Mangaka Shigeru Mizuki, best known for his shounen horror manga GeGeGe no Kitarou, died Monday morning at a Tokyo hospital at the age of 93. NHK reports that Mizuki died from heart failure.
Mizuki was born in 1922 in Osaka and grew up in the port town of Sakaiminato in Tottori Prefecture. After completing elementary school, he learned how to draw while working as a newspaper delivery boy.
He was drafted into the Japanese army in 1943 and was sent to the Pacific during World War II. After being seriously injured during an air bombing at New Britain in Papua New Guinea, Mizuki had his left arm amputated. He was recovering at an Allied prisoner-of-war camp when the war ended and was repatriated in 1946.
After returning to Japan, Mizuki entered Musashino Art School in 1948 but did not graduate, eventually working odd jobs and with his family's business. He began drawing for picture story shows in 1957 and later debuted as a mangaka with Rocketman.
Aside from GeGeGe no Kitarou, his popular works include Akuma-kun. The two works established him an author in the shounen horror and supernatural genre, and they received several anime adaptations. Mizuki also drew Souin Gyokusai seyo! based on his wartime experiences, along with Gekiga Hitler.
In 1991, Mizuki received the Purple Ribbon from the Japanese government, an award given to individuals for their academic and artistic accomplishments. He was also named a Person of Cultural Merit in 2010 to recognize his outstanding cultural contributions.
Mizuki is survived by his wife of 54 years, author Nunoe Mura, and two daughters.
"If you tremble with indignation at every injustice, then you are a comrade of mine"
When the union's inspiration through the workers' blood shall run
There can be no power greater anywhere beneath the sun
Yet what force on earth is weaker than the feeble strength of one
For the Union makes us strong
We've lost a master, but more than anything we should be grateful that he lived to share so many stories with us. For someone like Mizuki who should have died so many times in the jungles of New Britain 70 years ago, such a long life must have seemed a true blessing.
I'm no special story or anything. I'm just a manga that wants to be read, like you could find anywhere. But, if, for argument's sake, you were to adapt me into an anime series, it would certainly be....a tragedy.
-The Tokyo Ghoul/Tokyo Ghoul:re manga, if they could talk