Akira Toriyama was born in April 1955, in the outskirts of Nagoya. In 1974 he entered highschool to study art specializing in publicity. In 1977 he decided to abandon this to enroll in cartoon drawing. Some time afterwards, he entered Shueisha, the biggest manga publisher in Japan, as a mangaka or cartoonist, where he started drawing as a professional. It was here he published his first work as a professional.
In December 1978, he published his first manga, Wonder Island in the popular Shonen Weekly Jump. It wasn’t a big success but made him understand that there were people out there interested in his comics. All his cartoons have, however, one thing in common: they all happen in the same world. All the characters meet there. This is why Arale from Shonen Jump meets Son Goku in one episode. Toriyama is a very productive artist and has even created his own studio: the Bird Studio, where he works helped by his assistants. He wrote lots of stories dedicated to a young public and Dragon Ball Z is the only one he has created for an older audience, mainly teenagers. What is most admirable of his work is that every idea he develops allows him to develop the next one.
For example, in order to create Dragon Ball, he was inspired by the character Dragon Boy he had invented a few years earlier. Apart from the process of adapting his own maga into a successful TV series, Toriyama participated in the production of a unique animation movie lasting 50 minutes, Ikimarusama and Shinsukesama, in which he demonstrated how he was equally good at producing TV animes or animated cartoons as he was at drawing his own comics. It was a production wherein the humor of Dragon Ball and the great action of DBZ were cleverly combined. However, it was by no means his best work in any respect. It is this originality that has made Akira Toriyama one of today’s most demanded authors. Two years afterwards, he organized a show which traveled throughout the Japanese islands in order to show off all of his work. He has even participated in the design of a few video games.
How did Akira Toriyama come up with the name Kamehameha? He didn’t come up with it! While thinking of a name for the move, he asked his wife, who suggested Kamehameha. Kamehameha was actually the name of a Hawaiian King. King Kamehameha was also known as “The Great.” He was king of Hawaii from the years 1782 to 1819.