Society | Feb 09

Manga Artist Hinako Ashihara Passes Away; Shogakukan Pays Tribute

TOKYO, Feb 09 (News On Japan) - Following the death of Hinako Ashihara, the artist behind the popular manga "Sexy Tanaka-san," which was adapted into a TV drama, Shogakukan, the publisher serializing her work, has announced that they are conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the script.

Ashihara revealed in January, through social media posts, that there had been a difference in opinion with the production side regarding the script. She was later found dead in Tochigi Prefecture. In response to this tragic event, Shogakukan issued a statement on February 8th, expressing their deepest regrets and stating, "For the adaptation, our responsible group faithfully and sincerely conveyed Ms. Ashihara's wishes to the drama production team." The publisher also committed to investigating the situation to prevent such incidents from happening again.

On the same day, Tomoko Aizawa, who was responsible for the drama's script, posted a comment on her social media. She expressed her shock upon reading about the circumstances disclosed by Ashihara, saying, "I was at a loss for words when I read it, and my mind went blank when I heard of her passing." She also reflected on her previous social media post about the drama's script, admitting, "I should have been more cautious." Aizawa continued, "This is all I can say without knowing the facts, but I sincerely hope that this does not happen again. I apologize for the late expression of my condolences. I pray for the repose of Ms. Hinako Ashihara's soul."

Additionally, Shogakukan posted a statement from the editor in charge of the "Sexy Tanaka-san" manga series on their website. The collective statement from the editors read, "Ms. Ashihara was as sincere and kind as everyone imagines from reading her work, and she was always fair." They expressed regret for making her feel the need to speak up to protect her rights, a situation that should require no courage. "What else could have caused this? Could we have done more? Instead of placing responsibility on an individual, we will continue to review this incident as an organization. We will also look into concrete improvements in the negotiation process between the drama production team and the editorial department, always prioritizing the protection of the original creators in future adaptations," the editors pledged.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare provides consultation services for individuals experiencing anxiety or distress. Online searches for "Mamorou Yokokoro" can lead to these resources. Main telephone consultation services include the "Yorisoi Hotline" at 0120-279-338 and the "Mental Health Consultation Unified Dial" at 0570-064-556.

Source: NHK


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