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Japanese manga artist Fujiko A. Fujio dies at 88

Known for 'Ninja Hattori-kun,' cartoonist worked with friend Fujiko F. Fujio

Fujiko A. Fujio, a popular Japanese cartoonist known for hit manga series such as "Ninja Hattori-kun," has died at his home near Tokyo. (Source photo by Kyodo and Nikkei)

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Fujiko A. Fujio, a popular Japanese cartoonist known for creating hit manga series, including "Ninja Hattori-kun" and "The Laughing Salesman," has died at his home in Kawasaki, near Tokyo, police said Thursday. He was 88.

The cartoonist was also known for works such as "Kaibutsu-kun" (The Monster Kid), which was also made into an anime series and is available in some foreign countries.

"The Laughing Salesman," now shown on video streaming giant Netflix, was considered one of his masterpieces. The story follows a mysterious salesman who offers to "fill the emptiness in people's souls" and is notably darker than his other works.

Fujiko A. Fujio, whose real name was Motoo Abiko, worked with childhood friend Fujiko F. Fujio, the late creator of the famed cartoon series "Doraemon."

Originally from Toyama Prefecture in central Japan, the duo moved to Tokyo in 1954 and went by the name Fujiko Fujio. They later found success with their hit series "Obake no Q-taro," about a mischievous ghost. They ended the partnership in 1987.

Police were alerted Thursday morning that the cartoonist had collapsed at his home. In 2008, Fujiko A. Fujio was awarded the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.

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