The creator of history’s best-selling trading card game is hailed as a “hero” after he dies trying to save an American girl off Okinawa.

Kazuki Takahashi, 60, died in July after the tragic accident remained unclear by officials for weeks.

The Japanese coast guard said officials consulted with the late cartoonist’s family, who expressed a desire to downplay Takahashi’s tragedy so as not to divert attention from the young girl’s continued care.

US AND SOUTH KOREA CONDUCT PRECISION BOMB EXERCISES AFTER NORTH KOREA FIRES BALLISTIC MISSILE OVER JAPAN

FILE – Participants in the German Yu-Gi-Oh! The Trading Card Game Championships are played against each other in Schkeuditz, Germany on May 18, 2013.
(Hendrik Schmidt / picture alliance via Getty Images)

US Army Major Robert Bourgeau called Takahashi a “hero” in a Tuesday interview with Stars & Stripes, a newspaper for the US military.

Takahashi was snorkeling on the island’s beach, home to a huge US base and military complex, on July 4th. When the young American girl and her parents started screaming for help, Takahashi swam towards them, followed by two US military personnel.

FILE - Coral reefs are visible along the coast near the US Navy base Camp Schwab, off the small hamlet of Henoko in Nago, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, in this aerial photo file taken by Kyodo on 29 October 2015 , photo files.

FILE – Coral reefs are visible along the coast near the US Navy base Camp Schwab, off the small hamlet of Henoko in Nago, on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, in this aerial photo file taken by Kyodo on 29 October 2015 , photo files.
(REUTERS / Kyodo)

THE UNITED STATES AGREES TO SUPPLY GREEN FUEL-LAGGARD BIOETHANOL TO JAPAN

The family and the military couple managed to return safely to shore, but Takahashi got lost after being swept away by a wave.

Takahashi’s body was found floating about 330 yards off the coast of Okinawa by a person running a maritime leisure business, according to an official at Naha Coast Guard’s Nago Station. His body showed signs of being attacked by a sea creature, possibly sharks, the official said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Visitors play Yu-Gi-Oh!  The Duel Links video game at the Konami Holdings Corp. booth at the Tokyo Game Show on September 17, 2016 in Chiba, Japan.

Visitors play Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duel Links video game at the Konami Holdings Corp. booth at the Tokyo Game Show on September 17, 2016 in Chiba, Japan.
(Yuya Shino / Getty Images for TOKYO GAME SHOW)

“Yu-Gi-Oh!” debuted in Shonen Jump magazine in 1996, it has become a hit, selling more than 40 million copies as a manga, even though the number of cards in circulation in the world is far greater, in the billions.

The official card game went on sale in 1999. A TV show and video games, as well as characters and toys, were also part of the franchise.

The success of “Yu-Gi-Oh!” in the west it was similar to other Japanese animations and games such as Pok√©mon.

Pilar Arias of Fox News contributed to this report.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *