Beloved Japanese manga artist & Doraemon co-creator, Fujiko Fujio A, dies at 88

Source: ABS CBN News, The Japan Times

Beloved Japanese manga artist and Doraemon co-creator, Fujiko Fujio A, has reportedly passed away yesterday (7th April 2022) at 88-years-old. Otherwise known by his real name of Motoo Abiko, Japanese news broadcaster TBS said that he was found dead outside his home located near Tokyo. He was best remembered for working on a number of popular Japanese children’s cartoons such as Ninja Hattori, Little Ghost Q-Taro, and perhaps most famously as one of the co-creators of the Doraemon series.

Beloved manga artist Fujiko Fujio A dies at 88

It was said that local authorities had responded to a call at the artist’s residence at about 8.40am that day after someone had collapsed on the property. The person was later revealed to have been the artist himself, who was already dead when police arrived at the scene.

Doraemon co-creator Fujiko Fujio A has died at 88. Source: ABS CBN News
Doraemon co-creator Fujiko Fujio A has died at 88. Source: ABS CBN News

According to SCMP, Abiko was the eldest son born to a monk attached to a historic temple in the Toyama prefecture, before the family moved away after his father’s death when he was in fifth-grade.

“My father’s death changed my life the most. If he had not died, I think I would have been a monk,” he was once quoted in an interview with Asahi newspaper in 2020.

Later on in high-school, he would go on to meet and befriend Hiroshi Fujimoto, before forming a working partnership together under the joint pseudonym of Fujiko Fujio. Releasing their works under this pseudonym, the pair shared an apartment in Tokyo with other esteemed manga artists of the time, including the ‘God of Manga’ himself, Osamu Tezuka, who created the Astro Boy, Princess Knight, and Black Jack series.

Best known for being the co-creator of Doraemon

Both Abiko and Fujimoto would go on to release one of their first and most memorable projects together, Q-Taro, about a family who shared their home with a good-natured ghost. This was then followed by the creation of the immensely successful worldwide phenomenon, Doraemon, which centers around the titular blue robot cat from the future and his adventures with a human boy known as Nobita.

Doraemon co-creator Fujiko Fujio A has died at 88. Source: The Japan Times
Doraemon co-creator Fujiko Fujio A has died at 88. Source: The Japan Times

The manga, which was released in 1970, ran for over 26 years before ending in 1990. However, it’s impact upon the childhoods of children across Asia has been without compare, having spanned a media empire that included television cartoons, movies, and toys.

The Anime News Network adds that Abiko was also known for works that he had published on his own, including the Ninja Hattori series and more adult-skewed Warau Salesman series.

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