Shinji Nagashima dropped out of school to become a comic book artist, inspired by Osamu Tezuka and Tetsuo Ogawa, at the age of fourteen. When he was fifteen, he made his professional debut. In 1961, he created 'Mangaka Zankoku Monogatori' ('The Cruel Story of a Cartoonist') for the magazine Deka. This successful strip is considered Shinji Nagashima's best work. Other successful mangas by Nagashima are 'Fûten', about a Japanese hippie (1967-70), 'Miwa', a series based on folk tales, and 'Wakamonotachi', a chronicle of the children of the 1960s. In 1971, he began adapting children's songs under the title 'Dôyô Sunbusaku'. Nagashima is additionally an illustrator for the Mushi Productions animation studios. Nagashima's artwork has influenced a great number of Japanese manga artists.