What did “FRIDAY” report 10, 20, and 30 years ago? In “Playback Friday,” we take a look back at the topics that were popular at the time. This time, we bring you the article “The new weathercaster ‘Saturday morning face’ is a third-year student at Sophia University,” which appeared in the November 21, 2003 issue 20 years ago. The article was written at the time of Mao Kobayashi’s debut on “Mezamashi Saturday” (Fuji Television Network), who passed away in 2005 at the young age of 34. The following is a retrospective.
The lines fly off the screen and my head goes blank…. The new caster is struggling.
This woman smiles freshly with an umbrella in her hand. She is Mao Kobayashi, 21, a weathercaster whose popularity is on the rise. She is a third-year student majoring in psychology at Sophia University’s Faculty of Letters and Science, and has been selected for “Mezamashi Saturday” (Fuji Television Network), which started on October 4, and she is “struggling” every Saturday early morning.
I’m still getting used to it. There were times when my mind went blank and I didn’t have time to look at the script because the lines I had practiced so many times flew out of my head during the show.
Her big breakthrough as a weathercaster came last year when she appeared on “Koi no Karafutai” (Nippon Television Network). Her older sister Maya Kobayashi, 24, is also a graduate of this program. Kobayashi’s older sister, Maya Kobayashi, 24, who was “the most popular girl of all time,” joined TBS this April as an announcer with a “ringing start.
I feel like she is my best friend, and I talk to her about various problems. It was because of her influence that I appeared on “From Love”. Now we check the recordings of the shows we’ve appeared in together, and give each other advice on things like how my eyes are moving too much or how my timing is bad. My appearance in “From Love” was a big deal for me, and it changed me from the shyness I had been before. It was that show that led me to my current job.
She was once called into the “lecture room” for being too fresh. I am sure that she will continue to spread cheer with her fresh smile.
Mao was still a student at the time. After graduation, she joined St. Force, and although she appeared in TV dramas when she first debuted, she became a freelance announcer. At first, she had a stronger image as “Maya Kobayashi’s younger sister,” but around the time she was selected as a news anchor for “news zero” in 2006, she became known for the fresh and innocent image she was showing even at the time of this interview.
In January 2010, she married Ebizo Ichikawa (now Danjuro), and they had their first daughter in 2011 and a son in 2013. However, their happy family life did not last long. In June 2004, she announced that she was battling breast cancer. Even so, she continued to write about her battle on her blog and actively communicate about her condition. Her blog was updated 352 times until June 20, 2005, two days before her death, striking a chord with many people. In the end, she passed away peacefully with her husband Ebizo, her two children, her sister Maya, and her parents looking after her.
It is a precious image of Mao when she was full of dreams and hopes after her too-short life.
PHOTO： Takehiko Kohiyama