Hum Sazae
While we were researching Tagawa, we came across another early Japanese cartoonist we were unaware of, Machiko Hasegawa (1920-1992), who was one of Tagawa’s apprentices, one of the first female manga artists, and one of the most influential.

Hasegawa created a strip called Sazae-san in 1946, about the domestic adventures of an extended Japanese family in the post-War period. The strip ran for 28 years and was incredibly popular, giving rise to such spinoffs as a TV mini series of Hasegawa’s life, and a cartoon that (apparently) still airs, meaning it is Japan’s longest running anime program.

Manga1Kodansha apparently published 12 volumes of English versions of the strip back in the 90s.

Hasegawa’s art is simple and direct in its humor — certainly it was an influence on such things as Crayon Shinchan — and her name should certainly be added to the list of the most successful female cartoonists of all time — there is even a Hasegawa Art Museum in Tokyo.


  1. The anime of Sazae-san is in perpetual syndication and has been running since 1968 on the same channel and time slot. I watched it as a child in the late 70s/early 80s and a friedn recently back from Japan also watched it.

    Hasegawa’s comic is as ingrained in the culture of manga as the idea of flying people in capes is ingrained in comic culture in the U.S. Her influence is felt not only in Japanese comics that have a similar tone in storytelling but even in something as simple as the way many mangaka choose to name their characters.