The creator of one of the most popular anime series for children – Anpanman – Takashi Yanase died on Sunday (October 13th) at the age of 94 at a Tokyo hospital due to heart failure.
Before Yanase became a cartoonist, he worked for a newspaper company and department store Mitsukoshi. Later on besides being anime/manga creator Yanase was also a poet, lyricist, magazine editor and theater director.
The Anpanman character (whose head is made of bread and filled with red bean paste) first appeared in a children’s tale in 1969. Yanase gained widespread popularity when the Soreike! Anpanman television anime premiered in 1988 and became a hit.
Soreike! Anpanman is one of the most popular anime series amongst young children in Japan. The Anpanman characters appear on virtually every imaginable children’s product from clothes through toys and games to snack foods.
Anpanman is literally everywhere in Japan!
Yanase was the head of the Japan Cartoonists Association from 2000 until last year, when he retired due to his age and health.
Several Anpanman museums has been opened.
Kami, Kochi Prefecture, where Yanase was from, as well as Yokohama, Sendai, Kobe and Kuwana, Mie Prefecture.