Mizushima Production, the talent agency of manga creator Shinji Mizushima, announced that Mizushima retired on December 1, 2020. Mizushima stated, “I have been working hard for 63 years up until today, but now I have decided to retire. I pray from the bottom of my heart for development in the worlds of manga and baseball.”
Mizushima’s Dokaben manga about a high school baseball club began in 1972 in Akita Shoten’s Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine.
The original manga inspired a 163-episode anime and a live-action film. Mizushima followed the manga with the sequel Dai Koshien, which also features characters from Mizushima’s other manga. The next sequels to debut were Dokaben Pro Yakyu-hen (Pro Baseball Arc) and Dokaben Superstars-hen. Dokaben: Dream Tournament-henDokaben: Dream Tournament-hen, the final arc, began in 2012. The Dokaben: Dream Tournament-hen manga ended in Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine in June 2018.
Mizushima received the Japanese government’s Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette award for contributions to entertainment and culture in 2014.