Shunsaku Ban [a.k.a. Higeoyaji] (Star)

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Shunsaku Ban

"Higeoyagi, born in Kanda..."

Easily recognizable by his huge, bristly mustache, Shunsaku Ban, also affectionately known as "Higeoyaji" and/or "Mustachio", is one of Tezuka's longest-running characters.  Most often cast in the role of a spirited, if not particularly sophisticated, middle-aged man, he has appeared in many of Tezuka's most important series, including (but not limited to): Lost World (1948), Metropolis (1949), Next World (1951), Astro Boy (1952-68), The Adventure of Rock (1952-54), Lion Books (1956-57), Black Jack (1973-83), The Three-Eyed One (1974-78), MW (1976-78), Rainbow Parakeet (1981-82), among many others. Short-tempered and rough, he is also warm-hearted with a burning sense of justice - perfect for his usual occupation as a plucky detective.

It is interesting to note that, even though Shunsaku Ban appears in so many of Tezuka's series, he didn't really create him.  As Tezuka confesses in his book I am a Manga Artist, Higeoyagi's character design is in fact based on a doodle that a good friend of Tezuka's drew of his own father, when both were in middle school.  Tezuka swiped it and used it in Old Man Detective, one of his early amateur works, and he soon became an indispensable part of Tezuka's work.

Don't miss a rare appearance by Shunsaku Ban as a young man, with jet-black hair and sans his famous mustache, in the Lion Books (1956-57) chapter entitled "The Green Cat" (1956).

