Japan’s ‘Father Of Sudoku’ Maki Kaji Passes Away


Tokyo: Maki Kaji, a puzzle enthusiast and publisher who was known as the “Godfather of Sudoku” -has passed away. He was 69.

A university dropout who worked in a printing company before founding Japan’s first puzzle magazine, Kaji took hints from an existing number puzzle to create what he later named “sudoku” – a contraction of the Japanese for “every number must be single” – sometime in the mid-80s.

Sudoku, a sort of numerical crossword, was invented by Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler in the 18th century.

The modern version is sometimes said to have been formulated in the United States, but Kaji is credited with having popularised the puzzle.

Sudoku requires a player to put the numbers one to nine in a box made up of 81 squares, so that no number is repeated in any of the nine vertical or horizontal lines.

To complicate matters further, the grid is also sub-divided into nine blocks containing nine single squares, and each block must also contain the numbers one to nine.

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