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Japanese Manga Legend Jiro Taniguchi Dies at 69

Variety logo Variety 2/11/2017 Seth Kelley
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Jiro Taniguchi, a Japanese manga writer and artist who created works such as “Icarus,” “A Distant Neighborhood” and “Quartier Lointain,” has died. He was 69.

French comics and children’s books publisher, Casterman, announced the news on its Facebook page. According to the post, he died on Saturday, but no further details were given.

During his lifetime, Taniguchi earned several television credits, including writing 61 episodes of the ongoing series “The Solitary Gourmet,” about a businessman who travels across Japan experiencing its cuisine.

He also wrote the manga that inspired the 2010 film “Quartier Lointain,” adapted to screen by writer Philippe Blasband and director Sam Garbarski. Taniguchi also appeared appeared in the movie about man who wakes up to discover he is a teenager again.

Taniguchi, born in 1947, began his career as an assistant to the artist Kyota Ishikawa. His own first piece of manga was published in 1970 — the title translates to “A Desiccated Summer.” Beginning in the mid 1960s, he began to collaborate with scenarist Natsuo Sekigawa. The two would go on to work together on several projects, including the trilogy “Botchan no Jidai” during the latter half of the 1980s, which won the Osamu Tezuka Culture Award.

He illustrated several works by Japanese writer Baku Yumemakura, including a work that translates to “The Summit of the Gods,” which won multiple awards at the Angouleme International Comics Festival.

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