The Japan Cartoonists Association (JCA) announced on Monday that manga creator Eiko Hanamura passed away on December 3. She was 91.
While the JCA's announcement only mentions an unspecified illness, NHK reported that Hanamura passed away at her home due to multiple organ dysfunction syndromes.
Hanamura was a pioneer of shojo manga, as well as manga for older women. She made her professional manga debut in 1959 with the manga "Murasaki no Yōsei" (Purple Fairy) in the rental manga book Niji. She drew the Kiri no Naka no Shōjo (The Girl in the Fog) manga in 1968, which TBS adapted into the Katei no Himitsu live-action series in 1975. From there, she wrote numerous other manga, including Hanakage no Hito (A Woman in the Shadow of Flowers), Hanabira no Tō (A Steeple of Flower Petals), and a manga adaptation of Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji).
In 1989 Eiko Hanamura received the 18th annual Japan Cartoonists’ Association Excellence Award for overall achievements. In 1997, her manga "Ochikubo Monogatari" (The Tale of Ochikubo) received the Grand Prize for Manga at the 1st Japan Media Arts Festival.
She was a prolific artist, penning numerous other serialized and one-shot manga, and has contributed new illustrations to various projects and works as late as this year. She was a director of the Japan Cartoonists Association and was a permanent member of France's Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts.
According to the agency, Mrs. Hanamura was active as an active manga artist even after she was 90 years old.