Keiko Nagita (名木田 恵子) / Kyoko Mizuki (水木 杏子) Biography

Keiko Nagita in Paris, France (March 15 - 17, 2019)

Date of Birth: November 28, 1949
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Nationality: Japanese
Other Pen Names:
Ayako Kazu (加津 綾子), Akane Kouda (香田 あかね)
Occupation: novelist, manga writer, poet, essayist, lyricist
Writing period: 1968 - present
Genres: romance, fantasy, juvenile
Education: graduated from Bunkagakuin College
Official website:
Old website: (no longer active)
Personal: Her father Kazuo Nagita 名木田一夫 (1913-62), was a newspaper reporter and manager of the Tokyo newspaper Mainichi Shimbun
毎日新聞. He died when she was 12 y/o and her mother passed away when she was 21 y/o (1). Nagita married in 1996. She and her husband have one daughter. They once owned a cottage at Prince Edward Island, a place famously known for the classic tale, Anne of Green Gables. She has a collection of heart-shaped objects on display at Aoitoru Bunko's site.

In 1977, she was awarded the Kodansha Manga Award for Best Shōjo Manga for Candy Candy with Yumiko Igarashi.

In 2007, she won the Japan Juvenile Writers Association Prize for her novel Rainette, Kin Iro no Ringo (Rainette - The Golden Apples), a love story about a Japanese girl and a Belarusian boy exposed to radiation from the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.

After the death of her father at the age of 12, Nagita began writing about an imaginary family, the "Ardlays." She stated, "I feel the Ardlay family has watched over me. They are the origin of my storywriting." (2) (In a separate interview in the French magazine "Animeland: Summer 2019 issue," Nagita stated she lost her father when she was 10 years old (3). An error in translation?)

In her teen years, she worked as an actress at the Shiki Theater Company and during her eleventh grade, she was awarded a prize in a short story contest by a young girl's magazine, Jogakusei no Tomo.

At the age of 19, Nagita decided to become a full-time writer after publishing her first short story, "Yomigaeri, Soshite Natsu wa" in a magazine. A year later, she self-published her own collection of poems called "Kaeru". Five years after, Sanrio Company, Ltd. published her poetical works, "Omoide wa Utawanai". During the 1970's and 1980's, she wrote mostly short stories and romantic manga tales for Shojou (teen girl) magazines under several pen names.

In an interview with Ito Ayako, Nagita revealed that writing Candy Candy had healed her sorrow after her mother had passed away (4). When the Candy Candy manga she wrote for the Nakayoshi magazine from 1975-79 was nearing completion, she published the Candy Candy Novel, a 3-volume set with Yumiko Igarashi's illustrations, from 1978-79. This novel contained new ideas from her original 2000-page manuscript. The novel was later republished in 1992 under the sole copyright as Keiko Nagita (not as Kyoko Mizuki) and then by BOOK-ing, Inc. in 2003, after a successful petition from the Japanese and international fans to renew it through On November 2010, Nagita completely revised the Candy Candy Novel to include retrospections of Candy as an adult in her late 30s, reminiscing about her past through letters she exchanged with her friends and family. In these retrospections and new and revised letters, Candy would reveal what happened to her loved ones after the end of the manga, while dropping ambiguous hints about "anohito -あのひと- that person", Candy's current husband in her present time.

Nagita decided to write the the last chapter of the manga Candy Candy at Domaine De Beauvois, a hotel-chateau situated in France. In the preface of french edition of the CC Final Story, Candy - Candice White L'orpheline, she wrote: "This story, which had also become an anime, and all these beloved characters... Since it was necessary to to bid them goodbye, I wanted to do it in a place worthy of this moment. Why did  I choose a chateau from the Loire in France? In my opinion... without a doubt it's because I had seen a photo of a chateau that I adored. I then made the decision to go to this chateau to write the last chapter of Candy Candy." (5)

Although quite popular in Japan as a writer of juvenille love stories, Nagita is best known internationally as the author of the manga Candy Candy, mainly in countries where the comics were sold and the anime series had aired. Due to the lack of publication of her novels in other foreign languages, her other works are not as familiar and well-known.

Trials & Lawsuits: The copyright of Candy Candy had been disputed between the author, Keiko Nagita and the illustrator, Yumiko Igarashi since 1998. A general summary of the lawsuits and the outcome of the trials can be read here.

