Prior to being a pioneering author in the field of comics/manga, Kazuo Koike (b. 1936) learned how to write stories from Kiichiro Yamate, an author of period plays, after graduating from college. Most of his work covers diverse areas such as novels, scripting and lyrical composition, all of which were long running hits after they were released. He is a founder of Koike Syoin (his own publishing firm) as well as a professor at Osaka College of Art. Mr. Koike is most recognized for his series Crying Freeman.