New (Old) Translation: Akira Toriyama Correspondence Exchange with Chibi Maruko-chan’s Momoko Sakura
Published by 13 February 2018, 11:09 AM EST

One of our favorite ways to learn new things about Akira Toriyama is by way of his colleagues and contemporaries. The series of mid-1990s essays from the Akira Toriyama Exhibition features a wealth of anecdotes and analysis from other artists, editors, etc. Another great source of commentary is the special guest column within the various Shenlong Times supplemental pamphlets included with the Daizenshuu.

Momoko Sakura, author of Chibi Maruko-chan, contributed an “I Love Dragon Ball” column to the fourth Shenlong Times in October 1995, commenting on Toriyama’s sense of humor and the charm of his characters. She also contributed an original illustration, newly added to our respective translation archive page:

Son Goku: Ugh, gross. What’re you doin’? You like poop?

Maruko: Uh—

Nagasawa: Look at that, Fujiki-kun. Looks like Sakura thought Goku liked poop, just like Arale does.

Fujiki: She just doesn’t get it. I’m ashamed to be in the same comic as her.

Noguchi: Aww, I wanted to appear in Dragon Ball, too…


Entirely new to our translation archive is a correspondence between Momoko Sakura and Akira Toriyama, as reprinted in April 1995’s Momoko Sakura’s Technicolor World, a collection of illustrations and essays involving the Chibi Maruko-chan author.

Each provided an original illustration to accompany their respective letters, with Sakura once again (albeit earlier here than in Daizenshuu 4!) commenting on Toriyama’s sense of humor, and wishing him good health. Toriyama responds in kind to the flattery, speaking highly such praise from a peer. Perhaps most interestingly, Toriyama notes the “just a little bit of poison” in Sakura’s “oh-so-cute stories and pictures”, a phrase that would resurface not long after this in Toriyama’s WIRED Japan interview in response to the characterization of Goku.


These items have been archive in our “Translations” section.

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