Hajime Sakurai is the father of Izumi and Makoto Sakurai; and the author of the books "Steam", "Milk Snow" and "Relay Cropping". His debut is in Chapter 142 of the manga, so he does not appear in the anime adaptation. His most recent book, "Relay Cropping", seems to be particularly popular among his audience, since it is read not only by Mai but also Nano, who doesn't read books as frequently.
As shown in Chapter 142, Hajime Sakurai is sleepy all the time, even while talking with his editor. The editor (who is a relative of Weboshi), attributes this to him having lost his wife at a young age, and so dealing with both writing and housework at the same time. Hajime also seems to have gotten the idea of his book, "Relay Cropping", from Weboshi-san.
Being sleepy leaves Hajime's children, especially Izumi, having to look after him. As a result, practical housework (like cooking a meal for the family) usually cannot be done. He becomes absent-minded from his fatigue, as shown in the second-to-final panel in Chapter 142, where he attempts to ignite his lighter with a cigarette.
Role of "Relay Cropping" in the manga
"Relay Cropping" accompanies two minor gags in Chapters 152 and 157. In Chapter 152, Mai, who hasn't read the book yet, pretends not to care when Nano, having finished it, asks her whether she read it or not. In Chapter 157, Mai walks outside while at the same time she reads "Relay Cropping". Coincidentally, she also has to dodge the objects that are blown at her by the wind, only to notice that it's been raining by the time she finishes the book. The impact of this event is seen in Chapter 163, in which Mai has caught a cold - for the second time in her life - from the rain and she needs to rest at home.
- In Chapter 142, it can be inferred that Hajime's editor is a relative of Weboshi because Izumi refers to her as "Weboshi-san".
- The gag in Chapter 152 implies that Mai doesn't like to be informed about the books she hasn't read yet.
- The phrase "The beginning of goodbye" is written on the cover of "Relay Cropping". Interestingly, the word "Hajime" also means "beginning" in Japanese, and is a verbal command to "begin" in traditional martial arts like kendo, karate and judo.
- Since Hajime's older child, Izumi, is 24 years old, it can be speculated that Hajime is in his fifties.