Kazuo Takahashi changed the world for good in 1986 when he made his manga debut with a series that would over time become a global phenomenon. It is often that people are remembered for the art they have created or the good they have done. In the case of the pen name Kazuki Takahashi, the relevance is of both types. Reports surfaced this Tuesday that shed light on how the Yu-Gi-Oh! the series author met his end. His dead body was earlier found 300 meters away from the shore of Nago, Okinawa by Japan Coast Guard on July 6, 2022.

At the time of the renowned author’s death, NHK and The Japan Times reported it as a case of drowning. They also mentioned that authorities withheld further comments as the scenario was not clear. This October 7, the Military newspaper Star And Stripes reported Major Robert Bourgeau, 49’s retelling of the events.

What actually happened that led to Kazuo Takahashi’s death?

Mermaid's grotto where Kazuo Takahashi died
Mermaid’s Grotto in Okinawa, courtesy of
bgibbyC130 youtube channel

Mermaid’s Grotto is one of Okinawa’s popular diving sites. On July 4 Major Bourgeau was serving as a scuba diving instructor there.

  • Bourgeau told Star and Stripes that around 2:00 pm local time he spotted a riptide forming 100 yards away from the shore with the waves taking over six feet in height.
  • A local woman, her 11-year-old daughter, and another soldier of
  • 39 were seemingly drowning when the waves reached them.
  • As the trio was engulfed in a whirlpool, the giant six feet wave was about to rupture them apart.

Bourgeau rushed in to save the drowning trio

Bourgeau who was involved in the rescue operation took took the life of Kazuo Takahashi
Army Maj. Robert Bourgeau courtesy of Star and Stripes newspaper

Aided by two scuba diving students who got him his snorkel, Bourgeau afterward swam in and sped to help. Unbeknownst to Bourgeau, along with the three, there was another – Kazuo Takahashi who had jumped in to help the child and mom. However, Kazuo Takahashi was not spotted by Bourgeau himself but was instead seen by one of the students.

Yu-Gi-Oh! author Kazuo Takahashi’s participation in the rescue

Yu-Gi-Oh! creator dies
courtesy of Crunchyroll

The Coast Guard had earlier reported on July 6 that Kazuo Takahashi was found wearing snorkeling equipment. The Coast Guard has also told NHK that there were “damages to his body which looked like they were caused by some sort of marine animal.” It was later put together that the Yu-Gi-Oh! creator was traveling when sources told NHK that Takahashi rented a car rental for about three weeks. The car was later retrieved by an employee almost 12 kilometers away from where the body of Kazuo was recovered.

The report by Star And Stripes mentions in detail how the Major was able to save the lives of the girl and the mother. Bourgeau mentions that he could not save the soldier that was with the other two.

I grabbed mom and I grabbed [refeing to the girl] and I just kicked for all life

But after the Scuba Dive instructor was able to get out of the whirlpool, he instructed the struck soldier of 39 on how to reach shallow water. Ultimately all three were rescued.

Kazuo Takahashi could not make the rescue attempt

Yet what untimely was the fact that the Yu-Gi-Oh! creator Kazuo Takahashi did not make it. We assume that Kazuo was traveling alone and roaming the site when he witnessed the event take place. Kazuo probably on his own jumped to rescue, only to fail and end up washed away 1,000 feet further from the shore of Awa, Nago.

The Legacy of Yu-Gi-Oh! as left by Kazuo Takahashi

Yu-Gi-Oh! creator dies
via Crunchyroll

The legacy of Yu-Gi-Oh! is such that ever since its release, it has ludicrously contended with the corporate giant world of Pokemon. Yu-Gi-Oh! expanded as a trading card game almost in a revolutionary way. The series’ popularity was profound neither only through its serialization in Shueisha’s weekly shonen magazine Shonen Jump nor its anime adaptation alone.

Its primary strength was the real-life expenditure that was possible in the world of Duel Masters; through the selling of the duelist cards. A similar feat was not possible for Pokemon, as despite being able to market off of merchandise, Pokemons could never come to reality.

Conclusion

Yu-Gi-Oh! told the story of protagonist Yugi Muto solves an ancient device named Millenium Puzzle which calls forth a spirit that powers his alter ego – Yami Yugi. The duo then attempts to become history’s grandest duelist.

Kazuo died trying to save three people who were on the verge of death. Albeit to the tragedy of the situation, he couldn’t make it. This still doesn’t shed light away from the truth that positively, the three who were being engulfed could safely make it back home. It’s odd, almost fiction-like, but it seems that random events did come together in the death of Kazuo Takahashi. 


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VIAStar and Stripes
SOURCEstripes.com
Rhytham is a Philosophy graduate who founded a state-level organization that promotes anime and Japanese culture in his home state of Assam India. The org is named Assam Senpai Society. He is also an ardent writer, poet, musician, vocalist, graphic designer, and photoshop artist. He has worked on multiple state and national level conventions. Other than anime, catch him watching western series that really have in themselves the solidity to catch his attention.