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Her family name, Sakaki, is that of an evergreen tree of Japan (Cleyera japonica) considered sacred in Shinto, and which is often found on the grounds of shrines.
Tall, soft-spoken Sakaki is uncomfortable with her height and her busty physique. Because she is shy, she seldom speaks,and this reticence is misinterpreted and admired as "tough", "mysterious", and "cool"—a reputation compounded by her natural athletic ability. (Later in the series, she speaks out more to her friends.) She is the subject of Kaorin's (largely unspoken) infatuation. In contrast to what other students think of her, Sakaki has no interest in sports and has a secret passion for all things cute. Despite her reserve, she has a very strong desire for friendship, leading her to attach herself to the group. If she is aware of Kaorin's infatuation, she shows no sign of it.
Sakaki's passion for cute things encompasses animals both real and stuffed (she gives her own stuffed animals names, like a small child). Sakaki is particularly taken with cats, but cannot have one at home because her mother is allergic. Unfortunately, most cats hate Sakaki for unknown reasons—one in particular, a gray cat known as Kamineko, delights in luring her close so he can bite her. Kagura theorizes cats think her hand smells like fish. One subtitle in the manga explains that the street cats suspect that Sakaki approaches them with murderous intent.
During the class trip to Okinawa, Sakaki bonds with an Iriomote cat, the first cat that ever let her pet it. After Sakaki returns to Tokyo, the cat, Maya, suddenly appears and chases off a malicious horde of the cats led by Kamineko who were threatening Sakaki and Chiyo. Confronted by Maya's wildcat "battle aura", the cats wilt and scatter. Sakaki finds out that after the cat's mother was killed, he followed her to Tokyo. She adopts him and names him Maya. Because of Sakaki's mother's allergy, Maya is being taken care of by Chiyo until Sakaki goes to college and has her own apartment.
Sakaki is unusually busty and tall—her height is given as 174 centimeters (approximately 5'8") and "still growing", which is extraordinarily tall for a Japanese woman. Also, she is very self-conscious about her body. In the anime, Osaka notes that they "have an American among us" because of her large breasts (in episode 4, in girls' locker room parlance, those with medium-sized breasts, such as Yomi, are referred to as "Hawaiian"; those with flat chests, such as Osaka or Tomo, are referred to as "Japanese"). In response, Tomo remarked that it was hard to believe that Sakaki had been in middle school only a year earlier, which embarrassed Sakaki.
Sakaki is envious of Chiyo's irresistible adorableness, and is often seen with Chiyo and her Great Pyrenees, Mr. Tadakichi (who lets her pet him). She secretly wishes she looked more like Chiyo so she could openly pursue her interest in cute things. In contrast, Chiyo wishes she looked more like Sakaki so people would take her more seriously. Sakaki occasionally dreams of a floating yellow cat-like creature that claims to be Chiyo's father.
In a Christmas episode, when the girls sing karaoke, Sakaki sings her character song, "Kokoro wa Shōjo de Parachute". Her beautiful singing voice surprises the other girls.
In her senior year, Sakaki takes the examination for and is admitted to a veterinary college. While initially concerned that it was far from home, requiring her to get her own apartment, she warmed to the idea when she realized that this allowed her to keep "her very own cat", Maya.
Sakaki makes a cameo appearance as a philosopher who criticizes Quine in Classroom of Thesis; From the Report to the Graduation Thesis (論文の教室[レポートから卒論まで]?) by Kazuhisa Todayama. This book refers also to other Azumanga Daioh characters.
- Yuu Asakawa
- Christine Auten
Because Sakaki is a nonspeaking part in the pilot Azumanga Web Daioh (she spends the episode searching for something without participating in other events), she has been voiced by only one Japanese actor.
- "Kokoro wa Shoujo de PARACHUTE" Words by Aki Hata, music by Masumi Itō
- "Mahou Neko ni aeru Hi wa" Words by Aki Hata, music by Masumi Ito
ko:사카키 (아즈망가 대왕) it:Sakaki (Azumanga daiō)