Ueda began drawing comic book strips when he worked in his brother's cram school. Ueda began producing Furiten-kun, a comic book strip about a mahjong player, in 1979. In 1982 Ueda won the Bungeishunjū Manga Award. During that year he began producing Kobo, the Li'l Rascal. In 1988, as part of the United Nations International Literacy Year he visited Nepal as a special commissioner. In 1999 the Japan Comic Artists Association awarded Ueda a prize.