The Japanese manga artist famous for her character Chibi Maruko-chan has died. Her office says she passed away from breast cancer on August 15th. She was 53 years old.
Momoko Sakura from Shizuoka Prefecture made her debut as a manga artist in 1984.
In 1986, she started to draw the Chibi Maruko-chan series, modeling the character after her childhood self.
In 1990, a commercial TV broadcaster began airing an animated version of the series. Nearly 30 years on, the program is still on the air and is one of the most popular TV series in Japan.
Sakura wrote the lyrics for the show's closing theme song, which became a big hit. Her essays also became best sellers.
On Monday, her office rereleased a comment Sakura made in 2014 when she marking 30 years in the business.
In it, she said she had experienced many good things and many challenges over the past 30 years. She said she had led a happy life as an author and was thankful for that.