Mao Inoue

Mao Inoue
Mao Inoue
井上 真央
Born January 9, 1987 (1987-01-09) (age 24)
Yokohama, Japan
Occupation Actress
Years active 1992–present

Mao Inoue (井上 真央 Inoue Mao?) (born January 9, 1987) is a Japanese actress. She debuted as a U-15 idol in 1999. She is best known to Japanese television drama audiences as Akane Imai (今井 茜 Imai Akane?) in Kids War (キッズ・ウォー Kizzu Uo?) and Makino Tsukushi in the Hana Yori Dango series, in which she won Best Actress in the 47th Television Drama Academy Awards and received a newcomer award at the 16th Hashida Awards for her performance.[1][2]



Dramas and movies

Inoue Mao started her career as an actress at a young age of 5. She had been in many dramas since then. The viewers took notice of her in the series Kids War which ran from 1999 to 2003. In 2005, Mao took the lead role in the drama adaptation of the popular manga Hana Yori Dango, with Arashi member Matsumoto Jun, Oguri Shun, Matsuda Shota and Tsuyoshi Abe. The drama became a big hit, with viewers demanding a second season. Mao was awarded Best Actress by Television Drama Academy on the same year that the drama was aired.

In 2006, she co-starred in her first movie Check It Out, Yo! with Hayato Ichihara, Yūta Hiraoka, and Tasuku Emoto. The film was in theaters April 22, 2006.

In early 2007, Hana Yori Dango Returns aired and became better-received than the first season. On the same year, Inoue co-starred in the drama First Kiss with Check It Out, Yo! co-star Hiraoka Yuuta. Her outstanding performance from her past dramas landed her the lead role in the drama special Hanaikusa as a Maiko-turned Geisha.

Come 2008, she played the lead role in a drama special Anmitsu Hime as a princess, followed by Anmitsu Hime 2 in the following year, where she sang the theme song with Shoko Nakagawa. After the success of the two Hana Yori Dango dramas, a film was announced in August 2007, just months after the end of the 2007 sequel. It was Inoue's first starring role in a movie.[3] The movie was released on June 28, 2008. It topped the box office Japan for a few consecutive weeks and became the second fast-earning movie in 2008. It also became a phenomenal success, not only in Japan, but in many parts of Asia, bringing the name "10 billion yen actress" to Inoue Mao.

Despite her soaring popularity after the movie, Mao stepped back from acting to concentrate on her studies. Right after her graduating from Meiji University in March 2009, she started filming for the movie adaptation of the manga Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu, in which she shared the lead with Masaki Okada; it was released in theaters in October 2009. On April of the following year,My Darling is a Foreigner was released in theaters in with Inoue starring opposite Jonathan Sherr.

Three years since her last drama, she reunited with Hana Yori Dango co-star Shun Oguri for the drama Jūi Dolittle (獣医ドリトル Veterinarian Dolittle?), which began airing in October 2010.[4] She also starred in the 84th asadora drama Ohisama (おひさま The Sun?), portraying a woman who lived through World War II.[5] It was planned to air from March 28, 2011, to September 24, 2011 but it was delayed due to the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan. It started to air on April 4, 2011. The morning drama was a big hit, Inoue Mao was chosen to chair the Red team in the New Year's Eve Singing Contest "Kouhaku Uta Gassen 2011".She played the role so well, she was awarded Best Actress in the 70th The Television Drama Academy Award.

In February 2011, a movie was released in theaters with Mao, costarring known actor Takenouchi Yutaka in a movie Taiheiyou no kiseki ~Fox to yobareta otoko; filming took place in Thailand. It was also revealed in late September 2010 that Inoue Mao will star in a movie Youkame no Semi which was released in April 2011.[6]. Both movies were big successes in the Box Office.

Because of her incredible performance in "Oba: Miracle in the Pacific", she was chosen to star in a Human themed comedy movie “Tsuna Hiichatta!” which will be released in 2012.

Print and television endorsements

Aside from acting in movies, Inoue has been chosen as the endorser of Mizuho Bank and Chocola BB Eisai series, NTT fleet West and Glico Ice. She also appears in the covers of various magazines, namely BOMB, Gyao, and Famima Plus.

