Maki Kaji was the president of Nikoli Co., Ltd., a Japanese puzzle manufacturer. He is widely known as “the father of Sudoku” for his role in popularizing the number game.He died at the age of 69 years due to bile duct cancer.
|Birthdate ( Age)||1951|
|Died||10 August 2021|
|Place of Birth||Hokkaido, Japan|
|Profession||Japanese puzzle manufacturer|
|Net Worth||$ 4 Million ( Estimated)|
|Last Update||August 2021|
Maki Kaji was the president of Nikoli Co., Ltd., a Japanese puzzle manufacturer. He is widely known as “the father of Sudoku” for his role in popularizing the number game.He died at the age of 69 years due to 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 Family and Parents
Kaji was born in Sapporo, Hokkaido on 8 October 1951. He studied literature at Keio University, but dropped out in his first year.After a succession of jobs including being a roadie, a waiter and a construction worker, he started a publishing business.
Maki Kaji Wife
Kaji is survived by his wife Naomi and two daughters. Funeral services have been held among close family. A separate memorial service is being arranged by Nikoli, but details were still undecided.
Maki Kaji Net Worth
Maki Kaji was the president of Nikoli Co., Ltd., a Japanese puzzle manufacturerwho has an estimated Net Worth of between $ 4 million in 2021.
In 1980, he launched a quarterly puzzle magazine called Nikoli.naming the magazine after a race horse that had won the 1980 2000 Guineas Stakes race in Ireland.Three years later in 1983, he founded a company under the same name.The magazine, the company’s main product, grew to have 50,000 quarterly readers.The number game Sudoku appeared in early issues of Nikoli.After the game spread to Britain and the United States,it became wildly popular.He had invented or introduced various other puzzle games, such as Masyu.
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 Co., until July and died Aug. 10 at his home in Mitaka, a city in the Tokyo metro area.
Kaji 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.
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.Nikoli has provided original puzzles to more than 100 media companies, 10 of them foreign ones.
Major Japanese newspaper Mainichi in its obituary credited Kaji for starting the puzzle sections at bookstores, as well as introducing the word “Sudoku” into the Oxford English dictionary.