Anime, Manga Stars Come Out to Pay Respects to Late Shigeru Mizuki

posted on 2016-02-02 16:45 EST by Lynzee Loveridge

Prolific manga creator Shigeru Mizuki, the mind behind award-winning works like Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, and Showa: A History of Showa Japan (Comic Showa-Shi) and the favorite Kitaro passed away at the age of 93 in November. A large memorial service was held on Sunday at the historic Aoyama Funeral Hall in Minato, Tokyo.

The service was hosted by Mizuki's wife and chief mourner Nunoe Mura and close friends, mystery writer Natsuhiko Kyogoku and polymath Hiroshi Aramata.

The memorial's floral display included a smiling picture of Mizuki surrounded by his beloved characters. The arrangement included a chrysanthemum native to the Shimane Peninsula that grew visibly from Mizuki's home and tropical flowers to invoke the jungle of Rabaul, Papua New Guinea. Shizuki was in a field hospital in Rabaul after he was drafted into the Imperial Army during the second World War. He would contract malaria during his tour and lose his left arm during an Allied air raid. He was the only survivor of his unit.

Aramata stated before the service started that they chose the picture of Mizuki smiling because "He was a person that made people happy when they spoke to him. He was like a "happiness mushroom." Mizuki is one of Japan's treasures." His wife thanked Mizuki for 53 years of marriage and said she will thank him in person when they see each other again soon in the afterlife. She commented that her life with Mizuki was fun, even when they two struggled in poverty together. She said she looked forward to rejoining him as "now I cannot even see him in my dreams."

Kyogoku added that Mizuki has joined the world of his creations. "I hope the feelings from our hearts stretch across the border," he said.

Mizuki's works touched many within the industry. Takao Saito (Golgo 13), actress Masako Nozawa (Dragonball Z, Gegege no Kitarō), and former Monthly Manga Garo magazine editor Tetsuo Matsuda all spoke during the service. Attendees included singer and personality Shoko Nakagawa (Hakaba Kitarō), actor Tadanobu Asano, actor Eiji Wentz (live-action Kitaro), actor Osamu Mukai (GeGeGe no Nyōbō), and actress Nao Matsushita (GeGeGe no Nyōbō).

A second service open to Mizuki's many fans also took place and drew 8,000 people. Aoyama Funeral Hall installed a "yōkai postbox" for fans to deliver their messages to Mizuki.

Source: Comic Natalie, The Asahi Shimbun

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