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HomeWorld NewsSudoku guru Maki Kaji passed away at 69

Sudoku guru Maki Kaji passed away at 69

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Maki Kaji, who popularized the Sudoku game, has passed away, announced his Japanese company today.

At the age of 69, Kaji suffering from bile duct cancer passed away leaving a historical legacy.

His well-known game spreads joy all over the world for years.

Kaji designed the game not only to suit kids but also adults. The game comes with different levels, ranging from easy to hard and a level in between.

Obviously, the idea of the game is to place the numbers 1 to 9 in rows and columns. And the player should not repeat any number in the same row or column in order to win.

Regarding the origin of ‘Sudoku’, the name ‘Sudoku’ comes from the Japanese characters ‘Number’ and ‘single’. ‘Sudoku’ had the name “Suji-wa-Dokushin-ni-Kagiru,” meaning, “Numbers should be single, a bachelor.”

Although the game dates back to the 18th century as an idea, it went viral only in 2004. The story behind its fame is somehow different. After a New Zealand fan finished the game, the British newspaper ‘The Times’ publish this as a piece of news.

In 2006, Japan created its own game with the name “gyakuyunyu,” or “reimport.”

Kaji was chief executive at his puzzle company, Nikoli Co., until July and died Aug. 10 at his home in Mitaka, a city in the Tokyo metro area.

‘Nikoli Co’

Maki Kaji was the CEO of his own puzzle company Nikoli Co. The man visited more than 30 countries, as he spread the joy of puzzles.

He established his company Nikoli in 1983. And nearly at the same time, he founded Sudoku.

According to Tokyo-based Nikoli, the championships of Sudoku have attracted around 200 million people in more than 100 countries over time.

“We are grateful from the bottom of our hearts for the patronage you have shown throughout his life,” said his company in a statement.

Yoshinao Anpuku, who became the new Nikoli’s chief executive as a successor of Kaji, announced that Kaji was social. He used to make friends quickly and adopted a “unique and playful approach toward life.”

“Our mission is to pursue Maki’s vision and possibilities,” Anpuku said.

Kaji is originally from Hokkaido. He started Japan’s first puzzle in a magazine, following his drop from Keio University in Tokyo.

His company was famous, as it aided more than 100 media companies with original puzzles, including international ones.

In recent times, the game was the most popular pencil puzzle in the world. And various versions of the game came out.


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