The aloof protagonist: a bookworm who is deeply detached from the world he resides in. He has no interest in others and is firmly convinced that nobody has any interest in him either. His story begins when he stumbles across a handwritten book, titled “Living with Dying.” He soon identifies it as a secret diary belonging to his popular, bubbly classmate Sakura Yamauchi. She then confides in him about the pancreatic disease she is suffering from and that her time left is finite. Only her family knows about her terminal illness; not even her best friends are aware. Despite this revelation, he shows zero sympathy for her plight, but caught in the waves of Sakura’s persistent buoyancy, he eventually concedes to accompanying her for her remaining days.
As the pair of polar opposites interact, their connection strengthens, interweaving through their choices made with each passing day. Her apparent nonchalance and unpredictability disrupts the protagonist’s impassive flow of life, gradually opening his heart as he discovers and embraces the true meaning of living.
In this deeply moving first-person story, an introverted high school boy finds his classmate’s diary―and learns her biggest secret. Yamauchi Sakura is dying from a pancreatic disease and now he is the only one person outside her family to know the truth. The last thing the boy wants is to be her friend, but Sakura’s cheerful demeanor and their shared secret draw them together in this heartrending tale of friendship and mortality.
Sakura is a young girl with a thin build. She is considered pretty (at least by Haruki). Along with this, her hair color is a light brown with a long bang covering the center of her forehead in between her eyes, with long locks of hair on either side of her face that reaches until her shoulders and curls slightly upward at the ends, with the rest of her hair running down her back. Her eyes are small with her pupils being a light brown or possibly even a dark hazel.
She is often seen wearing her school uniform consisting of a pale beige blazer with dark brown details, a white shirt, a blue bow, and a pleated skirt of the same color paired with long, dark grey socks and brown loafers. At other times, she is seen wearing different plain clothing outside of school.
Throughout the story, it is said and shown that Sakura is a rather rambunctious person by nature which she admits to. It is compounded by her rather immature attitude and actions towards the world around her, having to constantly be quieted in the library she worked at.
However, deep down, Sakura is shown to be incredibly scared of dying, which she revealed to Haruki. Despite this, Sakura tries her best to live her life to its fullest.