Mao Kobayashi, a freelance TV presenter and wife of kabuki actor Ichikawa Ebizo, has died of breast cancer. She was 34.
In June 2016, Ebizo announced that Kobayashi had breast cancer, and in September Kobayashi began to write about her struggle with the disease on her blog. Her blog raised public sympathy, and had some 2.58 million readers.
A native of Niigata Prefecture, Kobayashi made her debut as a weathercaster on Fuji TV program "Mezamashi Doyobi" in 2003 while she was a student at Sophia University. She then appeared in TV dramas and commercials.
In autumn 2006, Kobayashi became a presenter for the "NEWS ZERO" program on Nippon Television Network. She resigned in spring 2010 when she married Ebizo.
She had a son and a daughter. Her son Kangen Horikoshi made his first appearance on stage in November 2015.