Japanese Sudoku loses Maki Kaji "godfather"

Japanese Sudoku loses Maki Kaji “godfather”

The famous Sudoku Grid owes its fame: Maki Kaji has died at the age of 69. While he did not invent the puzzle, he chose the concept and popularized it globally.

Maki Kaji died on August 10 of cholangiocarcinoma at the age of 69. Japanese daily reports Mainichi Shimbun In its English version. He was the “father” of Sudoku – which, with over 200 million fans in over 100 countries, is one of the most popular network games in the world.

Put the numbers 1 through 9 in a grid of 9 x 9 squares, avoiding repetition within the same row, column, or the same square: Sudoku rules have a global scope. And even if Maki Kaji isn’t the inventor of the famous puzzle, we owe him the name “Sudoku,” short for “Sûji wa dokushin ni kagiru” Meaning: “Numbers [chiffres] It must remain unique.”

‘Father’ story

While working in a printing press, he says Mainichi Shimbun, Maki Kaji’s gaze landed on one of the puzzle grids place number – itself inspired by an old game – in an American magazine. Then, in 1980, he and his friends launched the first Japanese magazine dedicated to this type of game, The riddle of Tsushin Nikoli. This is how the common name for Sudoku has continued. And quickly, in 1983, the Japanese founded the Nikoli Corporation, of which he was president until last July, when he retired due to his ill health. He said in a recent interview:

I don’t want to be just a “godfather”. I want to share the fun of the puzzle with as many people as possible and eventually get to know them the The great initiator of this genre in Japan.”

global success

In 2004, the puzzle gained worldwide fame when the London-based New Zealander showed the game to a British newspaper after a trip to Japan, and the Japanese title continued. Then newspapers around the world picked up the idea, and then online books were published.

The success is that in 2006 the first World Sudoku Championship was held. Maki Kaji is often invited to competitions in different countries, given the nickname The New York Times the “Godfather of Sudoku”. In the same year, the word enteredOxford English Dictionary, Determines Mainichi Shimbun.

Then different levels of gameplay were developed to satisfy the most enthusiastic gamers, thanks to the 16×16 and 25×25 grids. There is also a simplified version for kids.


Founded in 1872 under the name Tokyo Nichi Nichi Shimbun, the Mainichi Shimbun It is the oldest Japanese daily newspaper. The current class took place in 1943 during its merger withOsaka Mainichi Shimbun. the middle , “


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