Award-winning Japanese fantasy author Kaoru Kurimoto (real name Sumiyo Imaoka) passed away at age 56 last Tuesday. The novelist, who is succeeded by her husband Kiyoshi Imaoka, was known best for her long-running fantasy light novel series Guin Saga. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2007, but did not have a chance to complete the continuing story of Guin before her untimely death. Regardless, Kurimoto will be deeply missed by the countless fantasy writers, manga artists, animators, and fans who have been inspired by her imaginative and evocative stories since Guin began its continuous publication in 1979.
The Guin Saga novels are currently being published in English by Vertical, Inc., and there is an ongoing anime based on the series running now on Japanese television.