuki passed away, I’ve been drawing spirits. I have the feeling he never obtained peace…

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

Another recent motif in Kaechang's art is faces with distorted eyes, which represent an attempt to deal with things that inspire feelings of fear or hate.

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

Some of Kaechang's illustrations reflect the technologically mediated culture of her generation.

With permission from Kaechang

With permission from Kaechang

gJ: I noticed photography on your Tumblr account. Is there any other medium you work in?

Kaechang: I try to draw my illustrations on a variety of mediums. When I was working in a bakery, I would draw on bread destined for the trash bin.

With permission from Kaechang


By - Ben K.