Kiyohiko Azuma is a Japanese manga author and artist. He is best known for writing the four-panel series Azumanga Daioh and the slice-of-life series, Yotsuba&!.
Azuma was born in 1968 in Takasago, Japan. He graduated from Kobe Design University. In his early career Azuma would write doujinshis based on franchises Neon Genesis Evangelion, Sailor Moon, Tenchi Muyo!, Battle Athletes Victory and Dragon Ball. He also illustrated hentai manga under the pen name Jōji Jonokuchi.
From 1999 to 2002, he worked the manga series Azumanga Daioh. It was serialized in the Monthly Comic Dengeki Daioh magazine. Azumanga Daioh was about a group of high school girls and a forerunner to the slice-of-life 4-koma genre. It was a major hit and in 2002 was adapted into an anime series.
In 2003, Azuma started Yotsuba&!. Also serialized in Dengeki Daioh, the series follows the adventures of a six-year-old girl called Yotsuba. Azuma has been praised for his ability to capture “the wonder of childhood” and has been compared to Bill Watterson’s in Calvin and Hobbes. In 2008 Yotsuba&! was nominated for the 12th Osamu Tezuka Culture Award and the Eisner Award “Best Publication for Kids” category. For the Yotsubato! 2015 Calendar Azuma collaborated with photographer Miho Kakuta putting Yotsuba in real settings to produce serene and playful set of images.
Azuma’s work on Yotsuba&! showcases clean-lined characters and exceptionally detailed backgrounds. His characters, ever expressive are believable and full of joy which flourishes from Azuma’s strength in comedic storytelling.