Manga Appearance List

Date Series Chapter Title Appearing As...
1947 Golden Bat   Count Salad
1948 The Magic House   Dr. Higeta
1948 The Mysterious Underground Men   Bill
1948 The Jungle Kingdom   Sandwitch
1948 Q-chan's Arrest Warrant    
1948 The Four Fencers of the Forest   Braton the bandit
1948 Tobi's 20   The manservant
1948 King Rocket   Dr. Kamo
1948 The World of the Queen from a Thousand Years in the Future   King Boro
1948 Tuberculosis    
1948 Secret Base on the Shari River   Frank
1948 Lost World   The private investigator
1949 Angel Gunfighter   The ship captain
1949 Men with Tails   Frank Alan
1949 Metropolis   The private investigator
1950 The Golden City   A passenger on the ship
1950 The Wonderful Journey    
1950 The Plain of Abusegahara   The barber
1950 The Strange Travels of Dr. Tiger   King Petakon
1950 The Tutelary God's Fire    
1950 Manga University   The detective
1950 Jungle Emperor   Kenichi's uncle
1950 Ashiato Hot Spring    
1951 Ambassador Atom    
1951 Next World    
1951 The Moony Men   The old man
1951 Fossil Island   The rock
1952 Astro Boy Gas People  
1952 Astro Boy Frankenstein  
1952 Skyscraper Kid   The manager
1952 A Man From Mars    
1952 The Adventure of Rock    
1952 People with Pistols on their Heads   Nurete Awabei
1953 Astro Boy Red Cat  
1953 Astro Boy Sea Serpent Island  
1953 Astro Boy Flying Skyscraper  
1953 X-Point in the South Pacific   Sam Yudo
1953 The Monster of the 38th Parallel    
1954 Astro Boy Mission to Mars  
1954 Astro Boy Cobalt  
1954 Astro Boy Fuhrer ZZZ  
1954 The Devil of the Earth    
1954 Wonder-kun   Kuzuoyaji
1954 Benkei   The sailor
1955 Astro Boy Electro  
1955 Astro Boy Gernica  
1955 Astro Boy Youth Gas  
1955 Astro Boy Yellow House  
1955 The Age of Great Floods   The former doctor who escaped from jail
1956 Astro Boy Atlas  
1956 Astro Boy The Midoro Swamp  
1956 Astro Boy Robot Bombs  
1956 Lion Books The Next Human Beings Kuroki
1956 Lion Books The Green Cat  
1956 Oh! We Three    
1956 The Rainbow Fortress   The police detective
1957 Astro Boy Black Lux  
1957 Astro Boy The Mysterious Ball  
1957 Lion Books The Crazy Border A customer at the club
1957 Lion Books Multiple-Eyed Devil A customer at the station
1957 Lion Books Bullet Hole in the Wilderness The dentist
1957 Mignon   Count Rotario
1957 The Earth War   Don Taro's uncle
1958 Astro Boy Crucifix Island Astro Boy's teacher
1958 Astro Boy Fortress of the Centaurs Astro Boy's teacher
1958 Astro Boy Count Bat Astro Boy's teacher
1958 The Three Who Glimpse the Future   Dorokusa
1959 Astro Boy The Eyes of Christ Astro Boy's teacher
1959 Astro Boy The Secret of the Egyptian Conspirators Astro Boy's teacher
1959 Astro Boy Subterranean Tank Astro Boy's teacher
1959 Merchant of Venice   The chief judge
1959 The Doodle Encyclopedia    
1959 My memory    
1960 Astro Boy Space Snow Leopard Astro Boy's teacher
1960 Astro Boy The Invisible Giant Astro Boy's teacher
1960 Astro Boy A Day to Remember Astro Boy's teacher
1960 Astro Boy Uran Astro Boy's teacher
1960 Astro Boy His Highness Deadcross Astro Boy's teacher
1960 Secret Order No.3   Inuoka
1960 Fire Valley   The bar owner
1961 Astro Boy Plant People Astro Boy's teacher
1961 Astro Boy The White-Hot Being Astro Boy's teacher
1961 Astro Boy The Hot Dog Corps Astro Boy's teacher
1961 Astro Boy The Third Magician Astro Boy's teacher
1961 The Ant and the Giant   The journalist
1962 Astro Boy Space Parasites Astro Boy's teacher
1962 Astro Boy Robot Land Astro Boy's teacher
1962 SHIKYOYAMAENGI Picture scroll    
1962 A Blue Shadow Behind the Backstop   A painting
1963 Astro Boy Demon Bees Astro Boy's teacher
1963 Astro Boy The Devil's Balloons Astro Boy's teacher
1963 S.F. Fancy Free The Inch Insect  
1963 The Eye of the Building   The detective
1964 Astro Boy The Last Day on Earth Astro Boy's teacher
1964 Astro Boy The Brain Swap Astro Boy's teacher
1964 The Great Zeo   The minister
1964 The Story of Animals Chapter of Sanma  
1965 Astro Boy Roboids Astro Boy's teacher 
1965 Astro Boy Robio and Robiette Astro Boy's teacher
1965 Astro Boy Blue Knight Astro Boy's teacher 
1965 Astro Boy Slippery Catfish In Imminent Danger Astro Boy's teacher
1965 Astro Boy Astro's Been Stolen! Astro Boy's teacher
1965 Jungle Emperor & Higeoyaji   Higeoyaji
1965 W3 [a.k.a. Amazing Three]   The fisherman
1966 Astro Boy The Face in the Rock Astro Boy's teacher
1966 Astro Boy Astro Boy Reborn Astro Boy's teacher
1966 Flying Ben   The private investigator
1967 Astro Boy Zolomon's Jewels Astro Boy's teacher
1967 Astro Boy Once Upon a Time (Astro Boy Tales) Astro Boy's teacher
1968 Astro Boy The Man Who Returned From Mars Astro Boy's teacher
1970 The Crater The Mask of Tomoe The toy company man
1970 Gachaboi's Record of One Generation    
1971 Let's expel pollution From this year    
1971 Zephyrus   The peasant
1972 Lion Books Mother River The XYZ TV staff member 
1972 Lion Books The March Covered with Mud The journalist
1973 Lion Books The Distant Planet The Tokyo University professor
1973 Black Jack Miyuki and Ben The policeman
1973 Black Jack Tale of a Snowy Night The relief party
1973 Lolo's Journey   The customer in the exposition of made in Hokkaido
1973 Microid S   The vagabond
1973 The Euphrates Tree   The detective
1974 Black Jack Lost Memory The owner of Tokiwa apartment
1974 Black Jack Ashes and Diamonds The old man Matsukata
1974 Black Jack Sinking Woman The municipal officer
1974 Black Jack A Wrong Diagnosis The patient
1974 Black Jack Two Loves The customer in a sushi bar
1974 The Three-Eyed One Mystery of the Third Eye The owner of Rairaiken
1974 The Three-Eyed One Underground Dungeon of the Jumyo in Residence The owner of Rairaiken
1974 The Jumbo   The trading company employee
1975 Black Jack Stradivarius The passenger on a plane
1975 Black Jack The Cat and Shozo The doctor
1975 Black Jack The Boy with the Belly The professor of M University
1975 Black Jack Swindler Apprentice Dr. Yabui
1975 The Three-Eyed One Mystery of the Three-Eyed Family The owner of Rairaiken
1975 The Three-Eyed One Secretin Glebe The owner of Rairaiken
1975 The Three-Eyed One The Flying Saucer The owner of Rairaiken
1975 Astro Boy Astro II Astro Boy's teacher
1976 It is Difficult Though Understands    
1976 Black Jack Race Against Time The resident of a city
1976 Black Jack U-18 knew The patient
1976 Black Jack Vibrations The passenger on a bullet train
1976 Black Jack Burglary  
1976 Black Jack Lost Money The passenger on a train
1976 The Three-Eyed One Seven Mysteries of seven-snake temple  
1976 Astro Boy Showdown in the Standard Deviation Kingdom Astro Boy's teacher
1976 Horror Tales of Yotsuya   The doctor
1976 MW   The bar master
1977 Black Jack There were Two Films Nozaki Mari
1977 Black Jack The Disowned Son The father
1977 Black Jack The three-legged race Shogo's father
1977 The Three-Eyed One Mysterious Floating Debris The owner of Rairaiken
1977 Auto Assistance Number 110, This is JAF    
1978 Black Jack The Changeing The chief judge
1978 Black Jack Light Fingers Tetsu
1978 Black Jack Callit Life The train conductor
1978 Auto Assistance Number 110, This is JAF    
1979 Untitled NEC Advertisment    
1979 Tezuka Osamu on American Comics    
1980 Astro Boy Space Doll Astro Boy's teacher
1980 Astro Boy A Feline Guardian Diety Astro Boy's teacher
1981 Rainbow Parakeet Shuzenji Story Fuwata Tsugihagi
1981 Rainbow Parakeet R.U.R The puppeteer
1982 Rainbow Parakeet Othello The face of the butterfly
1982 Rabbit House 2001    
1982 Volcanic Eruption   The primary-school principal
1982 SUNTORY Draft beer advertisement    
1982 The 21st General Assembly of the Japanese Association of Medical Science    
1983 This is what's going to happen in 1983    
1986 Atom Cat    
Published Jun 20, 2012 (Updated May 30, 2013)