While working at a chemical factory, he drew many manga. After that, Tokiwa-so accepted him. He started his career as a shōjo artist, but in 1958, his Nama-chan (ナマちゃん) became a hit, so he became a specialist in comic manga. He won the Shogakukan Manga Award in 1964 for Osomatsu-kun and the Bungeishunjū Manga Award in 1971 for Tensai Bakabon. He is said to have been influenced by Buster Keaton and MAD magazine. In 2000, he drew manga in braille for the blind.
Many of his manga featured supporting characters who ended up becoming more popular and more associated with their series than the main character, such as Papa (Tensai Bakabon), Iyami, Chibita (Osomatsu-kun), and Nyarome (Mōretsu Atarō).
In April 2002 he was hospitalized for intra-axial hematoma and was said to frequently be in a persistent vegetative state from 2004 until his death. In July 2006, his second wife Machiko, who had been nursing him, suddenly died from a subarachnoid hemorrhage. On August 2nd, 2008, he died of pneumonia at a hospital in Bunkyō, Tokyo.
- Bloodtype A
- Permanent Residence Niigata Prefecture
- Cat Lover
- Tensai Bakabon (天才バカボン?)
- Osomatsu-kun (おそ松くん?)
- Himitsu no Akko-chan (ひみつのアッコちゃん?)
- Mōretsu Atarō (もーれつア太郎?)
- Kunio Hase
- Mitsutoshi Furuya
- Kazuyoshi Torii
- Ken'ichi Kitami
- Yoshiko Tsuchida
- Kenichiro Takai
- Tsutomu Adachi
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