Comic Book Artist Shigeru Mizuki Dies at 93

February 3, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. pass away / pæs əˈweɪ / (phrasal v.) – to die
Example: The old man passed away in his sleep. 

2. horrific / hɔˈrɪf ɪk / (adj.) – causing great fear
Example: He couldn’t forget the horrific accident.

3. strip / strɪp / (v.) – to take away someone or something important from a person or persons
Example:  The disaster stripped her of her family.

4. folklore / foʊkˌlɔr / (n.) – the traditional beliefs of a group of people
Example: Vampires are creatures from European folklore.

5. laud / lɔd / (v.) – to praise
Example: The audience lauded his performance in the concert.


Read the text below.
Japanese comic book artist Shigeru Mizuki died in a Tokyo hospital on November 30 from multiple organ failure. He was 93 years old.

Shigeru Mizuki, also known as Shigeru Mura, was rushed to the hospital on November 11 after an accidental head injury at home. Although emergency surgery let him recover at one point, he passed away at 7:18 a.m. of November 30.

Mizuki's work as a comic book artist began after his military service in World War II. His horrific experiences in the war, including losing his left hand, living on wild papaya, and being stripped of his comrades, inspired his work. His most popular work is Gegege no Kitaro, a horror series about a young boy clashing with monsters based on Japanese folklore. All his stories share the common theme of death, destruction, and rebirth.

Long before his death, Mizuki was already lauded by critics and fans alike. Soin Gyokusai Seyo, a comic he published in 1973, was based on the horrors of war he personally experienced, won the Heritage Essential Award of the Angouleme International Comics Festival in France in 2009. Gegege no Kitaro was repeatedly modified for television and live-action films.

After hearing of his death, fans paid tribute to Mizuki on social media using his characters and stories. One fan described Mizuki's death as the death of a master. Another fan wrote a fictional dialogue between Mizuki and the grim reaper, wherein the artist finds out that he is going to hell not because the artist caused so much trouble, but because all the creatures in hell want the artist's autograph.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think Mizuki’s works will become more popular after his death? Why or why not?
·         What other works became more popular after their creator’s death?

Discussion B

·         In your country, how are famous people honored when they die?
·         Who are the famous people from your country who made headlines when they passed away?

February 3, 2016