Santa Inoue (井上 三太 Inoue Santa?, born 1968 in Paris, France) is a Japanese manga artist and owner of the Santastic! clothing line. Inoue's manga series was greatly influenced by hip hop culture, with some of the characters being modeled after rappers.


Santa Inoue was born in Paris, France in 1968 and debuted with his work Murder in 1989 and was granted the Weekly Young Sunday newcomers prize.[1][2][3] The following year of 1990, Santa made his first serialized work, Bunpuku Chagama Daimaō which was also published in Weekly Young Sunday. His third work Tamashii Rettsha was published straight to tankōbon by Yōsensha. His second serialized work was The Neighbor No. Thirteen, which was partially published in Comic Scholar by Gentosha. The Neighbor No. Thirteen was published in tankōbon format under the Birz Comics line. In 1993, Santa Inoue created Tokyo Tribe, one of his more famous works, which was first published straight to tankōbon by JICC Shuppankyoku under the Takarajima Comics Deluxe line. In 1995, Mon Mon was serialized in Manga Pachinker published by Byakuya Shobo, Tirauchi Kantaro was serialized in Rockin' on Japan, and Born 2 Die was serialized in Quick Japan by Ota Shuppan. A short story compilation entitled Santa Inoue was published by Shodensha under the Feel Comics line and in the same year of 1996, Tokyo Tribe was republished by Bijutsu Shuppansha. In 1997 Mon Mon was finally published by Byakuya Shobo and Tokyo Tribe was additionally serialized in the Boon fashion magazine published by Shodensha. Born 2 Die was published by Ota Shuppan in 1998 and Santa created his masterwork Tokyo Tribe2, which was serialized in the previously mentioned fashion magazine Boon by Shodensha. By the time of Tokyo Tribe2, Santa has achieved celebrity status and the series garnered international acclaim.[4][5] The Neighbor No. Thirteen went on to be published by Gentosha in 1999 and in 2000, Tokyo Drive was serialized in Weekly Young Magazine by Kodansha. In 2001, Tokyo Graffiti was serialized in the Weekly Young Jump magazine by Shueisha. In 2002, the second compilation book was published, Santa Inoue2 and a flagship store opened in Shibuya, Tokyo. In 2003, Tokyo Graffiti was published by Shueisha as well as Tokyo Tribe once again being reprinted by the company, both under the Young Jump Comics line. In 2004, Tokyopop acquired the license to Tokyo Tribe2, and renamed it Tokyo Tribes to complete with another hip-hop related OEL manga named @Large, which was already award-nominated.[5] In 2005, Tokyo Drive was released in tankōbon by Kodansha as well as The Neighbor No. Thirteen being adaptated into a feature film. In the same year, Santa Inoue collaborated with Samurai fashion magazine to make the single issue, Samurai VS Santa Inoue. In the meantime of 2005, the United States edition of Tokyo Tribe2, Tokyo Tribes was nominated for a Eisner Award.[6] In 2006, Tokyo Tribe2 was adaptated into a anime series by WOWOW[7] and Shodensha helped publish the single issue magazine Santastic! Magazine "Saru". The DVD's of Tokyo Tribe2 were released in 2007, Tokyo Burger was serialized in urban fashion magazine Ollie by Saneishobo, and Tokyo Tribe2 Spin off! was serialized in Boon by Shodensha. In 2008, both Tokyo Burger and Tokyo Tribe2 Spin off! were published in tankōbon format and Tokyo Tribe3 began serialization in Ollie. Additional pocket bunkobon editions of The Neighbor No. Thirteen were released under the Gentosha Comics Manga Bunko line by Gentosha.[8] Santa Inoue created promotional drawings for T.I.'s Paper Trail also in 2008.[9] Currently in 2009, Santa Inoue is working on Dan da Barbarian, his latest work, which will be serialized in Comic Birz. Tokyo Tribe was reprinted under Santastic! Books by Santastic! Entertainment.[10]


