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This paper examines Tezuka Osamu’s (1928-89) retelling of the biography of the Buddha to appeal to readers of the shōnen genre of manga. Tezuka is a well-known Japanese manga writer and artist, cartoonist, animator, film producer, and activist. In 1972, he began a series of manga adventures in Japan titled Buddha (ブッダ). The series ran to 14 editions in that country, ending in 1983. Subsequently, it was translated and reproduced in eight editions worldwide. This critically acclaimed series, which won the Eisner Award in 2004 and 2005 and Harvey Awards the same years, is considered the last great work in Tezuka’s life. It has spawned two animated movies so far: Buddha: The Great Departure (Tezuka Osamu no budda: Akai sabaku yo! Utsukushiku, 2011) and Buddha 2: The Endless Journey (Tezuka Osamu no Budda: Owarinaki tabi, 2014). A third film is scheduled to be produced. While Astro Boy is Tezuka’s best known work in America, he equally portrays Buddha as an innocent boy who rejects the political intrigues and imperialism drawn around him. In this way, Tezuka’s Buddha retains an original purity in his heart, a Japanese post-war ideal and optimistic portrayal of the future potential of the country and the world. With reference to some of his other works, the paper describes how Buddha represents Tezuka’s own ideas as much as the canonical Buddhist telling of the life story.