Shoji Sadao

Tokyo, Japan



Japanese cartoonist born in To­kyo, Japan, on October 30, 1937. While Sadao Shoji was in the first grade, the war resulted in his evacuation to mountainous Yamanashi Prefecture, and it was not until his second year of junior high school that he returned to Tokyo. After graduation from high school he prepared for college for one year and then entered the Russian literature department of Waseda University in Tokyo, where he achieved the dubious honor of being enrolled for five years before dropping out. While still in school, however, he joined the now famous Manga Kenkyu Kai (“Cartoon Study Club”), which at the time also included Shunji Sonoyama, Kineo Shito and Hosuke Fukuchi.

Although Shoji was heavily involved with cartoons while in school and had works appear in various magazines, it was not until he began writing Shin Mango Bungaku Zenshu (“Complete Collection of New Cartoon Literature”) and Shoji-kun (“Young Shoji”) in 1967 that he really attracted attention. Today these re­main his most representative works. Shoji-kun, which ran in Manga Sunday, deals with a relatively common theme in modern Japanese cartoons and literature—the pathetic existence of the average white-collar worker in a hierarchical company. The hero, amusingly, has the same name as the artist; his primary interests in life are women, food and getting promoted, but he is generally thwarted in all three areas.

Shoji continues to draw actively for a wide spectrum of weekly and monthly magazines. He claims to have been heavily influenced by Sanpei Sato.

Reference: The World Encyclopedia of Cartoons, 1981

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