However, an arguably more important role he had in the development of Japanese manga was as a mentor. His confidence in the power of the writer as a force led him in 1977 to establish the Gekiga Sonjuku program to educate new creators. You might know some of the graduates from this program; they include:
- Rumiko Takahashi (Urusei Yatsura, Ranma ½, Inuyasha etc.)
- Akira Sakuma (game designer, Momotaro Densetsu series)
- Hideyuki Kikuchi (Vampire Hunter D)
- Tetsuo Hara (Fist of the North Star)
- Yuji Horii (game designer, Dragon Quest series)
- Keisuke Itagaki (Baki the Grappler)
- Naoki Yamamoto (Dance Till Tomorrow)
- Takayuki Yamaguchi – (Apocalypse Zero and Shigurui)
Tropes found in his works:
- Shown Their Work: His Jidaigeki stories stand out for being heavily-researched, to the point of many chapters devoting themselves to showing off obscure and little known aspects of medieval Japanese life.
- Manly Tears: His male characters never feel ashamed of shedding tears, no matter the circumstances.
- Villain Protagonist: His most famous works' main characters are assassins, yakuzas...