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Manga Creator Tarō Minamoto, 74 Years Old, Has Passed Away

Manga Creator Tarō Minamoto, 74 Years Old, Has Passed Away

Senior mangaka who debuted in 1967, best known for award-winning Fūnji-tachi historical comedy manga, has passed away. Tarō Minamoto passed away at the age of 74 on August 7, 2021, from heart failure.

The legendary figure has been in the manga industry for decades.


Minamoto, an iconic manga author, was born in Kyoto in March 1947 and started his career way back in 1967 with his first manga series, Aniki Kanpai (Cheers to My Brother), which launched in Shueisha’s Bessatsu Ribbon magazine.

In the latest issue of LEED Publishing’s magazine, a memorial for Minamoto will be featured instead of his usual manga. The original manga inspired a live-action series on NHK in 2018, and also inspired a kabuki stage adaptation in 2019.

In his last years, the manga author tried to be actively involved in the industry but his worsening health condition, due to age and lung cancer, made it very difficult for him to stay consistent with his manga publications and other responsibilities. He was also on a judging panel for the Japan Media Arts Festival.



Tarō Minamoto is best known for ​​Fūnji-tachi (Soldiers of Fortune), a historical comedy manga series that he started in 1979. In the last 20 years, this manga has won multiple awards. Due to the massive success of Fūnji-tachi, he was awarded the Special Award for the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize in 2004.

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Recently, Fūnji-tachi won the grand prize from the 49th Japan Cartoonists Association Awards in 2020. Minamoto launched Fūnji-tachi: Bakumatsu-hen in 2002, but it will remain unfinished. The sequel manga Fūnji-tachi: Bakumatsu-hen also won a runner-up award in the “Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Fine Arts Recommendation Awards” in 2010.

Tarō Minamoto inspired generations of manga artists, and it’s incredibly saddening to see such a revered mangaka- who has been there from the very beginning- pass away.

Rest in peace, Tarō Minamoto.

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