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.
Kodansha 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.