Kazuki Takahashi
高橋 和希
Kazuki takahashi.jpg
Takahashi in 2005
Kazuo Takahashi (高橋 一雅)

(1961-10-04)October 4, 1961
Tokyo, Japan
DiedJuly 4, 2022(2022-07-04) (aged 60)
OccupationManga artist
Years active1981–2020
Known forYu-Gi-Oh!

Kazuo Takahashi (Japanese: 高橋 一雅, Hepburn: Takahashi Kazuo, October 4, 1961 – July 4, 2022), known professionally as Kazuki Takahashi (高橋 和希, Takahashi Kazuki), was a Japanese manga artist. He made his serial manga debut in 1986, and is best known as the author of Yu-Gi-Oh!, published in Weekly Shōnen Jump from 1996 to 2004. The manga spawned a popular trading card game of the same name, which holds the Guinness World Record for the best-selling trading card game to date.

Early life

Kazuo Takahashi was born in Tokyo on October 4, 1961.[1]


In 1981, Takahashi's one-shot manga Ing! Love Ball, submitted under the pen name Hajime Miyabi (雅はじめ, Miyabi Hajime), won the Shogakukan New Comic Award and was published in Weekly Shōnen Sunday in the same year.[1] His serial debut was in 1986 with Go-Q-Choji Ikkiman, an adaptation of the TV sports anime of the same name, published in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine.[1] In 1990, his one-shot Tokio no Taka was published in Shueisha's Weekly Shōnen Jump.[2] Another manga, Tennenshoku Danji Buray, was published in the magazine from 1991 to 1992.[3] In a 2002 interview, Takahashi later called much of his early manga work a "total flop".[4]

In 1996, Takahashi launched Yu-Gi-Oh! under the pen name "Kazuki Takahashi" in Weekly Shōnen Jump, where it was serialized until 2004.[5] The series became a huge success and has sold more than 40 million copies. The series has also received several media adaptations, notably an anime television series and a trading card game developed by Konami,[5] which holds the Guinness World Record for the best-selling trading card game in history, with more than 25.1 billion cards sold as of 2011.[6] Takahashi continued to supervise the Yu-Gi-Oh! franchise following the end of the original manga's run.[2]

In 2013, his one-shot manga Drump was released in Weekly Shōnen Jump.[7] In 2015, Takahashi received the Inkpot Award from Comic-Con International for his outstanding contributions to comics.[8] In 2018, Takahashi published the limited series The Comiq in Weekly Shōnen Jump.[9] Takahashi also wrote a two-part manga, titled Secret Reverse, for the Marvel × Shōnen Jump+ Super Collaboration, which was released on Shōnen Jump+ in September 2019.[10]

Personal life

Takahashi liked to play games such as shogi, mahjong, card games, and tabletop role-playing games.[11] In an interview with Shonen Jump, Takahashi stated that his favorite manga from other authors included Akira by Katsuhiro Otomo, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki, and Dragon Ball by Akira Toriyama.[12] He also enjoyed reading American comics, with Hellboy being his favorite American comic book character.[13] His pet dog, a shiba inu named Taro (タロ), was the basis for the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game monster card Shiba-Warrior Taro (しばせんタロ); the card's artwork was personally drawn by Takahashi.[14][15]

He occasionally expressed political opinions with his art. For instance, he once posted a drawing on Instagram of Yu-Gi-Oh! characters criticizing the Shinzo Abe government and asking his followers to "vote for justice" in the 2019 House of Councillors election, for which he later apologized.[16]


On July 6, 2022, Takahashi was found dead in the water 300 meters (980 ft) off the shore of Nago, Okinawa, by Japan Coast Guard officers following a civilian report from a passing boat.[17] He was found wearing snorkeling gear, and his cause of death was determined to be drowning.[18][19]

It was subsequently reported, first in the American military newspaper Stars and Stripes on October 11, that Takahashi had died in the afternoon of July 4 while assisting in the rescue of three others who were caught in a rip current.[20][21]



