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Manga Creator Brothers Sanpei Shirato, Tetsuji Okamoto Pass Away of Pneumonia 4 Days Apart

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
Brothers worked on Legend of Kamui manga franchise together

Shogakukan announced on Monday that manga creator Sanpei Shirato (real name Noboru Okamoto) and manga artist Tetsuji Okamoto passed away on October 8 and October 12, respectively. Shirato was 89.

Shirato (pictured left in image at right) passed away due to aspiration pneumonia, and Okamoto (pictured right) passed away due to interstitial pneumonia. The two artists were brothers.

Shirato was born in February 1932 in Tokyo, and his father was painter Tōki Okamoto. He debuted as a manga creator in 1957 with Kogarashi Kenshi. He published the Kamui Den manga from 1964 to 1971 in the Monthly Manga Garo magazine. Sanpei played a major role in the formation of the avant-garde magazine.

Shirato then published the Kamui Gaiden sequel manga in Weekly Shonen Sunday from 1965 to 1967, and continued the manga later in the 1980s. Viz Media released the manga in English under the title The Legend of Kamui. The manga inspired the Ninpu Kamui Gaiden television anime as well as a live-action film.

Shirato also drew manga such as Sasuke, Watari, and Ninja Bugeicho Kagemaruden. He won the 4th Kodansha Children's Manga Award in 1963 for Sasuke and Seaton Dōbutsuki.

Okamoto drew the Kamui Den Dai Ni-bu manga, which serves as the second part of the main manga. The manga ran from 1988 to 2000 and had 22 volumes. Sanpei and Okamoto worked on the manga together. Okamoto also drew the Kamui Gaiden: Saikai manga, which launched in 2009 and ran for three chapters. Sanpei handled the composition for the manga.

Sources: Shogakukan, Oricon

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