List of works:

Mangas and other Story Scripts

  • Sanremo ni Kanpai サンレモにかんぱい (as Keiko Nagita, art by Waki Yamato, 1970)
  • Brandenburg no Asa ブランデンブルグの朝 (as Keiko Nagita, art by Waki Yamato, 1970)
  • Teenagers Around the World Series 世界のティーンシリーズ, art by Plural Artists, 1970
  • Le Grand Anne Gou wa Yuku ル・グラン・アンヌ号はゆく (as Keiko Nagita, art by Waki Yamato, 1970)
  • Greenhill Monogatari グリーンヒル物語 (as Keiko Nagita, art by Yasuko Aoike,1970-1971)
  • The Blue Sky of Lorient (Lorient no Aoi Sora) ロリアンの青い空 (as Keiko Nagita, art by Yoko Shima, 1974-1975)
  • Candy Candy キャンディ・キャンディ (as Kyoko Mizuki, art by Yumiko Igarashi, 1975-1979)
  • The Sword of Etruria (Etruria no Ken) エトルリアの剣 (as Keiko Nagita, art by Kyoko Fumizuki, 1975)
  • Miriam Blue no Mizuumi ミリアムブルーの湖 (as Keiko Nagita, art by Yasuko Aoike, 1975)
  • Hoshi eno Kaidan 星への階段 (as Akane Kouda, art by Akemi Matsuzaki, 1975)
  • Byakuya no Nightingale 白夜のナイチンゲール (as Keiko Nagita, art by Yoko Shima, 1976-1977)
  • Bara no Ki 薔薇の樹 (as Kyoko Mizuki, art by Chikako Kikukawa, 1978)
  • Sunny Your Turn サニーあなたの番よ (as Keiko Nagita, art by Mariko Sato, 1978)
  • Premier Muguet プルミエ・ミュゲ (as Kyoko Mizuki, art by Yoko Hanabusa, 1979-1981)
  • Kirara Star Fortelling the Future (Kirara Boshi no Daiyogen) きらら星の大予言 (as Kyoko Mizuki, art by Yū Asagiri, 1980-1981)
  • Sunday's Child サンデイズチャイルド(as Kyoko Mizuki, art by Tsubasa Nunoura, 1979-1981)
  • Tim Tim Circus ティム・ティム・サーカス (as Kyoko Mizuki, art by Yumiko Igarashi, 1981-1982)
  • Lira Crossed the 100 Years 100年のライラ (art by Mimura Akino, 1990)
  • Loreley ローレライ (as Kyoko Mizuki, art by Kaya Tachibana, 2008-2009), story currently on hiatus after the 4th volume was printed in Romantic Princess (ロマ×プリRoma x Puri)


