Posted December 1, 2015 by Drew Bagay in Anime/Manga

Renowned Manga Artist SHIGERU MIZUKI Dies at 93

shigeru_mizuki_portraitShigeru Mizuki, best known for his manga GeGeGe No Kitaro, a series featuring the Japanese spirits and monsters, passed away today of multiple organ failure at age 93.

According to the report, Mizuki had been hospitalized since November 11 after he fell and hit his head at his home in Tokyo.

Born in 1922, Mizuki, whose real name was Shigeru Mura, was drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942 and sent off to fight in Papua New Guinea during World War II. He contracted malaria during the war and lost his left arm in an Allied airstrike. After surviving the war, he returned to Japan to become a manga artist.

His time in the war would serve as the basis for his 1973 manga Soin Gyokusai Seyo! (Onward Towards Our Noble Deaths!), which depicts the horrific realities in the battlefield. The manga received critical acclaim and in 2009 won the Heritage Essential Award at the Angouleme International Comics Festival in France.

[CHECK OUT… GRAPHIC NOVEL REVIEW: Shigeru Mizuki’s Showa 1944-1952: A History of Japan, Vol. 3]

Furthermore, Mizuki is responsible for creating the yokai (Japanese ghosts and monsters) genre in manga with titles such as NonNonBa and GeGeGe No Kitaro. His interest in yokai was inspired by stories he heard during his childhood. In an interview with The Japan Times, he revealed that aside from popular folklore stories, most of his knowledge of yokai came from reading the works of folklore researcher Kunio Yanagida.

Mizuki was awarded the Medal with Purple Ribbon by the Japanese government for his contribution to arts. His hometown Sakaiminato has honored him by dedicating a museum to his work, and placing more than a hundred statues of his characters along Shigeru Mizaku Road.

GeGeGe No Kitaro has been adapted into anime and live-action movies multiple times. His life was also the subject of a television drama series in 2010.

Drew Bagay

Drew is a lover of comic books, movies, and all things pop culture. He enjoys crime/thriller/noir fiction, playing the guitar, and taking long walks. He also doesn't like talking in third person.