Stan Sakai was born in Kyoto, Japan, grew up in Hawaii and now lives in California with his wife, Sharon, and children, Hannah and Matthew. He received a Fine Arts degree from the University of Hawaii and did further studies at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California.
His creation, Usagi Yojimbo, is the story of a samurai rabbit living in a feudal Japan populated by anthropomorphic animals. It first appeared in Albedo Comics in 1984, and since then, Usagi has been on television as a guest of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and as toys, on clothing, in comic books and in a series of trade paperback collections.
In 1991, Stan created "Space Usagi," a series about the adventures of a descendant of the original Usagi, dealing with the samurai in a futuristic setting. Stan is also an award-winning letterer for his work on Sergio Aragones' "Groo the Wanderer," the "Spider-Man" Sunday newspaper strips as well as "Usagi Yojimbo." Stan is the recipient of a Parent's Choice Award, an Inkpot Award, multiple Eisner Awards, and two Spanish Haxtur Awards. In 2002, he was the recipient of an American Library Association Award and an Ursus Major.
In 1998, Stan and Sharon traveled to Japan as guests of Tezuka Osamu Studios when he was one of three western cartoonists invited to the Third Japan/North America Manga/Comics Symposium in Tokyo. There were many opportunities to discuss the similarities and differences between east and west manga and comics with publishers and artists. In addition to visiting the Tezuka Museum in Takarazuka, a highlight for Stan was the chorus of young children singing the "Astro Boy Theme" at a 100 year celebration for Tezuka and his studio. Also while in Japan they made a pilgrimage to Tokugawa Ieyasu's Shrine at Nikko.
In 1998, Stan was also part of the Trilogy Tour II. He traveled around the country with fellow fantasy creators Jeff Smith, Linda Medley, Charles Vess, Jill Thompson, Mark Crilley and a 16 feet tall tree.
Stan is currently published by Dark Horse Comics and Fantagraphics Books. There are sixteen volumes of his collected work with a new collection, Usagi Yojimbo: Shrouded Moon, scheduled to be released in December 2002.
Stan enjoys traveling. He was in Norway as a guest of the Raptus International Comics Festival in Bergen. One of the highlights of that trip was partaking of the local cuisine such as the abundant seafood, moose, reindeer and even sheep's head.
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