Mangaka, Visual Artist
1967 – 1998
Who was Nekojiru?
In 1990, she debuted in the June issue of the monthly manga anthology Garo with Nekojiru Udon, which is now considered her definitive work. She committed suicide on May 10, 1998. At the time, the media suggested that it was a reaction to the death on May 2, 1998 of the musician hide – in response to that theory, Nekojiru's husband, Hajime Yamano, said that Nekojiru's musical taste was in a completely different genre to hide, and that her death was unrelated. He stated that "She probably hasn't listened to even one second of hide's music". Without a suicide note, her motivation for suicide remains unclear. Other suggestions include that it was caused by drug use or anxiety over Yamano's womanizing.
Shortly before her suicide, Nyāko and Nyatta, the two main characters of Nekojiru Udon, were selected to be used by Tokyo Electric in promotional campaigns. However, the death of their creator caused that to be cancelled.