The author of popular manga, "Crayon Shin-chan", Yoshito Usui (aged 51), has been missing since the 12th of September. On that day, his family asked for a police search in and around the Saitama prefecture. The search has now been expanded to surrounding prefectures Gunma and Nagano.
According to authorities, on the morning of the 11th of September, Usui-san, a mountain-climbing hobbyist, told his family that he was going mountain climbing in Gunma and that he'd be back in the evening. After having not returned that evening as planned, and with no response from calling his cell, his wife called local authorities to initiate a police search.
Usui-san's family told police that the author often went climbing in the mountains. Saitama police have now sought assistance from Gunma and Nagano prefectural police.
Crayon Shin-chan follows the adventures of five-year-old Shinnosuke Nohara and is set in Kasukabe, Saitama Prefecture, where Usui-san grew up.
We'll be sure to keep you posted on any updates...
In other news, Hadashi no Gen (Barefoot Gen)'s author, Keiji Nakazawa (70), has formally announced his retirement. His right eye has been afflicted with cataracts, and his left is suffering from damage to the retina (retinopathy). Among other activities, Nakazawa-san says he will be oil painting in his time off.
Hadashi no Gen ran between 1973-1974 in the Weekly Shounen Jump and sold in excess of 10 million copies worldwide. The manga has been translated and published in dozens of countries and spawned two anime films (released in the States by Geneon) as well as a TV drama in 2007.