Hirohiko Araki is best known as the creator of the long-running and influential manga series JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure. As is the case with many high-profile individuals, details of his personal life have often sparked interest among fans and the general public.
The Twitter account representing Araki (@araki_jojo), managed by Shueisha, released the following notice on June 7, 2023, which was also Araki’s 63rd birthday:
【Notice】We have received reports of an individual claiming to be an acquaintance of Mr. Hirohiko Araki in a certain restaurant and discussing matters related to Mr. Araki’s privacy. Please be informed that this person has no connection whatsoever with Mr. Araki or Shueisha.Original Tweet
The specific details of the unauthorized disclosures were not mentioned. Nonetheless, the statement suggests the person involved has been misrepresenting their relationship with Araki, potentially leading to the spread of unverified or misleading information.
Given the gravity of the issue, Shueisha felt compelled to address the situation publicly. The publisher aims to protect the privacy of its artists. Thus, the announcement serves as a reminder that any genuine information concerning Araki and his works will come directly from Shueisha or authorized sources.
Although Shueisha hasn’t officially stated who was making the claims, several Japanese fans pointed out a possible suspect. In a restaurant named Waku Waku Tei in Sendai, Araki’s hometown, the restaurant owner claims to have been a junior high school classmate with Araki. He has “rare photos and New Year’s cards” of the manga artist displayed in the store. Declaring himself as Araki’s close friend, he also shares “inside stories” about Araki with his customers.
He has been running “Hirohiko Araki Birthday Festivals” and JoJo events at his restaurant for several years. As of yet, he hasn’t publicly responded to the official announcement from Shueisha online. However, about thirty minutes after their tweet, he tweeted another advertisement for the Araki birthday festival at his restaurant.
Update: As of June 14, 2023, the owner has now deleted his restaurant’s Twitter account. The listing on Google Maps also says that it is permanently closed.
Update 2: A few days later, Google Maps was updated again indicating that the restaurant is open. Thus, the previous edit may have been done by fans angry about the news. However, the Twitter account is still deleted.
About Hirohiko Araki and JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure
Hirohiko Araki is a manga artist from Sendai, the capital city of Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure is his most successful series being in serialization for 36 years and highly regarded internationally. The ninth part of the series, The JOJOLands, began in February 2023. The series currently has 961 chapters in total.
JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure has an anime adaptation that began in 2012 and recently completed up to the sixth part of the series in December 2022. Throughout the years, the series has received an OVA adaptation, several video games, and many spin-offs.