His publishing house announced that Maki Kaji, the man who popularized Sudoku by giving it its Japanese name in the 1980s, has died at the age of 69.
“Kaji-san, better known as the man who gave Sudoku his name, was loved by puzzle lovers all over the world,” we can read on the website of Nikoli Publishing, which he founded.
According to the press release, he died on August 10 of cholangiocarcinoma.
The original concept of the game, the Latin arena, was invented in the 18th century.NS Century, in Europe, by the Swiss mathematician, Leonhard Euler.
Its modern version, differing in that it is divided into nine by nine boxes, was discovered in the early 1980s in an American magazine by Maki Kaji, who then imported it to Japan.
Finding a new puzzle is “like finding treasure,” Mackie told the BBC in 2007.
It was he who gave it its Japanese name Sudoku, which is an abbreviation for “Numbers Should Be Alone”, and the two Chinese characters can be translated as “odd numbers”.
The game spread around the world when Wayne Gould, a retired Hong Kong judge and a lover of patience games, decided in 1997, after discovering Sudoku in Japan, to write a computer program that would produce Sudoku networks.
A sudoku player must complete a 9 by 9 grid (81 squares) with numbers from 1 to 9 so that none of them appear twice in the same row, in the same column, or in the same sub-square.