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Tokiwa-sō (トキワ荘 Tokiwa-sō ) was a Japanese style no-frills apartment building, two stories high, built of wood. It was one of the pre-war buildings which survived the fire bombing of Tokyo during WWII and became part of the nucleus of the Minami Nagasaki residential area of Toshima ward. It had no baths, only cold water sinks and toilets. Residents went to local sento baths, the Tsuru-yu and the Akebono-yu (now modern condominiums). (Toshima ward pamphlet). The second floor of this building housed many young budding artists in the late 1950s to the early 1960s, including Osamu Tezuka for one year. Residents included Shotaro Ishinomori (1956-1961), Fujio Akatsuka(1954-1961), Fujiko Fujio(1954-1961), Terada Hiroo (1953-1957), Suzuki Shin'ichi (1955-1956), Moriyasu Naoya (196-1957),Akatsuka Fujio (1956-1961), Mizuno Hideko (1958-) and Yokota Tokuo (1958-1961). The building existed as a sort of atelier from 1952 to 1982. It is now the site of a building belonging to a publisher of scientific and test preparation textbooks.
The business of manga production today in Japan has a prototype in the collaborative activities pioneered at Tokiwa-sō. According to Tam Bing Man (one of the duo of actor), who was an assistant of Osamu Tezuka in earliest days, Osamu Tezuka first introduced this production system employing many assistants to make manga, in order to meet the deadlines of publishing in weekly manga magazines. This model of several assistants helping a main artist is still used today, providing young manga artists with training.
There is a monument to the characters of the "Tokiwa-so Apartment" manga in Tokyo near Ochiai-Minami-Nagasaki Station (Toei Oedo Line). Shown on Wikimapia: http://wikimapia.org/#lat=35.7246841&lon=139.6863925&z=20&l=0&m=b&show=/17849408/
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