The creator of the popular Japanese "Yu-Gi-Oh!" manga series, Kazuki Takahashi, was found dead off the coast of southern Japan, local media reported on Friday.
Takahashi, 60, was wearing snorkeling gear and flippers when he was found on Wednesday morning around 300 meters (984 feet) off the coast of Nago in Okinawa Prefecture by a local tourism worker who then alerted the authorities, Kyodo News quoted an official as saying.
Police are investigating the cause of his death.
Takahashi was born in Tokyo and debuted as a manga artist in the 1980s while his "Yu-Gi-Oh!" official card game was released in more than 70 countries and regions, and was certified as the "best-selling trading card game in the world" by Guinness World Records, according to the new agency.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Games (KONAMI Europe) in a Twitter post said they are "shocked and saddened" to hear about the sudden passing of Takahashi.
"We are deeply grateful for the wonderful Yu-Gi-Oh!" universe that he has created and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time," Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Games said.
*Writing by Islamuddin Sajid