At roughly 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a call was placed to the emergency number for the Japan Coast Guard in Okinawa. A marine leisure business operator had spotted a dead body floating in the ocean about 300 meters off the coast of the city of Nago.
After recovering the body, investigators were able to determine the deceased man’s identity as Kazuo Takahashi, a 60-year-old Tokyo resident. That name might not be familiar to many people, as he was much more widely known by his pen name, Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of the "Yu-Gi-Oh!" manga/anime/game franchise.
Takahashi had been vacationing by himself in Okinawa, and less than two hours before his body was discovered the police had received a call from the company he had rented a car from, saying that Takahashi had not returned the vehicle and they had been unable to contact him. The car was later found parked near the beach in the town of Onna, about 12 kilometers away from where the coast guard recovered his body.
Takahashi, who wrote and drew the original "Yu-Gi-Oh!" manga and whose concepts served as the inspiration for the associated trading card and video games, was wearing a snorkel, mask, and swim fins when his body was found, suggesting that he met with some sort of fatal mishap while snorkeling, with initial examinations indicating he had been dead for one or two days.
Japanese media outlet TBS reports that Takahashi had bite-like wounds on his abdomen and lower body, and Nikkan Sports says, in addition, that his lower-body clothing was missing, but these claims have not been confirmed and no official cause of death has yet been given.
Sources: NHK, Mainichi Shimbun, Nikkan Sports, Okinawa Times
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