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Manga Artist, Takao Yaguchi Passed Away, Rest in Peace…

Manga artist, Takao Yaguchi has passed away.

I believe I first met Mr. Yaguchi in 2004. At the time, The advisor of the company I managed, Masaru Uchida (deceased), introduced me to him. I believe it was at an office in Jiyugaoka.

At the time, there were no smartphones, just 3.5-inch flip phones, and KDDI just became a monthly flat rate fee system, in which electronic comics (can be read frame by frame) and  ringtones (the ringtones which had only been a melody became the actual song) were looked forward to as the main content.
I wanted the rights to digitize the master comics as much as possible before the service started.

However, contracts written a long time ago between authors and publishers about their works did not include the future of  electronic world rights. The publisher was worried that the author would freely sell the digitization (automatic public transmission) to an IT company like mine, using the hardships of the past as a shield, and tamper with it repeatedly.

The challenger that I am approached manga artists such as Shigeru Mizuki, Kazuo Umezu, Motoo Abiko, Leiji Matsumoto, and Yoshiharu Tsuge directly and had a good feeling. Mr. Yaguchi was among those people I met. Of course, because he did something so radical, he was banned from the publishing company.  Mr. Yaguchi understood going from paper to electronic because of his previous profession as a banker.

And then, I was given the work I especially liked,  Gekitou Magnitude 7.7.
A manga based on the Middle Japan Sea Earthquake, it was serialized from 1989 to 1990 through Shogakan’s “Big Comic”, but it was already out of print and there was no other way to read it other than through used books.

The work is a story about the day of the Middle Japan Sea Earthquake which occurred on May 26th, 1983 when a newspaper reporter, Makoto Sugimura, who was almost swallowed by the tsunami while fishing in the sea, was saved and visits the people of Akita to hear about their experiences with the tsunami.
It seemed that he could foresee the Great East Japan Earthquake that occurred after (2011)  because of his realistic storytelling.

Mr. Yaguchi was so happy that his work was distributed electronically and young readers could re-read the story. I promised that I would not only digitize famous works, but all works. My digitalization has reached up to 1.09 million pages.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget his kind smile that time.
Please have fun fishing in heaven.
Rest in peace.

Fisherman Sanpei” Manga Artist, Takao Yaguchi, Died| NHK News (Japanese)