The famed Yu-Gi-Oh! manga series creator Kazuki Takahashi was discovered dead in Japan after snorkelling vacation.

The 60-year-old was discovered dead on Wednesday off the southern Japanese island of Okinawa.

Takahashi was discovered and retrieved from the water around 300 metres offshore, according to Japanese media, including public broadcaster NHK.

Yu-Gi-Oh! ran from 1996 to 2004 in the Japanese weekly comic magazine Shonen Jump.

Kazuo Takahashi, who published under a pseudonym, was his real name.

Yu-Gi-Oh!, which is Japanese for "King of Games," is about Yugi, a teenager with wild hair.

As a result of the manga's popularity, Konami and Takahashi developed the Yu-Gi-Oh! Trading Card Game in 1999.

Takahashi continued to work on the franchise up until his passing.

Since hearing the news of his passing, fans have used Twitter to pay tribute.