Manga series

Series Year Line Magazine
Murder (まぁだぁ?) 1989 None Weekly Young Sunday
Bunpuku Chagama Daimaō (ぷんぷくちゃがま大王?) 1990 Santastic! (Santastic! Entertainment) Weekly Young Sunday
Tamashii Rettsha (魂列車?) 1992 Santastic! (Santastic! Entertainment) Weekly Young Sunday
Tokyo Tribe (TOKYO TRIBE?) 1993 Takarajima Comics Deluxe (JICC)
None (Bijutsu Shuppan-sha)
Young Jump Comics (Shueisha)
Santastic! (Santastic! Entertainment)
Straight to volume.
Boon (only limited)
The Neighbor No. Thirteen (隣人13号?) 1994
2008 (bunko)
Birz Comics (Gentosha)
Gentosha Comics Manga Bunko (Gentosha)
Comic Scholar (partially)
Mon Mon (モンモン?) 1995 Santastic! (Santastic! Entertainment) Manga Pachinker
Tirauchi Kantarō (ティラウチ完太郎?) 1995 Feel Comics (Shodensha) Quick Japan
Born 2 Die (BORN 2 DIE?) 1995 Feel Comics (Shodensha) Quick Japan
Santa Inoue (井上三太?) 1996 Feel Comics (Shodensha) Compilation
Tokyo Tribes (TOKYO TRIBE2?) 1997 Feel Comics (Shodensha) Boon
Tokyo Drive (TOKYO DRIVE?) 2000 KC Deluxe (Kodansha) Weekly Young Magazine
Tokyo Graffiti (TOKYO GRAFFITI?) 2001 Young Jump Comics (Shueisha) Weekly Young Jump
Santa Inoue2 (井上三太2?) 2002 Feel Comics (Shodensha) Compilation
Tokyo Burger (TOKYO BURGER?) 2007 Santastic! (Santastic! Entertainment) Ollie
Tokyo Tribe2 Spin off! (TOKYO TRIBE2 Spin Off!?) 2008 Feel Comics (Shodensha) Parts serialized in various.
Tokyo Tribe 3 (TOKYO TRIBE3?) 2008 None Ollie
Dan Da Barbarian 2009 None Comic Birz

Album covers

Name Artist(s) Label
7 Soul Folder
Art Official Intelligence: Mosaic Thump De La Soul Tommy Boy Entertainment
Drivin' wiz My Homies! Santa Inoue Universal Music Group
Drivin' wiz My Homies! 2 Santa Inoue Universal Music Group
Tōshiba Classics (東芝クラシックス?) Scha Dara Parr (スチャダラパー?)
You Gotta Hold On Me DJ Komori
Tokyo Tribe2 DJ Muro

Other works

Name Detail
Roland SP-404 Ad Illustration Drawing "TT2"s character KAI for the ad of Roland SP-404
JUST FOR KICKS Special Edition DVD Illustration Drawing Illustration of a documentary film Just for Kicks DVD special edition
T.I. "Paper Trail" promotion Illustration Drawing T.I.'s illustrations for his Paper Trail promotion in Japan.
Exile Illustration Drawing illustration of Japanese famous dance vocal group Exile for their exhibition.
Santastic! Magazine "SARU" A magazine Santa directed.
Samurai VS Santa Inoue Santa collaborated with Japanese magazine "Samurai"
"No Music, No Life" campaign Joined Tower Records campaign "No Music, No, Life"
Warp magazine cover Illustration Drawing cover illustration on warp magazine.
Boon magazine cover Illustration Drawing cover illustration on Boon magazine
Illustration for Tokyo Fantastic Film Festival 2004 Drawing illustration for Tokyo Fantastic Film Festival 2004.
Illustration for BAPE Drawing APE illustration for BAPE

Santastic! Entertainment

Santa Inoue is also notable for his merchandise line Santastic! Entertainment.[11] The line primarily relaseses clothing (i.e. shirts, hoodies, pants, caps) by Santa[12][13][14], however Santastic! also releases diamond necklaces and pinky rings[15] and others such as key chains, bumper stickers[16], and limited edition items.[17] Santa Inoue's website primariy supports the line[11] and even has Santastic! Wear limited to the web.[18] Items and web limitation items can be dilivered through the website as well.[19] Also a part of the Santastic! line is Santastic! Gangu, figurines include Tokyo Tribe2 Gang's History [Kai] regular and limited color, Larry Frinco, Hasheeme, Mon, and Santastic! Box2.[20] Also on the web is Santastic! TV, a series of YouTube and Vimeo videos uploaded by Santastic! employee Hori2Williams.[21] Santastic! Shops are also opened in Shibuya, Tokyo and Shanghai, China, which both sell Santastic! Wear and accessories.[3] Occasionally, when new clothes are made photo shoots will take place which are shown on the website and in the Ollie magazine.[22]


  1. Script error
  2. Inoue, Santa. "PROFILE". Tōkyō-to Shibuyaku Shibuya 1 Chōme 22 − 5: Santastic! Entertainment. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 McCoy, Travis (2008-12-17). "So here's a picture of my friend Phil and I". Travie's Blog. Retrieved 2009-02-18. 
  4. "Tokyo Tribes". People's Bank Building, 5900 Wilshire Boulevard, 20th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90036-5020: Tokyopop, Inc. Retrieved 2009-02-20. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Anime News Network (2004-04-21). "Tokyopop to release Santa Inoue's Tokyo Tribes manga". Press release.'s-tokyo-tribes-manga. Retrieved 2009-02-21.
  6. "2005 Eisner Nominations". Anime News Network. 2005-04-14. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  7. "Tokyo Tribes TV Anime in October". Anime News Network. 2006-05-10. Retrieved 2009-02-21. 
  8. Script error
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  11. 11.0 11.1 Script error
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External links

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