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Akira Toriyama, the Creator of ‘Dragon Ball,’ Passes Away at the Age of 68

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The world of manga and anime is in mourning as the news of Akira Toriyama’s passing at the age of 68 has sent shockwaves through fans all over the globe. Toriyama, best known as the creator of the iconic “Dragon Ball” series, passed away on March 1, leaving behind a legacy that has influenced generations of artists and storytellers.

The announcement of Toriyama’s death was made by his manga and design production studio, Bird Studio, and Capsule Corporation Tokyo, citing acute subdural hematoma as the cause. This news has left fans and colleagues alike devastated, as they remember the man who brought to life one of the most beloved and enduring franchises in manga history.

Born on April 5, 1955 in Kiyosu, Japan, Toriyama began his career as a manga artist at the age of 23. His first major success came with the publication of “Dr. Slump,” a manga series that ran from 1980 to 1984 and was later adapted into an anime. It was with the creation of “Dragon Ball” in 1984, however, that Toriyama achieved global fame and acclaim.

“Dragon Ball” tells the story of Son Goku, a young boy on a quest to collect the seven Dragon Balls, which can grant any wish. The series became an instant hit and went on to sell over 260 million copies worldwide, solidifying Toriyama’s status as a master storyteller and artist.

Toriyama’s influence extended far beyond the world of manga, with “Dragon Ball” inspiring numerous television shows, films, and video games. The series continued to captivate audiences even after its initial run, with new iterations and adaptations keeping the spirit of the original alive for years to come.

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In addition to “Dragon Ball,” Toriyama created several other manga series, including “Cowa!,” “Kajika,” and “Jaco the Galactic Patrolman,” each showcasing his unique storytelling and artistry. His work will continue to be celebrated and cherished by fans around the world for years to come.

As we mourn the loss of a true legend in the world of manga and anime, we also celebrate the incredible legacy that Akira Toriyama has left behind. His impact on the industry and the hearts of fans everywhere will never be forgotten, and his spirit will live on through the timeless stories and characters he created.

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Black couple overcomes racism to rent to Chinese family, who show gratitude by paying rent.

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Decades ago, in the early 1900s, racism and discriminatory housing practices plagued the town of Coronado, barring many individuals from living in certain neighborhoods based on their race. In the midst of this oppressive era, an inspiring story of resilience and generosity unfolded between two families — the Thompsons, a Black couple, and the Dongs, a Chinese family.

Gus and Emma Thompson, who were among the few Black families to own property in Coronado before racial restrictions took hold, defied the norms of the time by renting their house to the Dong family. Lloyd Dong Sr., a Chinese immigrant, and his wife found solace in the Thompsons’ willingness to offer them a place to call home despite the racist barriers they faced.

Fast forward 85 years later, the sons of Lloyd Dong Sr., Ron Dong, and Lloyd Dong Jr., have decided to pay forward the kindness shown to their family by donating $5 million from the sale of the house they eventually owned to San Diego State University’s Black Resource Center. This generous gift will help expand scholarships for Black students and fund renovations at the center, creating a lasting impact on the community.

Exterior view of a single-story home

The Dongs’ family house in Coronado, originally the home of the Thompsons.

(Courtesy of Janice Dong)

This heartwarming tale of intergenerational gratitude highlights the resilience and spirit of unity that transcends racial boundaries. Brandon Gamble, the director of the Black Resource Center, expressed the profound impact of this donation on the community, emphasizing the importance of stories that challenge racism and foster a sense of camaraderie.

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Reflecting on the legacy of his father and the Thompsons, Ron Dong shared, “That was the big plus for our family, because it has made all the difference for us.” The intertwined histories of the Thompson and Dong families serve as a testament to the power of empathy and solidarity in the face of adversity.

Gus Thompson’s journey from slavery to becoming a respected community leader in Coronado, coupled with Emma Thompson’s advocacy for civil rights, exemplifies the resilience and determination of marginalized communities to thrive in the face of oppression.

Gus Thompson in 1947.

Gus Thompson in 1947.

(Norman Baynard Collection / San Diego History Center)

The legacy of allyship and support exemplified by the Thompsons extends to their willingness to assist Asian Americans facing similar discriminatory practices. This act of solidarity echoes the sentiment that in times of oppression, helping others regardless of race is not just a gesture but a necessity.

As the Dong family embraced their new home in Coronado, overcoming discrimination and forging their path to homeownership, they carried forward the spirit of resilience and unity shown to them by the Thompsons. The bond between these two families serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration in a society marred with division and prejudice.

The Hotel del Coronado, a Victorian-style beach resort outside San Diego, and tent city on the beach, 1908.

The Hotel del Coronado, a Victorian-style beach resort outside San Diego, and a tent city on the beach, 1908.

(Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

The resilience and determination displayed by the Dong family in the face of discrimination, coupled with their unwavering commitment to education and community upliftment, exemplify the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. The decision to give back to the community through education underscores the transformative power of generosity and empathy in creating a more inclusive and equitable society.

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As the Dongs’ generous donation paves the way for future generations to access educational opportunities and resources, their story serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for all who strive to overcome adversity and champion unity in the face of division.

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