(1876 - 1955). Comic book artist; considered one of the founding fathers of the manga scene. He was also the first to start a school specializing in caricature and comics. After a short career as a political cartoonist, Rakuten Kitazawa became the only Japanese artist to join the team of the American magazine Box of Curios. From 1899 he worked for Jijishimpo-sha, a supplement of the journal Jiji Shimpo as an illustrator, and in 1901 he started creating his own comics. His first comics, Le Voyage de Tagosaku and Mokube Tokyo, were both inspired by American artists like Outcault, Dirks, and Opper. He also created the adventures of Donsha, a street kid, and Haneko. In 1905 he founded the satirical magazine Tokyo Puck, a magazine with an international focus: the stories were translated into English and Chinese. While working for other magazines, Kitazawa started a new version of Jiji Shimpo, for which he worked until 1932. (from the Lambiek Comiclopedia © 1994-2006 Lambiek, http://lambiek.net/artists/k/kitazawa_rakuten.htm).
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