  • Flower Story 花ものがたり, 1977
  • Candy Candy Novel キャンディ・キャンディ, 1978-79, 3-volume hardbook with manga illustrations by Yumiko Igarashi, then in 1990 as a 3-volume paperback with manga illustrations; republished as an unillustrated single volume hardcover in September, 2003, then as a paperback in August, 2004
  • I Cannot See Too Far 遠すぎてみえない, 1978
  • The Sugar Crafting Bottle 砂糖細工の舟, 1979
  • Goodbye Before Dawn 夜明け前のさよなら, 1979
  • Snow in the Sea 海におちる雪, 1980
  • Scarlet Photo Studio 薔薇色写真館』集英社文庫コバルト, 1981
  • Dolphins & Toilets イルカ トイレ, art by Yumiko Igarashi, 1981
  • Secrets of the Forest of Wonders ふしぎの森のこびとたち, 1982
  • Going up the Hills of Japan ふしぎの森のこびとたち』集英社文庫コバルト, 1982
  • Lighthouse of Hato はとの灯台』佑学社, 1983
  • Night Game ナイトゲ-ム, 1985
  • Triangle Wars-Triangle Relations Great War トライアングル・ウォーズ 三角関係大戦争, 1986-88
  • Eve Noki Apple Story イヴの樹 apple story, 1986
  • Moonlight Express ム-ンライト・エクスプレス, 1986, republished 2004
  • Dolphin Pia イルカ ぴあの, 1986
  • Love Full of Cream Puff - 2 Years Red Gang Heart Diary 恋いっぱいのシュークリーム―2年紅組ハート日誌, 1987
  • Ecchi and the Anpan Thief Series エッチとなぞの怪盗アンパン, 1987-1990
  • Yumutsu a...2 Years Red Group Heart Diary 夢摘あ・ら・もーど 2年紅組ハート日誌』集英社文庫コバルト, 1987
  • Letter from Heaven 天国からの手紙, 1987
  • Your Hearts Music Box 鳴ってよ心のオルゴール, 1988
  • Fuko and the Dreamy Ghost Series (Fūko to Yūrei series) ふ-ことユ-レイ (art by Yumi Kayama, 1988-2002)
  • Kazegaoka Yume Address 風が丘ゆめ番地』講談社青い鳥文庫, 1988
  • Although I really Like It... Reverse Comic Love Playball ほんとは好きなのに… 逆転コミックス恋のプレーボール, 1988
  • 13 Year Old Romantic Love Comedy 13歳の金曜日 ロマンチック・ラブ・コメディ, 1989
  • Match Box Dream マッチ箱のゆめ』講談社, 1989
  • Waltz's Summer ワルツの夏, 1989
  • Kupiri-chan's Love Comedy キュピリちゃんのラブコメ=ファンタジー, 1989
  • Three Tablespoons of Smiles スマイル大さじ3杯, 1989
  • Initial is SK イニシアルはS・K, 1989
  • The Rainbow Marionette Senn's First Love Memory 虹のマリオネット 千里の初恋メモリー, 1989
  • Moonlight Drinks ムーンライト・ドリンクをのみほして, 1989
  • Sky on the Swing 空でブランコ, 1989
  • The Cherries Also Love サクランボも恋をする, 1989
  • Sing Again もういちど歌って, 1989
  • Rotars of Love 回転木馬の恋人たち, 1989-1990
  • Twins plus 1 full of Mystery Around a Child Twinsプラス1 ふた子のまわりはなぞでいっぱい, 1990
  • Twins plus 1- Love of a Child is Telepathy Twinsプラス1 ふた子の愛はテレパシー!?, 1991
  • To Father and Mother, Thank you One Million Times 父と母へ・ありがとうを100万回, 1990
  • Is the Cat a Lover?  ネコは恋人?1991-1992
  • Timer Girl's Time to Travel 時計屋のルルゥ ときを旅する女の子, 1991
  • Marin Lives in Marine Time (Umizikan no Marin) 海時間のマリン, 1992, reprint 2005
  • The First Love of 12 Year Old Red Fruit Was Broke 初恋×12歳 赤い実はじけた  初恋×12歳―赤い実はじけた―, 1992-1999, reprint 2015
  • Mushiba Bokujo むしばぼくじょう, 1992
  • One-Third of Tonchan とんちゃんの1/3, 1993
  • Thank You from Grandma おばあちゃんからのありがとう, 1995
  • Oh, What a Visit まったく、なんて参観日!, 1996
  • Youkai School Attendance No. 6 妖怪学校の出席番号6番, 1996
  • The North School Building Without Openings 北校舎の開かずのとびら, 1997
  • Occult House on the Hill 丘の上のオカルト屋敷, 1997
  • The Words of Noroi from the West School Building のろいの言葉は西校舎から, 1997
  • Dorron Gaikochan ドロロンがいこちゃん, 1998
  • A Red Fruit Breaks (Akai Mi Haziketa) 赤い実はじけた, 1999 (printed in Japanese Primary School Textbook for 6th grade (Mitsumura Tosho Publishing Co.,Ltd.)
  • A Fragment of the Stars (Hoshi no Kakera) 星のかけら, 2000-2001
  • Jacob's Ladder (Tenshi no Hashigo) 天使のはしご, 2002-2003
  • Air 単行本 , 2003
  • A Vampire's Love Story ヴァンパイア・ラブストーリー, 2003-2005
  • Twilight Sky in a Glass (Koppu no Naka no Yuuzora) コップのなかの夕空, 2004-2005
  • Shampoo Prince Series シャンプー王子シリーズ, 2004-2006
  • The Ballerina Casebook バレリーナ事件簿, 2006-2008
  • Rainette, the Golden Apples (Rainette, Kin Iro no Ringo) レネット―金色の林檎, 2006
  • Birthday Club series バースディクラブ (art by Yu Azuki, 2006--2009)
  • First Love Anniversary 初恋アニヴァーサリー , 2008
  • Tram, Spreading Light トラム、光をまき散らしながら Light (Teens' Best Selection), 2009
  • Red Fruits Love Song 赤い実たちのラブソング, 2011
  • Candy Candy Novel Final Story 小説キャンディ・キャンディ Final Story, 2010; novel translated in Italian (2014-15) and French (2019)
  • Magical Frying Pan 魔法のフライパン, 2012
  • The Shelfish of the Moon 月の貝, 2013
  • Princess Retreat of the 6th Floor of La Puttsun El ラ・プッツン・エル 6階の引きこもり姫, 2013
  • Melinda House is Full of Magic メリンダハウスは魔法がいっぱい , 2014
  • Two People In the Town of Dracula ドラキュラの町で、二人は, 2017
  • Tale of Wind's Dream (Teens' Entertainment) 風夢緋伝, 2017
  • Blue Shadow Myth 青影神話, 2018
  • Open the Window, Listen To My Poem 窓をあけて、私の詩をきいて, 2018


