Famous Japanese cartoonist Jirô Kuwata was born on April 17, 1935. In 1948, at age 13, Kuwata created his first comic-strip, "Kaiki Seidan" ("The Strange Star Cluster"), and devoted himself to comics, mostly in the sci-fi/fantasy and superhero vein. His turning point came in 1957, when he created "Maboroshi Tantei" ("Phantom Detective"), about a teenage detective (decked out in a black uniform, a red beret and a domino mask). In 1958, Kuwata did the comic-book adaptation of Japan's first TV superhero, Gekkô kamen (1958) ("Moonlight Mask"), created by writer Kôhan Kawauchi. Read more... and "Ekkusuman" ("X-Man") before 1963, which saw his best-known manga work, Eitoman (1963) ("Eight-Man"), Japan's earliest cyborg superhero (the same year, Shôtarô Ishinomori created "Cyborg 009"). "Eight-Man," which Kuwata co-created with writer Kazumasa Hirai, was about a detective who was murdered by gangsters, and saved by a scientist, who turns him into a shape-shifting cyborg crimefighter with amazing powers. Since then, Kuwata created similar superhero manga throughout the 60s, including "Kingu Robo" ("King Robo"), "Kiiroi Tebukuro Ekkusu" ("Yellow Glove X") and "Denjin Ekkusuman" ("Electroid X-Man"). He and Hirai also created "Erîto" ("The Elite") and "Chôken Rîpu" ("Leap the Super-Dog"). He was also well-known for his manga adaptations of TV shows such as Urutora sebun (1967) ("Ultra Seven"), The Invaders (1967) and The Time Tunnel (1966). In 1964, at age 29, he was found to be hiding a handgun (he contemplated suicide) and was arrested. At the end of the 60s, he went into a state of depression and alchohol. In 1977, at 42, Kuwata experienced an epiphany and converted to Buddhism. To this day, he has since then done religious manga about the life of Buddha. He also has an official homepage on his life, his work (both his SF and religious manga), and his most recent drawings of Eight-Man.