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Kitaro, NonNonBâ Manga Creator Shigeru Mizuki Passes Away

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
93-year-old prolific manga creator ended latest series in May

Prolific manga creator Shigeru Mizuki passed away on Monday morning in a Tokyo hospital. He was 93.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mizuki fell and hit his head in his home on November 11, and had been hospitalized since then. He then died of heart failure at the hospital on Monday.

Mizuki had ended his latest manga, the autobiographical Watashi no Hibi (My Everyday), in May. Shogakukan had noted at the time that the reason for the abrupt end was not due to Mizuki's health.

Mizuki was born in Osaka in 1922, and he grew up in Tottori Prefecture. He was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II, where he injured — and later lost — his left arm. He penned multiple manga based on his experiences in World War II, such as Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths and Watashi no Hibi.

Mizuki was also famous for his manga about yōkai — Japanese supernatural creatures. His manga and research into yōkai is largely responsible for the popularity that yōkai stories have today. He recently starred in a documentary about yōkai that aired on Japanese television in September.

Mizuki was the first Japanese creator to win a major award at France's Angoulême International Comics Festival when he won the Fauve d'Or: Prix du Meilleur Album in 2007 for NonNonBâ. He was also honored as a Person of Cultural Merit by the Japanese government in 2010.

North American publisher Drawn & Quarterly has released many of Mizuki's works in English, such as NonNonBâ, Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths, and Showa: A History of Showa Japan (Comic Showa-Shi), the latter two of which were nominated for a Harvey Award in 2012 and 2014, respectively. Drawn & Quarterly also published a one-volume selection of Mizuki's GeGeGe no Kitarō series under the title Kitaro in 2013, and it plans to publish seven more volumes of the series. The company also published Mizuki's biographical Hitler manga this month.

Mizuki's Showa 1939-1944: A History of Japan and Showa 1944-1953: A History of Japan manga won the 2015 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award for Best U.S. Edition of International Material—Asia in July.

Image via Comic Natalie

Sources: YTV, Kumanichi

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