As a founding member of the Hakusensha publishing company, KONAGAI Nobumasa helped launch such magazines as Hana to Yume (Flowers and Dreams) and LaLa, and championed the work of outstanding manga artists, including MIUCHI Suzue (Garasu no Kamen [Glass Mask]), WADA Shinji (Sukeban Deka [Bad Girl Cop]), YAMAGISHI Ryoko (Hi Izuru Tokoro no Tenshi [Emperor of the Land of the Rising Sun]), OSHIMA Yumiko (Wata no Kunihoshi [Star of Cottonland]), and MAYA Mineo (Patalliro!). Since his days with the Shueisha publication Bessatsu Margaret (Additional volume Margaret), KONAGAI has made an incalculable contribution to manga, in particular the girls' manga genre, for over half a century. As evidenced by his 2011 book Watashi no Shojo Manga Shi (My Girls' Manga History), an invaluable account of the industry, KONAGAI remains extremely active. His 50-year love affair with girls' manga is deserving of the highest accolades.
Born in 1930 in Shizuoka Prefecture, KONAGAI joined the Shueisha publishing house and worked as an editor on the manga magazines Omoshiro Book and Ribon before becoming editor-in-chief of the girls' manga magazine Bessatsu Margaret, whose circulation he boosted from 100,000 to 1.5 million. The magazine was unrivalled in its colorful diversity of stand-alone stories realized through close collaboration between manga ar tists and editors. Through the Manga School he launched around this time, KONAGAI is also known for fostering many young talents who went on to become major manga ar tists. In 1973 he co-founded the Hakusensha publishing house, where, as editorial director, he founded the magazines Hana to Yume (Flowers and Dreams), LaLa, Young Animal, and MOE. Top shojo-manga storytellers MIUCHI Suzue and WADA Shinji had their epic serials Glass Mask and Bad Girl Cop launched in Hana to Yume in 1976, while LaLa boasted such cutting-edge artists of the genre as OSHIMA Yumiko, YAMAGISHI Ryoko, and KIHARA Toshie, according Hakusensha legendary status even among older manga readers. KONAGAI became president of the company in 1990 and advisor in 2000, retiring in 2005. His books include Papa's War (2006) and My Girls' Manga History (2011), both from Nishida Shoten.