  1. ^ a b c 『遊戯王』の作者・高橋和希さんが死去。沖縄県名護市で遺体となって発見、海上保安署と警察が死亡するまでのいきさつを調査中と報道. Den Fami Nico Gamer (in Japanese). July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  2. ^ a b 遊☆戯☆王. Comic Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. April 21, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  3. ^ 天然色男児BURAY. Media Arts Database (in Japanese). Agency for Cultural Affairs. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  4. ^ Spencer, Samuel (July 7, 2022). "Kazuki Takahashi Dead At 60: Celebrating The 'Yu-Gi-Oh' Creator's Legacy". Newsweek. Archived from the original on July 7, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  5. ^ a b 「遊☆戯☆王」の高橋和希が60歳で死去. Comic Natalie (in Japanese). Natasha, Inc. July 7, 2022. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  6. ^ Loo, Egan (June 14, 2011). "Yu-Gi-Oh! Sets Guinness Record with 25.1 Billion+ Cards". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 23, 2022.
  7. ^ Sherman, Jennifer (October 17, 2013). "Kazuki Takahashi Draws 'Drump' 1-Shot 9 Years After Yu-Gi-Oh's End". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on March 28, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  8. ^ Ressler, Karen (July 13, 2015). "Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator Kazuki Takahashi Receives Comic-Con Int'l's Inkpot Award". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 22, 2021. Retrieved October 9, 2020.
  9. ^ Hodgkins, Crystalyn (October 5, 2018). "Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga Creator Kazuki Takahashi Launches Short Manga in Shonen Jump". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 24, 2019. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  10. ^ Pineda, Rafael (September 3, 2019). "Yu-Gi-Oh's Kazuki Takahashi, Other Jump Artists Draw Marvel Superhero Manga Shorts". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on April 9, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  11. ^ "SHONEN JUMP". SHONEN JUMP. Archived from the original on April 12, 2008. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
  12. ^ "Kazuki Takahashi interview". Shonen Jump. Vol. 1, no. 20. Viz Media. August 2004.
  13. ^ "When Yugi Met Hellboy...". Shonen Jump. Vol. 2, no. 9. Viz Media. September 2004. p. 330.
  14. ^ 「柴戦士タロ」があ出頭え!? [Shiba-Warrior Taro appears!?]. ジャンプSTUDIO発掘隊 [JUMP STUDIO FINDING CORPS]. ジャンプ流! [JUMP-RYU!] (DVD付分冊マンガ講座 [magazine bundled with DVD containing some of the same content in video format]) (in Japanese). Vol. 8. Shueisha. April 21, 2016. p. 7.
  15. ^ @jc_jumpryu (April 22, 2016). vol.8好評発売中!... (Tweet) (in Japanese). Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via Twitter.
  16. ^ Loveridge, Lynzee (July 16, 2019). "Yu-Gi-Oh Creator Kazuki Takahashi Apologizes for Political Statements". Anime News Network. Retrieved July 13, 2022.
  17. ^ Tolentino, Josh (July 7, 2022). "Yu-Gi-Oh! Manga Creator Kazuki Takahashi Has Died". Siliconera. Archived from the original on July 8, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2022.
  18. ^ サメのかみ傷は死後 「遊☆戯☆王」作者の死因は溺死と発表 12キロ離れたビーチにレンタカー. Okinawa Times (in Japanese). July 12, 2022. Retrieved July 12, 2022.
  19. ^ Dooley, Ben (July 7, 2022). "Kazuki Takahashi, Yu-Gi-Oh! Creator, Dies at 60". New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2022.
  20. ^ Burke, Matthew M. (October 11, 2022). "Army officer recognized for rescuing three people from riptide that killed 'Yu-Gi-Oh!' creator". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved October 12, 2022.
  21. ^ Ives, Mike; Ueno, Hisako (October 28, 2022). "A Celebrated Japanese Artist Died Trying to Save Others From Drowning". New York Times. Retrieved November 2, 2022.