Kyoko Okazaki (岡崎 京子 | Okazaki Kyōko) (born December 13, 1963) is a Japanese manga artist whose manga are popular for their unorthodox style and controversial topics, for instance sex, sadomasochism, drugs, homosexuality, rape, murder and prostitution. The Tokyo born Okazaki often focuses on urban Japanese life in the capital from the 1980s and 1990s. Her writings are often studded with modern jargon. Okazaki's manga are not typical, in that while it is a part of the "shōjo manga" (girl manga) demographic, her works are not conservative enough to fit the typical shōjo manga demographic completely.[1] Okazaki, along with manga artist, Shungicu Uchida, are two examples of today's leading female manga artists, who contributed to the rise of a new style of manga, known as "gyaru manga". Gyaru literally translates to gal, and this genre of manga is aimed towards those who are interested in a love story about a girl, but are also interested in topics like sex and drugs.[2]

Life and careerEdit

Okazaki was born in Shimokitazawa, Setagaya, Tokyo, Japan. Okazaki grew up in Tokyo in a large household, of around fifteen people. Okazaki's father was a talented barber. The whole family lived together: grandparents, uncles and aunts, cousins and even apprentice hairdressers. Okazaki failed to feel completely comfortable in this extended family.[3]

In 1983, while studying in Atomi College, Okazaki made her debut in Cartoon Burikko, an erotic manga magazine primarily aimed for male adults. In 1985, after graduating from college, she also published her first manga Virgin. After this, Okazaki wrote Pink in 1989, which firmly established her reputation as a manga artist. Some time during the 1980s, Okazaki's also wrote a long-running series called Tokyo Girls Bravo in CUTIE (a mainstream Japanese fashion magazine), which was highly successful.[4] In 1994, Okazaki put on a solo exhibition at the grand opening of the experimental art space, P-House, in Tokyo. From 1993 to 1994, she did a serialization called River's Edge, in which she portrayed the conflicts and problems experienced by high-schoolers living in a Tokyo suburb. This series had a big influence on the literary world.[5]

Okazaki is also an impressive fashion illustrator, and her manga illustrates the cutting edge fashion and customs of Japan during the 1980s and 90s. Okazaki's manga also vividly describes the loneliness and emptiness that was present during this time period. After the 1980s, Japan and its foremost symbol, Tokyo, were overflowing with goods and information. Greed and desire colored the nation. Okazaki was one of the rare manga artists to successfully capture the mentality of the young people who lived during this period in a realistic manner.[6]

On May 19, 1996, Okazaki was hit by a drunk driver while out on a walk with her husband, and as a result, suffered severe physical and mental injuries. She is currently undergoing rehabilitation and becoming well slowly.[7]

Honors Edit

For Helter Skelter, she won the 2003 excellence prize at the Japanese Media Arts Festival, and the 2004 Osamu Tezuka Culture Prize. In 2012, it was adapted into a live action film.

Her work has been translated into Chinese, German, and French.[8]

External links Edit


  1. Manga writing style1
  2. Gyaru manga
  3. Early life
  4. 1980s manga
  5. manga
  6. Manga writing style2
  7. Car accident and recovery
  8. Chinese, German, French translation
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