Monday , September 27 2021
Home / World News / Sudoku creator Maki Kaji, who saw life’s joy in puzzles, dies

Sudoku creator Maki Kaji, who saw life’s joy in puzzles, dies

Tokyo: Maki Kaji, the creator of the popular numbers puzzle Sudoku whose life’s work was spreading the joy of puzzles, has died, his Japanese company said on Tuesday. He was 69 and had bile duct cancer.

Known as the “Godfather of Sudoku”, Kaji created the puzzle to be easy for children and others who didn’t want to think too hard. Its name is made up of the Japanese characters for “number” and “single” and players place the numbers 1 through 9 in rows, columns and blocks without repeating them.

Maki Kaji known as the “Godfather of Sudoku”, has died.

Maki Kaji known as the “Godfather of Sudoku”, has died.Credit:Nikoli/AP

Ironically, it wasn’t until 2004 when Sudoku became a global hit, after a fan from New Zealand pitched it and got it published in the British newspaper The Times. Two years later, Japan rediscovered its own puzzle as a gyakuyunyu or “reimport”.

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

Maki travelled to more than 30 countries spreading his enjoyment of puzzles. Sudoku championships have drawn some 200 million people in 100 countries over the years, according to Tokyo-based Nikoli.

Sudoku was also never trademarked except within Japan, driving its overseas craze, Nikoli said.

“Kaji-san came up with the name Sudoku and was loved by puzzle fans from all over the world. We are grateful from the bottom of our hearts for the patronage you have shown throughout his life,” the company said in a statement.

A competitor works on his Sudoku puzzle during a national championship in Philadelphia, US.

A competitor works on his Sudoku puzzle during a national championship in Philadelphia, US. Credit:AP/File

Originally, Sudoku was called “Suji-wa-Dokushin-ni-Kagiru,” which translates to, “Numbers should be single, a bachelor”. In recent years, Sudoku, believed to be the world’s most popular pencil puzzle, has come out in digital versions.

About admin

Check Also

Trump administration floated kidnapping, killing Julian Assange: report

“We had all sorts of reasons to believe he was contemplating getting the hell out …