The creator of one of the most popular children's anime in Japan is no longer with us, as Takashi Yanase, the mind behind Anpanman, has passed away at the age of 94. His passing came early this past Sunday at a Tokyo hospital as a result of heart failure.
Yanase started his career in cartooning after working at the Kochi Shimbun newspaper and the Mitsukoshi department store's publicity department. He launched the Anpanman manga series for which he is most well known in 1973. It became even more popular when the anime Soreike! Anpanman (Let's Go! Anpanman) kicked off in 1988, after which it would go on to air well over a thousand episodes and counting.
Photo: The Asahi Shimbun
In addition to Anpanman, Yanase also worked as a musician and lyricist, and even wrote the Anpanman theme song. He also won the Shukan Asahi manga award in 1967 for Mr. Bo, and received an award at the 1970 Mainichi Film Awards for his anime film Yasashii Raion (Kind Lion).