  • Kaeru 還る, 1969
  • I Never Sing Memories (Omoide wa Utawanai) 思い出は歌わない, 1974
  • Otanjoubi ni お誕生日に (art by Yoko Sano, 1975)
  • Sunday of Amanda アマンダの日曜日, 1976, photographs by Nishikawa Osamu
  • Candy Candy Nakayoshi Deluxe Albums (Parts1 & 2), with manga artist Yumiko Igarashi, 1976-77,
    Examples of the poems (translated in english) can be read here.
  • Adventure of Sugarbowl シュガーボールの冒険, 1977, photographs by Nishikawa Osamu
  • Saorio Sanrio, when the voice of fairies can be heard 妖精たちの声がきこえる 西川治 サンリオ, February 1978
  • Fifty フィフティ, 2004


  • Mouitido Utatte もういちど歌って, 1978
  • Nagita Keiko Hitoritabi 名木田恵子ひとり旅, 1980
  • To tears of "sadness color" before tears start PHP laboratory, 涙がはじまる前に “悲しみ色”のあなたへ PHP研究所,  April 1982
  • Anne's Island, Letters from the Wind (Anne no Shima, Kazedayori) アンの島・風だより, 1993 collaboration with Terry Kamikawa, a personal friend of the author who runs the Blue Winds Tea Room in New London, P.E.I, Canada
  • Islander's Story, the People of the Island of Anne Shirley (Islander Monogatari, Anne no Sima no Hitobito) アイランダ-物語 アンの島の人々, 1997

Picture books

  • Kodansha Ohimesama Ehon4 Ningyohime 講談社おひめさま絵本4 にんぎょひめ (art by Makoto Takahashi, 1971)
  • Nemutai Kirin ねむたいキリン (art by Keiji Nakamura, 1979)
  • Monmonku wa Yasasii モンモンクはやさしい (art by Makoto Obo, 1979)
  • Mushiba bokuji-you (do wagga ippai) むしばぼくじょう (どうわがいっぱい) (art by Furukawa Tak, 1992)
  • Candy and a White Foal キャンディと白い子馬 , (art by Yumiko Igarashi, 1992)
  • Candy and a Flower Hat キャンディと花のぼうし, (art by Yumiko Igarashi, 1992)
  • Candy and Dead Leaves Kakataキャンディと枯葉色のやかた, (art by Yumiko Igarashi, 1992)
  • Shampoo Ōji no Bouken シャンプー王子のぼうけん (art by Makoto Kubota, 2004)
  • Shampoo Ōji to Kitanai Kotoba シャンプー王子ときたないことば (art by Makoto Kubota, 2005), adapted into anime television series in October 2007
  • Shampoo Ōji to Daiakutou シャンプー王子と大あくとう (art by Makoto Kubota, 2006), adapted into anime television series in October 2007 

Translation work

  • Don Quixote/Cervantes Shueisha ドン・キホーテ / セルバンテス, 1974 (Mother and child masterpiece fairy tale)
  • Siberian girl/Mestor Shueisha シベリアの少女 / メストル, 1975 (Margaret Bunko)
  • Alps girl Spiri boys and girls world class masterpieces housewife friend アルプスの少女 スピリ 少年少女世界名作全集 主婦の友社, 1977


  • Candy Candy キャンディ・キャンディ (composer: Takeo Watanabe, performer: Mitsuko Horie)
  • Ashita ga Suki あしたがすき (composer: Takeo Watanabe, performer: Mitsuko Horie)
  • Futari kiri no Lullaby ふたりきりのララバイ (composer: Juichi Sase, performer: Ruo Megimi)
  • Tazunebito futagoza 尋ね人ふたご座 (composer: Juichi Sase, performer: Ruo Megimi)
  • Ame no Suizokukan 雨の水族館 (composer: Satsuya Iwasawa, performer: Ruo Megimi)
  • Shabondama Love しゃぼんだまラブ (composer: Masami Koizumi, performer: Ruo Megimi)
  • Shiriau Maekara Zutto Suki 知りあう前からずっと好き (composer: Toru Okada, performer: Yoko Ishida)
  • Shizuku wa Anata no Sign しずくはあなたのサイン (composer: Toru Okada, performer: Mitsuko Horie)
  • Uwasa Shitteruwa 噂知ってるわ (composer and performer: Miyuki Yokoyama)
  • Shampoo Ōji no Bouken シャンプー王子の冒険 (composer: Hironobu Kageyama, performer: Ikuko)
  • Shampoo Ōji no Komoriuta シャンプー王子の子守唄 (composer: Hironobu Kageyama, performer: Mayu Miyauchi)



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