There is sad news coming out of Japan as we report on the passing of manga creator Hisaya Nakajo, who is best known for her shojo manga series Hana-Kimi. Her time of passing is listed as 8:52 PM on October 12, one month after her 50th birthday. The cause of death is listed as a “heart condition” and is not more detailed than that.
Nakajo, who was born on September 12, 1973, got her big break in 1993, when her manga Manatsu no Hanzaisha took first place in the Hakusensha Athena Newcomers’ Awards. The very next year Hana to Yume magazine (from Hakusensha) began publishing her manga Heart no Kajitsu.
It was in 1996 that she began work on Hana-Kimi, which is also known as Hana Zakari no Kimi-tachi e. Hana-Kimi was serialized until 2004. The manga received multiple live-action adaptations in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.
Nakajo also added to her manga series by publishing a little continuation in 2011, an extra chapter in 2014, and Himitsu – Hana Zakari no Kimi-tachi e After School, which had a 2021 launch.
VIZ Media publishes Hana-Kimi in English and gave this description for the first volume:
The Prettiest Boy In School…Isn’t A Boy!
Japanese-American track-and-field star Mizuki has gotten herself to transfer to a high school in Japan…but not just any school! To be close to her idol, high jumper Izumi Sano, she’s going to an all-guys’ high school…and disguising herself as a boy! But as fate would have it, they’re more than classmates…they’re roommates! Now, Mizuki must keep her secret in the classroom, the locker room, and her own bedroom. And her classmates–and the school nurse–must cope with a new transfer student who may make them question their own orientation…
Plus a bonus story, The Cage of Summer!
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.