(Header image found HERE)
Kuro Hekiten sadly left this world on Jan. 1, 2019 at the age of 44. He is survived by his family, including a younger brother who updated Kuro's blog with this news.
Let's start at the beginning, shall we?
December is Comiket time for many artists. it's Japan’s largest convention for self-published dojinshi anime andmanga-style art and comics. He was so hyped for it, he showed up early to help set things up, like desks and booths in Tokyo Big Sight’s west hall, where his group would be working. By all accounts, he seemed to be doing great. He's a talented artist, so why not? We even have one of his doujins here on the site.
Sometime during the event, Kuro collapsed on the showroom floor. The diagnosis turned out to be a coronary thrombosis, a clotted blood vessel. The date and time of this collapse is still unclear right now, but Kuro was still tweeting out photos of his booth on the afternoon of Dec. 29, as seen above.
It's on Jan. 7 when we get the tragic news from Kuro's younger brother, breaking the news that Kuro Hekiten passed away at the hospital on Jan. 1. In a post on Kuro's official blog, gave fond thanks to the responders and a request to his brother's contemporaries. Some excerpts are included below.
“By the time I noticed my brother had collapsed, the Comiket staff and other attendees were already administering CPR to him, someone had called the paramedics, and countless other people were doing what they could to help.
So many people, who’d never met my brother and didn’t even know his name, tried to save him, acting so quickly and earnestly. The staff and other attendees even formed a barricade to keep the walkways clear so that the paramedics could get to him, and transport him to the ambulance, as quickly as possible.
In the end, my brother couldn’t be saved, but because of your efforts, his family was able to be with him in his last moments. Thank you all so, so much.
He was not lonely in his final moments, and I would like to express my family’s deep gratitude.
My brother had not previously suffered from any major illnesses, but you couldn’t even generously say that he led a healthy lifestyle. He’d stay up all night for days on end trying to meet deadlines, then have to sleep through the day. He had poor nutrition and smoked a lot, and I think these things were major factors in his passing away at just 44 years old.
I think that there are many people who work in the art and manga fields who live similar lives, and I humbly ask that you take this as an opportunity to reexamine your lifestyle, for the sake of yourselves and those you love."
Comiket can be chaos. People rush to get all the cool and limited swag they can find, meet their favorite artists, and so on. It's nice to see such kindness and bravery amongst our fellow otaku.
We here at Doujins extend our deepest condolences to Kuro Hekiten's family for their loss, and wish them all the best.
Rest in peace Kuro Hekiten.