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Leiji Matsumoto Hospitalized in Italy After Suspected Stroke

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Influential sci-fi manga creator is in Turin to celebrate 40th anniversary of Captain Harlock premiere

The website for the Asahi Shimbun newspaper reported on Saturday that according to Italian media, artist and manga creator Leiji Matsumoto was hospitalized in Turin, Italy on Friday after collapsing. The Asahi Shimbun noted that it is suspected that he had a stroke and that he is in serious condition. The newspaper added that according to Italian media, after Matsumoto started speaking inarticulately at an event, staff took him back to his hotel, and he was then taken to hospital via emergency transport.

The Kyodo news agency also confirmed on Saturday through the Corriere della Sera daily newspaper that Matsumoto has been hospitalized for a suspected stroke and is in serious condition, but the agency did not confirm the other details noted by Asahi Shimbun.

The Leiji Matsumoto Cultural Association, the organization hosting Matsumoto's stay in Italy, noted on Friday that Matsumoto is currently undergoing medical examination, but his current situation remains unclear.

Matsumoto was in Turin to attend a series of events that celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Captain Harlock anime's debut on Italian television. According to the Leiji Matsumoto Cultural Association, Matsumoto was scheduled for an autograph signing at the Cinema Massimo on Friday, but was only able to sign a few autographs before retiring to his hotel room and undergoing medical supervision. At the moment, Matsumoto's commitments on Saturday and Sunday are currently being evaluated.

Matsumoto was born in 1938, and he debuted as a manga artist in 1953 with Michibachi no Bōken (Honeybee's Adventure) while he was still in high school. His notable works include Space Pirate Captain Harlock, Galaxy Express 999, and Queen Emeraldas — all of which inspired multiple anime or live-action adaptations — and he contributed designs and created the tie-in manga for Space Battleship Yamato. He also supervised animated music videos for French electronic pop group Daft Punk's Discovery album, and the videos were strung together into the INTERSTELLA 5555 film. His designs and works have influenced multiple generations of artists around the world.

In 2001 Matsumoto was awarded the "Medal with Purple Ribbon" honor, and in 2010 he was awarded with the "Order of the Sacred Treasure, Gold Rays with Rosette." In 2012 he received the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters) decoration from the French government.

Thanks to Gwyn Campbell for the news tip.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun (河原田慎一), Kyodo News, Leiji Matsumoto Cultural Association's Facebook page via Leiji News, Mari Yamazaki

This article has a follow-up: Kyodo: Manga Creator Leiji Matsumoto Is Stable With No Serious Head Symptoms Detected (2019-11-16 08:20)
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