An altar for Momoko Sakura, the late author of the popular manga series "Chibi Maruko-chan (Little Maruko)" who passed away at age 53 in August, is seen set up for her farewell gathering at Aoyama Funeral Hall in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Nov. 16, 2018. Attendees, including voice actress TARAKO, who plays the Chibi Maruko-chan character in the animated adaptation of the manga series, and author Banana Yoshimoto, offered prayers for the famed manga creator. A self-portrait showing Sakura smiling was placed at the center of the altar filled with signboards of her cartoon characters and some 30,000 flowers, such as dahlias that she loved. At the back of the altar is an ornament shaped like Mount Fuji, located in Shizuoka Prefecture where Sakura was originally from.
(Japanese original by Noboru Hirose, Cultural News Department)