Prolific manga writer Kazuo Koike
, best known for authoring Kozure Ookami
(Lone Wolf & Cub
), died on Wednesday due to pneumonia. He was 82 years old.
According to a post
on Koike's official Twitter account, the author had been under medical treatment for some time. The post thanked everyone who loved Koike and his works during his lifetime. As per his wish, his funeral was already held only by his relatives.
Koike reminisced about his long-time friend and rival Monkey Punch
on Tuesday, who also died
from pneumonia on April 11 at 81 years old. "Monkey Punch and I were rivals 40 years ago in the early days of Manga Action when his Lupin III
and my Kozure Ookami
were competing for popularity. I also remember we collaborated for the Shokikan Tori
) manga. I miss him so much," Koike tweeted
Born Yuzuru Tawaraya in Oomagai (now Daisen), Akita Prefecture in 1936, Koike later changed his real name to Seishuu Tawaraya. Aiming to become a novelist, he studied under the period author Kiichirou Yamate (Momotarou Zamurai
) during his college days at the Chuo University, but later gave up on that dream.
In 1963, after reading in Shounen magazine that Saito Production was recruiting new authors, Koike submitted a spec script titled Kareha no Shinshiroku
. He subsequently began working for the manga company on a number of titles, including Takao Saitou
and Golgo 13
, the latter of which he also served as a writer for. He became an independent creator in 1970, debuting with Nospipe Sakusen
In the 1970s, Koike began producing more violent, action-oriented works, including Goyoukiba
), and Bohachi Bushido
. His and Goseki Kojima
's Kozure Ookami
samurai manga published in that decade became highly popular for its powerful, epic tale and its gruesome portrayal of violence during the Tokugawa era. The manga sold over 8.3 million copies in Japan.
Koike established Studio Ship in 1972 with fellow creators Seisaku Kanou
, Satomi Koue, Yuu Koyama
, Hiromi Yamasaki, Kazuhiro Iga, and Takeshi Kanda
. The publishing company changed its name to Koike Shoin in 1995.
He also founded the Koike Gekiga Sonjuku training school in 1977 to foster budding manga creators and support their professional debut. Notable graduates of the school include Rumiko Takahashi
), Tetsuo Hara
(Hokuto no Ken
), Hideyuki Kikuchi
(Vampire Hunter D
), Keisuke Itagaki
), and Takayuki Yamaguchi
Source: Asahi Shimbun Digital
, Comic Natalie