Famed baseball manga artist Mizushima dies at 82

Nikkei -- Jan 18
Shinji Mizushima, a famed baseball-themed manga artist known for such works as "Dokaben" and "Abu-san," died of pneumonia on Jan. 10, his management office said Monday. He was 82.

A native of the city of Niigata on the Sea of Japan coast, Mizushima debuted as a cartoonist in 1958 when he was 18. He gained popularity after he published a baseball series in 1970.

One of his most popular works, "Dokaben," depicting high school baseball players competing in national tournaments, ran for 46 years, and "Abu-san," a story about a heavy-drinking slugger in a professional baseball league, also ran over four decades.

Sadaharu Oh, Hall of Fame slugger and chairman of Japanese professional baseball team Softbank Hawks, issued a memorial message, expressing appreciation to Mizushima for featuring his team's predecessor clubs Nankai Hawks and Daiei Hawks as well as their players in the Abu-san series.