TV Presenter Mao Kobayashi passes away from breast cancer

It has been announced that popular TV news presenter Mao Kobayashi has passed away after a long and publicized battle with breast cancer. She was 34-years-old.

Last year her husband, kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo, shared that Mao had been battling breast cancer for the past 20 months. Doctors warned that the disease was spreading extremely fast and intensive treatment began immediately, but by 2016, it had progressed to stage four.

Despite treatment, the cancer continued to spread to her bones and lungs and took her life on June 23, NHK reports.

The initial announcement came shortly after Ebizo made an appearance on SMAP X SMAP with then 3-year-old son Kangen, immediately capturing the hearts of the Japanese public.

Since then, Ebizo had expressed the toll it took on Mao to be away from their two young children while undergoing treatment, along with the difficulty that came in having to explain the situation.

In November 2016, Kobayashi was announced as one of the BBC’s “100 Women 2016“–a list of inspirational and influential women for 2016–after starting a blog about her illness and how she dealt with it. Titled “Kokoro,” it quickly became one of the most popular blogs in Japan with more than 2.5 million readers.

On Ebizo’s official blog, he made an entry regarding his wife’s death saying it was the most he had ever cried in a single day. He thanked fans for their support, and will continue to carry out his duties as a kabuki performer, including performance with his son scheduled for next month. He is scheduled to hold a press conference this afternoon.

Kobayashi is survived by her husband, two children and sister Maya Kobayashi, who is also a popular TV personality.

  • Comments

    • Babi Hong

      OMG i was just watch the smap x smap episode with them last week :(

      so horrible i hope the children will be ok…

    • Nina

      So sad. The last selfie she took she had this beautiful smile. She was such a strong woman. RIP.

      I also feel bad for her older sister, Maya, whose a popular newscaster who is known for always being energetic/smiling. I hope she’s ok too.

    • Omg….no….no. I had no idea.
      I’m really sad right now….this is really hitting close to home…I just found out that one of my great staff members has cancer.
      Mao was so sweet….rest in peace. I wish/hope for all the love and comfort in the world for her husband and children.

    • HoneyDew

      Wishing her family enough strength..RIP Mao..

    • james


    • Bubi.

      keeping up with her battle, a part of me was bracing for this after her conditioned worsened after leaving the hospital this week, but i’m still so UPSET

    • SsunShine

      I was crying hard watching Ebizo’s press conference. And watching Sho’s crying too, I’m such a wrecked woman now! Mao is such a sweet person. RIP sweetheart. Sending my love towards all her family members and people who held her dearly into their heart.

    • HyperMoot .

      and she was only 34, fate is such a jerk, very sad indeed

    • light

      No words, this is so sad, and her kids are so young….She was such a sweet woman,rest in peace…

    • rshina

      his speech is the most heartbreaking speech I heard this year

      • HoneyDew

        I can feel his loss… He really misses her and I can see how sad and heart broken he was while doing the press con… God give Ichikawa Ebizo strength..

        • light

          This is heartbreaking, could only watch a couple minutes….

          • HoneyDew

            Same case with me… I almost cried watching him…

    • kashiyuka

      I saw the pictures of her husband crying and that was enough for me ;_;
      I read about how she said she had a beautiful family that loved her and her supporting husband so she had no regrets in the end.
      Such a beautiful sentinement, may she RIP.

    • Queen_Of_The_Yokai537

      Olofi please give Ichikawa Ebizo strength to rise up from this pain and do the best that he can for his two babies<3. May you please watch over Kangen and Maya and let them never forget how much their mother loves them. I hope their mom protects her husband and kids from the other side<3. Please watch over their aunt as well who lost her sister. I hope that you, Mao Kobayashi, are finally at peace. Thank you for sharing your story through your blog, inspiring others with your courage and showing the world how important it is to enjoy life each day we rise up. You are now free of your pain you beautiful soul<3. Ashe!

    • ʕ→ᴥ←ʔ

      damn, my heart hurts, she seems like such a strong and beautiful woman. T_T

    • CVWII

      Several months ago I did not know who these people were, and then I saw a movie with Ebizo. Now I feel so close to them it hurts.

    • Xavier Braive

      Endless battles, sharing can give courage.