Monday, 30 November 2015

Horror Manga Artist Shigeru Mizuki dies at 93

Shigeru Mizuki, famous for his manga GeGeGe no Kitarō originally titled Hakaba Kitarō, Kappa no Sanpei, and Akuma-kun. Originally from Sakaiminato in Tottori prefecture, his pen-name, Mizuki, comes from the time when he managed an inn called 'Mizuki Manor' while he drew pictures for kamishibai. A specialist in stories of yōkai (ghosts), he is considered a master of this genre. He is also known for his shocking World War II memoirs and his work as a biographer.

His wartime manga was particularly memorable as he based it on his own real life experiences - he contracted malaria, watched friends die from battle wounds and disease. He talks of his yokai characters (monsters and ghosts) used in his manga  are only seen only in times of peace. The supernatural creatures were made to have no specific ethnicity or nationality as a hint of the potential for humanity.

In 1957, Mizuki released his debut work, Rocketman. Since then, he has published numerous works, both on yōkai and military works. He has also written many books on both subjects, including an autobiography about his time on New Britain Island and a manga biography on Adolf Hitler.

In 2005, Shigeru Mizuki appeared in a cameo role in Yōkai Daisenso ("The Great Yokai War") directed by acclaimed Takashi Miike, a film about yōkai inspired by his work; several of his characters make cameo appearances. A brief explanation about his works also is mentioned in the film.

Sadly today November 30, 2015, Shigeru Mizuki died of heart failure in a Tokyo hospital after collapsing at his home from a heart attack. His works will be appreciated for the true to life depictions of war.

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