We owe him for making Sudoku a worldwide phenomenon. Maki Kaji, who popularized this game by giving it its Japanese name in the years 1980, is dead, announced Nikoli, his publishing house. He was 69 years old.

The press release indicates that his death dates back to 10 August. He succumbed to biliary cancer.

The original concept of Sudoku, the Latin square , was invented in 18 th century, by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler.

Its modern version, different because of its subdivision into nine squares of nine boxes, was discovered at the beginning of the years 1980 in an American magazine by Maki Kaji, who then imported it to Japan.

“Lonely numbers” It is he who gave it its Japanese name Sudoku, contraction of the sentence “the numbers must be alone, ”whose two Chinese characters can be translated as“ lonely numbers. ”

The game spread around the world when Wayne Gould, a retired judge from Hong Kong , fan of patience games, decided in 1997, after discovering Sudoku in Japan , write a computer program generating Sudoku puzzles.

The player must complete be a grid of nine squares by nine squares, composed of sub-squares of three squares by three squares with numbers ranging from 1 to 9. Care must be taken that a number does not appear twice on the same line, in the same column or the same sub-square.