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Cartoonist Takao Yaguchi, like his characters, was force of nature

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Muteki (Invincible), a sumo wrestler masked like a pro wrestler whose winning streak cannot be stopped, is the protagonist of the first work of cartoonist Takao Yaguchi.

Yaguchi, who died on Nov. 20 at age 81, created the manga when he was a bank employee.

He submitted it to a manga magazine, but it was rejected. When he asked why, the editor-in-chief said his drawing was pretty poor. This shattered his confidence, he later recalled.

Yaguchi was born in the village of Nishi-Naruse (present-day Yokote city), nestled at the foot of the Ou mountain range in Akita Prefecture. His boyhood passions were fishing and manga.

He was set to work at a brush factory in Tokyo, which was hiring teenagers like him en masse at the time, upon finishing junior high school.

However, his........

© The Asahi Shimbun

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