Monkey Punch is the pen name of Japanese manga artist Kazuhiko Katō born May 26, 1937, best known for his series Lupin III. In April 2005 he became the professor of Manga Animation at Otemae University, in their Faculty of Media and Arts, and was a visiting professor at Tokyo University of Technology in May 2010. He was born in Hamanaka, Hokkaidō and currently resides in Sakura, Chiba. He received a special Tokyo Anime Award in 2015.
Katō began drawing at a very young age, but did not draw manga until junior high school, when his manga strips were used in the school newspaper. After graduating, he moved to Tokyo to look for work and began going to a technical school for electronics, continuing to draw for fun.
Katō first started to work as a professional manga artist, under the pen name Kazuhiko Katō.
In 1965, he made his debut with Playboy School, writing under the name of Eiji Gamuta.
The editor of the magazine that "discovered him" then suggested the pen name Monkey Punch.
Katō claims that he did not like the name, but agreed because it was his boss' idea and his next series was only supposed to be a three-month project.
When the series, Lupin III, became popular, he was stuck with the name.
Lupin III made its debut on August 10, 1967 in the first issue of the magazine Weekly Manga Action, the cover was also drawn by Monkey Punch. It went on to become an extremely popular and successful media franchise, spawning numerous manga, five animated television series, seven animated feature films, two live-action films, three OVAs, near-yearly television specials since 1989, music CDs, video games, and a musical. Monkey Punch himself even directed the 1996 film, Dead or Alive.