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Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Died Trying To Save People From Drowning, Witnesses Say
In July, the world was shocked after learning about the death of Kazuki Takahashi, a world-famous Japanese manga artist and creator of Yu-Gi-Oh. Local authorities discovered the artist’s body off the coast of Okinawa, Japan, following a brief search. However, what seemed to be a sole tragedy was, in fact, an act of heroism, according to a new report. As Stars & Stripes reported this week, Takahashi’s last moments were spent trying to save another after a riptide made itself known at Mermaid’s Grotto.
The Department of Defence’s news service reports that an officer, named Major Robert Bourgeau, rescued three people from a riptide at a popular Okinawa dive spot. The incident killed Takahashi.
Because of his actions, he has been recommended for a Soldier’s Medal on July 4. The ceremony happened at Mermaid’s Grotto in the village of Onna, Okinawa. Bourgeau saved from drowning three swimmers—two Japanese civilians and a fellow US soldier. They were struggling in a dangerous riptide, and while “still wearing his running shoes” raced out to rescue them.
The S&S report says that while the riptide alone was dangerous enough, six-foot waves were also crashing amongst it. The riptide quickly caused a whirlpool effect, which began sucking in the stranded swimmers.
Being a trained scuba diving instructor, Borgeau was able to bring both civilians to shore, and then direct the US soldier to safety as well. During the rescue, however, “several sworn witness statements provided by the Army” said Takahashi also jumped in to help. However, the witness said that they only “caught glimpses of him until he disappeared beneath the waves.”
“He’s a hero. He died trying to save someone else,” Bourgeau told Stars & Stripes.
Yu-Gi-Oh!: An Empire of $17.1 Billion
Takahashi was the creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! (遊☆戯☆王ＹＵ－ＧＩ－ＯＨ！ Yūgiō, Japanese for “Game King” or “King of Games”), a popular manga in the 90s.
The manga mainly involves characters who play a card game called Duel Monsters wherein each player purchases and assembles a Deck of Monster, Spell, and Trap Cards to defeat one another and gain victory.
The Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise has since grown immensely successful worldwide, spawning various manga and anime series, a real-life version of the card game featured in the story, video games, toys, and many other products.
The empire born of Takahashi’s net worth is US$ 17.1 billion.