Author/artist Masashi Kishimoto was born in 1974 in rural Okayama
Prefecture, Japan. After spending time in art college, he won the
Hop Step Award for new manga artists with his manga Karakuri
(Mechanism). Kishimoto decided to base is next story on traditional
Japanese culture. His first version of Naruto, drawn in
1997, was a one-shot story about fox spirits; his final version,
which debuted in Weekly Shonen Jump in 1999, quickly became
the most popular ninja manga in Japan.
Under the name Zoncho, Mirei Miyamoto won the Jump Novel Grand Prix Summer '14 in the character novel division. His work includes Marunouchi of the Dead and Tagayasu Zombie-sama, and he is always pushing himself in new directions of storytelling, such as with his contribution to Thus Spoke Kishibe Rohan: A Short Story Collection.