Chibi Maruko-chan Manga Author Momoko Sakura Passes Away at 53

"One Piece" manga author Eiichiro Oda posts a mourning illustration on Twitter

Renowned Japanese manga artist Momoko Sakura's agency Sakura Production announced yesterday that she passed away at 53 from breast cancer on August 15, 2018. Her wake and funeral were already held by her family members and relatives. She was best known as the creator of the nationally popular series Chibi Maruko-chan.


Momoko Sakura (her real name is not officially revealed) was born in Shimizu-city, Shizuoka Prefecture, on May 8, 1965. She made her professional manga artist debut in 1984, then started serialization of Chibi Maruko-chan in Shueisha's monthly shoujo manga magazine Ribon in its August 1986 issue. The manga inspired by her childhood memories won the 13th Kodansha Manga Award for its shoujo manga category in 1989. It ends its regular serialization in the magazine in May 1996, and its 16 tankobon volumes have printed over 30 million copies, which has been the highest record for the magazine's manga title.


The manga's TV anime adaptation has become a huge social phenomenon in Japan. Its first season

produced by Life Work was aired for 142 episodes on Fuji TV from January 1990 to September 1992.

After two-and-half year break, Ajiado-produced second season has been aired on the same station since

January 1995.


Fuji TV has confirmed that the TV anime will continue for the time being and that a remake version of the

TV anime's first episode aired on January 7, 1990, will be aired this Sunday instead of the scheduled new

episode to mourn her sudden death. The remake episode was originally produced for the manga's 25th

anniversary in 2011.



Manga tankobon 1st and 16th volume covers




One Piece manga author Eiichiro Oda posts a mourning illustration featuring Maruko and Luffy on the

manga's official Twitter account. In addition to interviews, the two were very close even in their private






Source: Asahi Shimbun, Sankei, "One Piece" manga official Twitter


(C) M.S

(C) Eiichiro Oda/Shueisha


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