June 20, 2017
Born in Tokyo in 1941, IIZUKA Masao joined Mushi Production in 1963. He oversaw TEZUKA Osamu's “bank system” for recycling images for Mighty Atom (Astro Boy), Japan's first animated TV series, revising, reorganizing and otherwise improving the production process. He also created a library for collecting and organizing reference books and production materials, including original editions of video films. From 1974 he developed planning, documentation, and publicity materials for the Soeisha production company. From 1977 he worked with the founders of Sunrise Studios (now Sunrise Inc.) on the development of Mobile Suit Gundam and other projects. He also proposed and supervised the commodification and publication of copyright property, an independent company's most valuable asset, as well as establishing a library at Sunrise for the dissemination of publicity materials. Later he delegated out his planning, copyright and documentation work and focused on training successors. In his final years he introduced a file system for digitized materials and contributed other improvements to company operations. He retired in 2001.
When Mushi Production was creating Japan's first 30-minute animated TV series, IIZUKA Masao collaborated with TEZUKA Osamu on the “bank system” that helped the company overcome the severe production demands of the series. Later he set up a library at Sunrise Inc. when the company first began production, organized and managed materials associated with each work, and supervised the company's all-important copyright business. He also actively promoted PR efforts in the TV animation industry and was a major contributor to the growth of today's animation culture. Anyone engaged in animation-related publication or exhibition activities owes him a huge debt. (TAKAHASHI Ryosuke)