It is confirmed today that Shinji Mizushima, a renowned mangaka known for his series on baseball such as Dokaben, Yakyukyo no Uta, and Abusan, died of pneumonia in a Tokyo hospital on January 10, 2022. He was 82 years old. He had been battling the disease for a long time. Funerals were already held only by the family according to the wishes of the deceased.
Mizushima was born in Niigata Prefecture on April 10, 1939, and debuted as a manga artist in 1958 at the age of 18. After his first successful series Otoko Doahou Kousien in 1970, he created numerous series of manga on the theme of baseball and was for a long time a figurehead in the field. One of his well-known series, Abusan was serialized in Shogakukan’s Big Comic Original for 41 years from 1973 to 2014. He announced his retirement in December 2020, with his last work Abusan – Tama Kegerenaku Michi Kewashi (The ball is clean, the road is hard), published in Big Comic Original.
He won the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Award at the Japan Cartoonists Society Awards in 2007, the Medal with Purple Ribbon in 2005, and the Order of the Rising Sun, Rays gold with rosette in 2014.
Sources: Nikkan Sports, Asahi Shimbun