Hirohiko Araki Biography

(Japanese Manga Artist Known for His Long-Running Series ‘JoJo's Bizarre Adventure’)

Birthday: June 7, 1960 (Gemini)

Born In: Sendai, Miyagi, Japan

Hirohiko Araki is a Japanese artist, best known for creating the long-running manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. Born and raised in Sendai, Japan, he became interested in drawing mangas at a tender age. His father was a huge manga fan, and this led Hirohiko to develop an interest in the field. Following his high-school graduation, he began creating manga art full-time. He began his career in 1983, with the one-shot manga titled Poker Under Arms. While his initial few mangas helped him develop his style, he went on to achieve worldwide success with the manga titled JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which became an international success, selling more than 100 million copies. Hirohiko went on to become a huge celebrity in Japan and drew more successful mangas. He is known for his Western-influenced style that is heavy on gore, violence, and profanity. He has collaborated with many more artists and even brands, such as Gucci, over the years. He also wrote a novel called Manga in Theory and Practice, in which he spoke about his working method in detail.

Quick Facts

Age: 63 Years, 63 Year Old Males


Spouse/Ex-: Asami Araki

Born Country: Japan

Japanese Men Japanese Artists & Painters

Height: 5'7" (170 cm), 5'7" Males

Notable Alumni: Miyagi University Of Education

More Facts

education: Miyagi University Of Education

Childhood & Early Life

Hirohiko Araki was born on June 7, 1960, into a middle-class family in Sendai, Japan. His father was a keen manga reader, and he passed on the interest to him. Hirohiko was the eldest of the three children in the family and grew up with two younger sisters. He later said that his younger identical twin sisters often sided against him and that he spent most of his childhood locked up in a room with nothing else to do except read manga comics borrowed from his father.

According to him, his father loved the art and owned a huge collection of illustrated books and books showing ancient Japanese artwork. All this collectively helped Hirohiko to develop an interest in becoming an artist himself. Manga is one of the primary symbols of Japanese culture, and the art is still popular among the general public. Hirohiko understood the significance of manga and decided to become a manga artist when he was quite young.

When in school, he showed his manga drawings to some of his classmates and received praises. He made his first manga drawing when he was in fourth grade. Since then, he nurtured the dream of becoming a manga artist.

When he was in the first year of high school, he submitted his work to a local magazine but faced rejection. He became insecure after learning that several younger artists had been featured in the magazine. He could not come to terms with the rejection and worked on a new manga all night. He then left for Tokyo, the headquarters of the publishing company Shogakukan, the same company that had earlier rejected his manga. He then entered the Shueisha office to deliver his pitch.

The chief editor of the company criticized his work and asked him to rework on it. Hirohiko worked on it, and it was eventually selected to be published. The manga was titled Poker Under Arms.

Following his high-school graduation, he joined the Miyagi University of Education, and around the same time, he was honored at that year’s Tezuka Awards.

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After receiving a mention at the popular manga awards known as the Tezuka Awards, Hirohiko Araki began working as a full-time manga artist. Poker Under Arms, released in the 1980s, was one of his first published works. It was inspired partly by the American concept of the “Wild West” and was a one-shot manga. With his first manga, he had exhibited his talent and an “out of the box” approach to his art, which later became his signature style.

In 1983, he released his second manga, titled Cool Shock B.T. He exhibited his storytelling skills by showcasing a crime-solving magician fighting smart villains. The manga featured a little bit of gore, which also became his signature style. However, he was yet to explore his full potential and style, which he did with his third manga comic, titled Baoh, which was released in 1984.

Baoh was his debut serialized manga, which was first featured in Weekly Shonen Jump and was later released in two volumes. It was also his first manga work that was adapted into the video animation format. The manga became extremely popular with the youth and was also in the news for its adult content, such as extreme gore and the usage of profanity. The manga was based on the science-fiction story of a teenage boy who becomes a bio-weapon. It was noted for its originality and dialogues.

In 1985, Hirohiko Araki released another manga, titled The Gorgeous Irene. It was also one of his first projects that initiated a major stylistic element that he would later use more frequently in his works, his muscular main characters.

All these works did well to establish his signature style, but it was in 1987 when he attained overwhelming success with his manga work. He came up with the manga named JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, which narrated the story of two brothers, with the central point of the conflict being their father’s inheritance. As the manga progressed, many more elements were added, such as vampires and magic realism. The manga went on to become an instant success, as it was published in Weekly Shonen Jump.

It was also the first “truly international” work published by Hirohiko Araki and contained elements of the Western pop culture. The manga has sold 100 million copies and has become one of the most successful mangas of all time. It has turned into a franchise, leading to many one-shot mangas and video games. The story has been divided into eight story arcs, with all of them featuring eight different protagonists with the name JoJo.

Several anime films and series have been made on the manga, while their English versions are being handled by Viz Media since 2005.

The manga received a warm critical reception in Japan and in the West. IGN rated it well. In 2006, Japanese people voted it as one of the top 10 manga works of all time.

Hirohiko Araki rode highly on the success of the manga for many years to come. He later published more successful comics, such as The Lives of Eccentrics; Under Execution, Under Jailbreak; and Deadman’s Questions.

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In 1997, he published the manga titled Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan, which was yet another success. It was a series of one-shot mangas that was mostly self-referential in nature, as it told the story of a manga artist traveling around the world in search of inspiration.

More recently, in 2012, Hirohiko Araki collaborated with the fashion brand Gucci and created a manga titled Jolyne, Fly High with Gucci

He was also approached to draw covers of various books and publications. He has famously drawn the covers of The Dancing Girl of Izu and Breeeeze Girl. While the former was a short story, the latter was a music video.

In 2009, he was approached to include an original artwork at the famous Louvre Museum. He thus created a piece titled Rohan at Louvre, which became iconic.

He attempted to raise awareness about the ongoing construction work at the Hiraizumi Ruins, which had been destroyed by the dual force of an earthquake and a tsunami that had occurred in the Tohoku region of Japan. He illustrated an artwork that depicted the horrors of the ruins.

In April 2015, he released the book titled Manga in Theory and Practice. It was later translated into English and became quite a success. The book explained his ideology and work process behind creating mangas.

Personal Life

Hirohiko Araki is also popular for looking youthful even in his 50s. He has inspired popular memes in Japan, and there are frequent jokes about his youthful appearance. One of the popular jokes is that he happens to be a vampire. He once said that the secret to his youthful looks was that he cleaned his face only with Tokyo tap water and worked only for 4 days a week.

He is a huge fan of Sherlock Holmes books written by author Arthur Conan Doyle.

He is criticized for pushing the themes of homophobia in his works. However, he has often denied being homophobic.

He is married to Asami Araki and has two children.

See the events in life of Hirohiko Araki in Chronological Order

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