© Asahi Shimbun Co., Ltd. / © Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd. / © Satoru Noda / © Shueisha Inc.

Golden Kamuy Manga Wins 2018 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize

The Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize

The highly anticipated results of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize were announced yesterday. A yearly manga prize for the development of Japan's manga culture founded and sponsored by the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize (not to be confused with the Tezuka Osamu Prize) is named after the late Osamu Tezuka, a legendary manga artist who was pivotal in the development of comic books in Japan. Tezuka was responsible for such classics as Astro Boy, Kimba The White Lion, Black Jack and Phoenix.

In 2018, the award is now in its 22nd year, having conferred the Grand Prize to such well-known works as Fujio Fujiko's Doraemon (1997), Naoki Urasawa's Monster (1999) and Pluto (2005), Hideo Azuma's Disappearance Diary (2006), Masayuki Ishikawa's Moyashimon (2008) and Chica Umino's March Comes in Like a Lion (2014).

Source: © Asahi Shimbun Co., Ltd. / © Tezuka Productions Co., Ltd.

2018 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize Winners

Here are the winners of the 2018 (22nd) Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize:

Grand Prize: Golden Kamuy, by Satoru Noda

Set in the early twentieth century in the wilderness of the Japanese frontier of Hokkaido, Satoru Noda's exciting adventure manga Golden Kamuy tells the story of Russo-Japanese War veteran Saichi Sugimoto and a native Ainu girl Asirpa as they set out on a treacherous quest to find a hoard of hidden Ainu gold. They face wild animals, murderous cutthroats who also know about the treasure, and other challenges along their way.

Source: © Satoru Noda / © Shueisha Inc.

First serialized in August 2014 in Shueisha Inc.'s weekly magazine Weekly Young Jump, Golden Kamuy received the 9th Manga Taisho Award in 2016 and was nominated for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in the same year. An anime adaptation of the manga began airing on Tokyo MX and other networks on April 9th, 2018 and is also licensed by Crunchyroll in the United States. The original Japanese manga is in its 13th tankobon volume, and the English translation from Viz Media LLC is in its 4th volume at the time of writing.

Comments by Satoru Noda:

As a kid, I grew up watching musclebound actors like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and John Travolta. When I went to bed at night, I looked at a poster of Rambo III taped to the ceiling. I was convinced this was what a man should aspire to. In those days, muscle worship dominated the manga world and many stories were written about big, well-muscled and smelly-looking men. As the times have changed, and popular manga protagonists now tend towards androgynous, hygienic-looking men, I've lived my life with a sense that something is out of joint, like a pulled muscle.
I'm very grateful to receive such an honorable award. Clearly, as a result of tirelessly devoting myself to drawing men's beautiful muscles, my passion, like the heat released from muscles after strenuous training, reached the panel of judges, and I am filled with deep emotion.

Other awardees of the 2018 Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize were:

  • New Artist Prize: Beastars, by Paru Itagaki
  • Short Work Prize: Ōyasan to Boku 大家さんと僕 (The Landlord and I), by Taro Yabe
  • Special Award: Hinemosu-Notari-Nikki ひねもすのたり日記, by Tetsuya Chiba

To read more about the mangas and their authors, please see the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize's official page at Asahi Shimbun Company's website (Japanese only).

By - Ben K.