8 May 1965
Shimizu-ku, Shizuoka, Japan
|Died||15 August 2018(aged 53)|
|Known for||Coji-Coji, Chibi Maruko-chan|
Momoko Sakura ( , Sakura Momoko) (8 May 1965 - 15 August 2018) was the pen name of a Japanese manga artist from Shimizu, Shizuoka Prefecture. She was best known as the creator of the long-running manga Chibi Maruko-chan.
Sakura made her debut as an artist in 1984 and the Chibi Maruko-chan was published in Ribon from 1986 to 1996. The series, which was based on her own childhood, was set in 1974 in suburban Japan. An anime series based on the Chibi Maruko-chan aired from 1990 to 1992 while the current second series, which debuted in 1995, continues to this day.
Sakura also made the more surreal fantasy series Coji-Coji, which ran from 1997 to 1999. She also worked with Marvelous Interactive on creating the Dreamcast title, Sakura Momoko Gekij? Coji-Coji, and with Nintendo on creating the Game Boy Advance title, Sakura Momoko no Ukiuki Carnival. In 2005, she designed the characters for the Xbox 360 title Every Party.
Music has often appeared in the work of Sakura, from the references of YMO in the early collections of Chibi Maruko-chan and the shout-outs to Shibuya-kei in the surreal world of Coji-Coji.
Sakura died from breast cancer on August 15, 2018, at the age of 53. Before her death she wrote lyrics about musician Kazuyoshi Saito for him to sing. Saito used these for his 2020 song "Itsumo no F?kei" (), an ending theme of the Chibi Maruko-chan anime.