“Yu-Gi-Oh!” creator Takahashi Kazuki was found dead Wednesday in the waters off Okinawa Island, Japan. He was 60.
Kazuki's body was discovered about 1,000 feet offshore at about 10:30 a.m. local time, an official with the 11th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters in Okinawa told NBC News.
Local police had also discovered an abandoned rental car at a nearby beach. Once they determined that Kazuki had rented the vehicle, they contacted his family to confirm the body was his. He was identified Thursday.
Kazuki was wearing snorkeling equipment, according to the Coast Guard. He was traveling alone.
The Coast Guard also said there was “which looked like they were caused by some sort of marine animal."
Kazuki’s agency, Studio Dice, turned his web page black.
Kazuki, whose real name was Takahashi Kazuo and who was also known as Kazumasa, started as a manga artist in the early 1980s. The “Yu-Gi-Oh!” manga for boys he created in 1996 brought him success. The series focuses on a boy who solves an ancient puzzle and awakens a gaming alter ego in himself.
The manga spawned a hit TV anime series and an animated film.
Even more significantly, it led to the creation of a trading card game in which players battle one another. Intended as a one-off, the game became a worldwide phenomenon, with national and international competitions. It was certified in 2009 by the Guinness Book of Records as the trading card game with the world’s highest sales.
On Thursday, the hashtag #RIPLegend was dedicated to Kazuki.