Mao Kobayashi (actress)

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Mao Kobayashi
小林 麻央
Mao Kobayashi died 2017.png
Mao Kobayashi on her wedding day in 2010
Born Mao Kobayashi
(1982-07-21)21 July 1982
Ojiya, Niigata, Japan
Died 22 June 2017(2017-06-22) (aged 34)
Aobadai, Meguro, Tokyo, Japan
Other names Mao Horikoshi
Occupation Actress, newscaster
Years active 2003–2017
Children 2
Relatives Maya Kobayashi (sister)

Mao Kobayashi (小林 麻央, Kobayashi Mao, 21 July 1982 – 22 June 2017) was a Japanese freelance newscaster and actress. She was also one of Fuji TV's weathercasters.

Early life and education[edit]

Kobayashi was born in 1982 in Ojiya, Niigata, the younger of two children. Her family moved between Saitama, Saitama and Nishinomiya, Hyogo seven times before settling in Arakawa, Tokyo when she was in high school.[1] Her sister is Maya Kobayashi (b. 1979).

Kobayashi attended Kokugakuin Senior High School. In 2005, she graduated from the department of psychology at Sophia University.


While still in university, she gained attention for starring in Nippon TV's talk program Koi no kara Sawagi.[2] From October 2003 to September 2006, Kobayashi served as the weather caster for Fuji TV's Mezamashi Saturday. She was appointed as the navigator for a corner on Fuji TV's Junk Sports in April 2004. In October 2006, Kobayashi became a presenter for the News Zero program on the Nippon Television Network.

In June 2004, Kobayashi made her acting debut as a flight attendant in the Fuji TV television drama Division 1: Pink Hip Girl.

During an interview for News Zero, she met kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizō XI.[3] On 19 November 2009, they announced that they were dating with the intent of marriage and were to be formally engaged sometime in December 2009.[4][5] The couple registered their marriage on 3 March 2010 and held their wedding reception at The Prince Park Tower on 29 July 2010.

Upon marriage, Kobayashi retired from television to focus on raising a family.[3] She gave birth to their first child, daughter Reika, on 25 July 2011.[6] On 22 March 2013, she gave birth to their second child, son Kangen.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Kobayashi was married to Takatoshi Horikoshi (aka Ichikawa Ebizō XI), an actor. Kobayashi had two children, a daughter Reika and a son Kangen Horikoshi.

Illness and death[edit]

Kobayashi was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2014 but kept her illness a secret. On 9 June 2016, her husband announced her condition at a press conference after the tabloid, Sports Hochi, ran a front-page scoop about her ordeal.[8] The cancer had reached stage four and spread to her bones and lungs.[9][10] In November 2016, the BBC announced that she was one of the BBC's '100 Women 2016' — a list of inspirational and influential women for 2016 — after she started a blog about her illness and how she was dealing with it. Titled 'Kokoro', it became one of the most popular blogs in Japan.[11][12]

Kobayashi died of cancer on 22 June 2017.[9][13]




  • Division 1: Pink Hip Girl (Fuji TV, 2004) – Emi Saeki
  • Tokyo Friends (Fuji TV, 2005) – Maki Abiko
  • Slow Dance (2005) – Ayumi Hirose
  • Unfair (Fuji TV, 2006) – Rieko Matsumoto
  • Happy! (TBS, 2006) – Choko Ryugasaki
  • Oishii Propose (TBS, 2006) – Saori Shimazaki
  • Taiyou no Uta (TBS, 2006) – Yuuko Miura
  • Happy! 2 (TBS, 2006) – Choko Ryugasaki


  1. ^ "BS Asahi". BS Asahi. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  2. ^ "「恋のから騒ぎ」に姉と出演して人気/麻央さん略歴" (in Japanese). Oricon. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "TV presenter Mao Kobayashi dies of breast cancer at 34". 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  4. ^ 「市川海老蔵さんと小林麻央さん結婚へ」 ("Ichikawa Ebizō and Mao Kobayashi to Marry.")。Asahi Shimbun. 19 November 2009. Accessed 22 November 2009.
  5. ^ "海老蔵 年貢の納め時?小林麻央と婚約へ". Sports Nippon. 20 November 2009. Archived from the original on 23 November 2009. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  6. ^ "海老蔵に女児誕生!麻央が第1子" (in Japanese). Nikkan Sports. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "海老蔵、長男は「勧玄」と命名" (in Japanese). Oricon. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  8. ^ "TV presenter Kobayashi has advanced cancer, says actor husband Ebizo". The Japan Times. 10 June 2016. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "TV presenter Mao Kobayashi, 34, dies after battle with cancer". The Japan Times. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 
  10. ^ BBC 100 Women 2016: Who is on the list?, 21 November 2016
  11. ^ "100 Women 2016: Kokoro - the cancer blog gripping Japan". BBC News Online. BBC. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  12. ^ "がんと闘病の小林麻央さん、BBCに寄稿 「色どり豊かな人生」". BBC News Japan (in Japanese). BBC. 23 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016. 
  13. ^ "小林麻央さん亡くなる". NHK News Web. NHK. 23 June 2017. Retrieved 23 June 2017. 

External links[edit]