Fujiko Fujio A, the co-creator of the popular children’s cartoon character Doraemon, passed away at age 88 on Thursday.
The Japanese cartoonist, whose real name is Motoo Abiko, was found inside his home near Tokyo.
In 1951, while in high school, Abiko met Hiroshi Fujimoto, who would eventually become his co-creator on the 1969 “Doraemon” animated series. The two created the joint pen name “Fujiko Fujio,” while sharing an apartment in Tokyo with other famous manga artists such as Osamu Tezuka, the creator of “Astro Boy.” The two cartoonists produced several other works together, including “Little Ghost-Q-Taro.”
“Doraemon” began as a popular children’s manga series that was adapted into a cartoon show in 1973 for TV Asahi. The story centers around the character Doraemon, an earless robotic cat who time travels from the 22nd century to assist a young boy. “Doraemon” now has three TV adaptations, released in 1973, 1979 and 2005.
Abiko and Fujimoto eventually dissolved their partnership in 1987, citing creative differences and a desire to concentrate on solo projects, leading Abiko to adopt the pen name “Fujiko A. Fujio.”
Abiko produced several of his own works, including the children’s manga “Ninja Hattori,” which follows the story of a ninja becoming best friends with an average 10-year-old. “Ninja Hattori” eventually became adapted into a TV series and aired on TV Asahi from 1966-1968.
In addition to “Ninja Hattori” and “Doraemon,” Abiko also created the autobiographical manga “Manga Michi,” which illustrates what life was like in the apartment that Abiko and Fujimoto shared with several famous manga artists.
In 2020, Abiko told the Asahi newspaper daily that if his father, who was a monk at a historic temple in the central Toyama religion in Japan, had not died, he “would have been a monk.”