‘Dragon Ball’ creator Akira Toriyama dies at 68

“It’s our deep regret that he still had several works in the middle of creation with great enthusiasm,” it said. “He would have had many more things to achieve. However, he has left many manga titles and works of art to this world.”

He was a source of inspiration to many renowned Japanese comic book artists, such as Masashi Kishimoto, the creator of the popular series ‘Naruto’, and Eiichiro Oda, the creator of one of the longest-running animes ‘One Piece.’

“We hope that Akira Toriyama’s unique world of creation continues to be loved by everyone for a long time to come,” his studio said.

Many in Japan and from around the world paid tribute to Toriyama on Friday.

In a news briefing, Japan’s Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshimasa Hayashi, said the government was “deeply saddened by the news” and offered his condolences to the late author’s family.

Toriyama “served as an opportunity for Japanese content to be widely recognized around the world, leading to an increase in inbound tourism,” he said. “I believe that Mr. Toriyama’s work has played an extremely important role in demonstrating Japan’s soft power.”

Famous Japanese actors Yuki Kaji and Toshio Furukawa also conveyed their gratitude in posts on X.

Toriyama’s death also drew tributes on neighboring China’s Weibo social media platform, with 40 million views and thousands of discussions related to the subject. His Dragon Ball was inspired by the Chinese literature “Journey to the West,” which attracted numerous Chinese fans.

China’s Foreign Ministry said the country wanted to “express our deep condolences over the death of Mr. Akira Toriyama and our sincere sympathy to his family.”

“Toriyama was a famous cartoonist, and his works were well-received in China. We expect and believe that there will be more knowledgeable people in Japan who will actively devote themselves to Sino-Japanese cultural exchanges and the cause of friendship between the two countries,” said Mao Ning, a spokeswoman for the foreign ministry.

Arata Yamamoto reported from Tokyo, and Andee Capellan from Hong Kong.

First appeared on www.nbcnews.com

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