Entertainment

Shigeru Mizuki, Japanese manga artist who depicted horrors of war, dies at 93

Award-winning Japanese manga artist Shigeru Mizuki, whose retellings of traditional ghost stories and depictions of the horrors of the Second World War helped propel anime to global popularity, died on Monday at the age of 93.

Known for popular manga series Ge-ge-ge no Kitaro and stories retelling horrors of Second World War

Shigeru Mizuki is shown in May with his graphic novel The Complete Collection of Shigeru Mizuki's Manga Works - Showa: A History of Japan at his studio in Tokyo. The iconic Japanese manga artist, who used the graphic novel form to spread his message of the horror of war, has died at the age of 93. (Yoshikazu Tsuno/AFP/Getty Images)

Award-winning Japanese manga artist Shigeru Mizuki, whose retellings of traditional ghost stories and depictions of the horrors of the Second World War helped propel anime to global popularity, died on Monday at the age of 93.

Mizuki, a beloved household name in Japan, was an art student when he was drafted in 1942 and sent to fight in New Guinea, where he lost his left arm and witnessed scenes that haunted him for the rest of his life.

Mizuki and his wife Nunoe Mura pose in Tokyo in 2014 with a figure of Kitaro, the main character of his popular horror manga series Gegege no Kitaro. (Kyodo/Reuters)

Debuting in 1957, Mizuki went on to write manga dealing with the U.S. wartime bombing, the abuse he and other military recruits suffered under their emperor-worshipping commanders during the Second World War, and a biography of Adolf Hitler.

In 1979, he illustrated The Darkness of the Fukushima Nuclear Reactor about the lives of workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant that was crippled by the March 11, 2011, earthquake and tsunami.

A 1991 piece in an educational magazine depicted wartime abuses committed by Japanese soldiers in China and Korea, including one scene where a soldier boasts of testing his new sword on "five or six" civilians.

But he was probably best known for Ge-ge-ge no Kitaro, a manga series about a young ghost boy fighting off a series of monsters based on Japanese folklore that was subsequently made into an animated series that ran for several years. 

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