Isao Tsuge

From JoJo's Bizarre Encyclopedia - JoJo Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Isao Tsuge (柘植 伊佐夫, Tsuge Isao) is a Japanese beauty director and costume designer. He is credited as the supervising character designer for the live-action Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan TV drama.

Tsuge has worked on live-action adaptations for various anime, including Attack on Titan and Cutie Honey.


In 1982, Isao Tsuge moved to Tokyo and joined Mod's Hair, working as a hairstylist for clients such as Seiko Matsuda and Ryuichi Sakamoto.[1] In 1995, he made his film debut working as hairstylist for Masahiro Motoki's cross-dressing scenes in Gonin by Takashi Ishii.[1]

In 1999, Tsuge started his career as a hair and makeup artist on the films Eureka by Shinji Aoyama and Gemin by Shinya Tsukamoto.[1] In 2003, he began working as what he coined a "Beauty Director" on the live-action adaptation of Cutie Honey (film) by Hideaki Anno.[2][1] Tsuge then made a name for himself working on films, such as Leos Carax's Tokyo!, Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 9, and working as a Beauty Director on Yojiro Takita's 2008 Academy Award-winning film, Departures.[2][1] He has also worked with a number of musicians, including Chara and Björk.[2]

In 2010, Tsuge started becoming more involved in beauty and character design supervision after he formed his own group named "Jinbutsu Design", working on Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins,[2] and the award-winning NHK historical drama series Ryomaden.[1] In 2012, he won an Amiko Kujiraoka Award at the 30th Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix for his character designs on the historical drama Taira no Kiyomori.[1] In 2015, he also won an award for outstanding costume designs at the Asian Film Awards for the film Over Your Dead Body.[2]

Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan

Tsuge's early sketch for Kyoka Izumi

Tsuge was offered the position of supervising character designer by Kazutaka Watanabe, the show's director and close associate. The two had previously worked together on the Japanese historical TV drama series, Ryomaden and Taira no Kiyomori. Watanabe contacted Tsuge very early into the show's production, before any of the main staff had been decided. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tsuge was forced to begin the design phase from home while keeping close in contact with the director.

Tsuge's role primarily focused on overseeing the appearance of characters, ensuring they followed the director's creative vision. This involved creating designs for costumes, hair, and makeup that the actors would wear in the show.[3] Once designs were complete, Tsuge worked with his production team to select materials and refine the final costume. He was also responsible for supervising the various props and accessories used by the characters, as well as finding ways to minimize the use of visual effects.[3] Tsuge also provided his design sketches to Araki for feedback on any alterations he made, stating, "We also contacted the author for his opinion during the design process. Of course, this made us nervous, but he gave us a lot of freedom to work with. He even suggested that we could remove Rohan's headband if we felt it was too out of place."[3][4][5] Despite Araki's suggestion, Tsuge chose to keep Rohan's headband and re-designed it to match the show's realism.

Tsuge's intial sketch for Eve

For the third season, Tsuge secretly designed Kyoka and Eve with the theme of "cat vs. rabbit," with Kyoka's ribbons representing cat ears. Tsuge also deliberately made the silhouette of their designs similar to provoke tension between the two characters while making them stand out in their own unique way.[3]

On December 14, 2021, an exhibition for the first two seasons of Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan was held in the gallery of NHK Sendai. The exhibit displayed various of Tsuge's design sketches and character costume designs.[6] The exhibition was later re-held on December 18, 2022, to commemorate the premiere of the third season.[7]



  • 1990: Japan Hairdressing Awards - Japan Hair Designer Award (1st) / Grand Prix
  • 1991: Japan Hairdressing Awards - Japan Hair Designer Award (2nd) / Excellent Session Stylist Award
  • 2012: Mainichi Fashion Grand Prix - Amiko Kujiraoka Award (30th)
  • 2015: Asian Film Awards - Outstanding Costume Design Award, for the film Over Your Dead Body


# Interview Type Media Published
1 Isao Tsuge (December 2022)
December 19, 2022
2 Isao Tsuge (April 2023)
April 22, 2023


Costume Designs

Concept Art

Behind the Scenes

See also


Site Navigation

Other languages: