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Karate Master (空手バカ一代, Karate Baka Ichidai, lit. "A Karate-Crazy Life") is a Japanese manga drawn by Jiro Tsunoda and Jōya Kagemaru, with the story written by Ikki Kajiwara. The story was inspired by the life of the real life martial artist Mas Oyama.[1][2]

Karate Master
(Karate Baka Ichidai)
Written byIkki Kajiwara
Illustrated byJiro Tsunoda
Jōya Kagemaru
Published byKodansha
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run19711977
Anime television series
Directed byOsamu Dezaki
Produced byEisuke Nozawa
Nobuo Inada
StudioTMS Entertainment
Licensed by
Original networkNET
Original run October 3, 1973 September 25, 1974
Live-action film
Directed byKazuhiko Yamaguchi
Released14 May 1977
Runtime91 minutes
Wikipe-tan face.svg Anime and Manga portal

The manga was published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine between 1971 and 1977, and accumulated in 29 tankōbon volumes.[1] The anime television series was produced by Tokyo Movie and aired Wednesdays, from 19:30 to 20:00, on NET from October 3, 1973 to September 25, 1974, totaling 47 episodes.[1][3][4]

The manga was first adapted into a live-action film by Toei as Karate Baka Ichidai, which was released on 14 May 1977 (the English release title was Karate for Life).[5] It was directed by Kazuhiko Yamaguchi and starred Shin'ichi ("Sonny") Chiba.[5] The two-part film, Shin Karate Baka Ichidai: Kakutōsha, which was directed by Takeshi Miyasaka and released in 2003 and 2004 to commemorate the seventeenth anniversary of Kajiwara's death, is often treated as an adaptation of the manga,[5] but its direct source is a book by Hisao Maki, Kajiwara's younger brother.[6]

The anime is now available on Hulu (in the U.S.) under the name Karate Master. Discotek Media has licensed the anime for home video release in North America.[7]


The success of the manga and the anime are often credited for producing a "karate boom" in Japan in the early 1970s.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b c "Karate baka ichidai". Dejitaru Daijisen Purasu (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  2. ^ "Waru Action Manga Artist Joya Kagemaru Passes Away". Anime News Network. Retrieved 2014-03-23.
  3. ^ "Karate baka ichidai". Movie Square (in Japanese). Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  4. ^ "TV Anime Karate baka ichidai". AllCinema (in Japanese). Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Karate baka ichidai". Kinenote (in Japanese). Kinema Junpo. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Shin Karate Baka Ichidai: Kakutōsha". Cinema Topics Online (in Japanese). Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  7. ^ "Discotek Adds Hana Yori Dango, 07-Ghost, Beelzebub, Kyousougiga, Getter Robo Armageddon, Z/X Iginition, Karate Master". Anime News Network. August 27, 2015. Retrieved August 29, 2015.
  8. ^ Hashimoto, Norihiro. "'Karate Saikyō Gensō' Futatabi". Number (in Japanese). Bungei Shunju. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
  9. ^ "1969-1987". Kokushin Kaikan no Rekishi (in Japanese). Kokushin Kaikan. Retrieved 11 May 2014.

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