'Pokemon' creator Satoshi Tajiri has apparently been the victim of one of the most shocking death hoaxes spun on the Internet.
While several rumored deaths have cropped up from time to time, the Tajiri hoax is quickly gaining momentum due to its association with the devastating Japan earthquake and tsunami.
The online rumors making the rounds on social media platforms like networking site Facebook, microblogging site Twitter and forums like Yahoo Answers, suggest the creator of the widely successful media franchise owned by Nintendo was among the hundreds killed in the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that jolted Japan's Pacific Coast on Friday afternoon.
While there were no confirmed reports on Tajiri's death, the hearsay is quickly gained strength on the web as it is attached to the most read and talked about news on the Japan quake. On Twitter, for instance, the rumor continues to explode as tweets on the 'Pokemon' creator are being tagged with trending hashtags such as #Japan and #tsunami.
The most retweeted post read: The creator of Pokemon died today in the #tsunami, #Japan. RIP: Satoshi Tajiri. #prayforjapan.
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Another variation of the tweet says: I am extremely sad to hear that Satoshi Tajiri, the creator of Pokemon, has passed away today in Japan. I have no words.
The creator of 'Pokemon', Satoshi Tajiri who was 45 years old, died in Japan today. Thanks for my childhood, Satoshi, was also receiving a large number of retweets.
Meanwhile there are active efforts to combat the rumors. PokeFacts tweeted: There's been some rumors going around that Satoshi Tajiri, creator of Pokemon, died in the Japan earthquakes. Nintendo confirmed that's fake.
User sundryandco, wrote: Apparently the reports about Satoshi Tajiri, creator of Pokemon, are untrue? He is still alive!
Urging a retweet, another message aiming to kill the death hoax said: Japanese Tweets says #Pokemon creator Satoshi Tajiri is ALIVE. Please retweet.
Some users even reported that Nintendo has confirmed that the news of Tajiri's death is fake.
There's been some rumors going around that Satoshi Tajiri,creator of Pokemon,died in the Japan earthquakes. Nintendo confirmed that's fake.