Asia

Shigeru Mizuki mourned: 'Death of a master'

  • 1 December 2015
  • From the section Asia
MIZUKI Productions Image copyright MIZUKI Productions
Image caption Kitaro, a ghost tribe member and also the lead character from Shigeru Mizuki's popular horror manga series

Manga fans around the world are mourning the death of famed Japanese artist Shigeru Mizuki, who died on Monday.

Known for having popularised horror manga globally, Mr Mizuki was best known for his series Gegege no Kitaro, about a young boy fighting monsters based on Japanese folklore. It was also made into an animated series that ran for several years.

Death, destruction and rebirth were common themes in his work, many of which were also based on his personal experiences during World War Two, where he lost his left arm.

'The death of a master'

Tributes poured in from grieving fans on Twitter, with many using Mr Mizuki's characters and stories to pay tribute to him.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Shigeru Mizuki was 93 years old

"The death of a master. Sayonara, Mizuki san," tweeted a fan in Tokyo.

"Sensei Mizuki has passed on. Farewell and I hope you'll enjoy yourself along with your yokai in the afterlife," said Sean Long on Facebook referring to yokai - the ghost characters from his manga novels.

Japanese Twitter users also discussed Mr Mizuki's influence and remembered his famous wartime injury.

"He lost his dominant hand but made a career on the one he had left," said Twitter user Niyai.

"Imagine Roald Dahl and Doctor Seuss put together," said one fan. "He's been in our national psyche ever since we can remember."

One user, nyororo shared illustrations on her account, honouring Mr Mizuki's work.

A huge fan, she told the BBC she used to practice drawing Kitaro, one of Mr Mizuki's most famous characters, when she was little.

Image caption Mr Mizuki's drawings have inspired fans from all over the world

'Creatures in hell want your autograph'

Death has been one of the most reoccurring themes in Mr Mizuki's work.

"He taught us to embrace death and more importantly, showed us how to accept and celebrate strangeness in the world," said another user.

Image copyright MIZUKI Productions
Image caption The cover of one instalment from Gegege no Kitaro

One of the most popular tributes to Mr Mizuki on social media came from a fan ryokuhatudoumei who tweeted an imaginary conversation between the grim reaper and the late manga artist.

Death arrives and Mizuki asks where he's being taken to

"To hell, of course."

"Oh my, is this because I caused so much trouble?"

"No. All the yokai (creatures) in hell want your autograph."

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