Personal life

Inoue Mao started acting at the age of 5. She had revealed in one show that her mother encouraged her to join performing acts to learn. She was also learning music and arts. Acting wasn't her priority then but when she received her first fan letter, she decided to continue acting. Despite joining the show business at an early age, she also put priority to her school. In 2004,despite the rise of her popularity from the Kid's War series, she decided to put her acting on hold as she concentrated on graduating from University of Japan and enrolling at Meiji University. In 2005,at 18, Inoue enrolled in Meiji University, majoring in theater and literature; she chose Chinese as her second language elective. In her last year of college, she concentrated solely on her studies. In March 2009, she graduated from Meiji University.[7]

Inoue's hobbies include playing badminton and basketball, Japanese dance, music, and oil painting. She also loves animals; she has a pet Boston Terrier named Hug. Because of her love for animals, she revealed that she plans to be a veterinarian if she is not in the entertainment industry. She is also a big fan of Disneyland.


Year Title Role Notes
1992 Gakkō ga Abunai! Mami Asakura
1992 Itsumitemo Haran Banjō Midori Satsuki
1992 Tsubusareta Kao! Zankoku na Shashin
1993 Kokoro no Tabi Series
1994 Kagishi
1994 Mayonaka no Jōkyaku
1994 Ninja Sentai Kakuranger
1995 Tōryanse
1995 Kura
1996 Genki o Ageru Maiko Nitani
1996 Asahi ni Wakare no Seppun o
1997 Abarenbō Shōgun VII Sayo Episode 17 guest appearance
1997 Mito Kōmon 25th Series Episode 14 guest appearance
1997 Terakoya Yume Shinan
1997 Kin no Tamago Episode 3 guest appearance
1997 Shin Hanshichi Torimonochō
1997 Gourmet Mystery Onna Shutchō Ryōrinin ga Iku!
1998 Tōyama no Kinsan vs Onna Nezumi Tonbo Episode 8 guest appearance
1998 Hi no Ryōsen
1999 Kai Ayako Tomita
1999 Kids War Zaken na yo Akane Imai
2000 Kids War 2 Zaken na yo Akane Imai
2000 Otōsan Yū Ōmura
2001 Kids War 3 Zaken na yo Akane Imai
2002 Kids War Special Zaken na yo Akane Imai
2002 Kids War 4 Zaken na yo Akane Imai
2002 Kids War Special Ai Koso Subete da! Zaken na yo Akane Imai
2003 Kids War 5 Zaken na yo Akane Imai Lead role
2003 Kids War Special Kore de Final! Zaken na yo Akane Imai
2004 Home Drama Shōko Nagamine
2005 Kyūmei Byōtō 24 Ji
2005 Hana Yori Dango Tsukushi Makino Lead role
2005 Hotaru no Haka Natsu Sawano
2007 Hana Yori Dango 2 Tsukushi Makino Lead role
2007 Ōsama no Shinzō Sakura Kariya
2007 First Kiss Mio Fukunaga Lead role
2007 Hanaikusa Mineko Iwasaki Lead role
2008 Anmitsu Hime Anmitsu Hime/Tokoroten Lead role
2009 Anmitsu Hime 2 Anmitsu Hime/Tokoroten Lead role
2009 Karei naru Spy Ami Yoshizawa Episode 1 guest appearance
2009 Kinkyu Special Kyumei Byoto 24-ji Kyumei Kusush Episode 4 guest appearance
2009 Tengoku de Kimi ni Aetara Natsuko Nonogami Television special
2009 Yonimo Kimyō na Monogatari: Aki no Tokubetsuhen Kanako Okazaki Lead role
2010 Mominoki wa Nokotta Uno
2010 Jūi Dolittle Asuka Tashima
2011 Ohisama Yōko Sudō Lead role, asadora
Year Title Role Notes
2006 Check It Out, Yo!
2007 Ge Ge Ge no Kitaro Mika Miura
2007 Kaidan
2008 Hana Yori Dango Final Tsukushi Makino Lead role
2009 I Give My First Love to You Mayu Taneda Lead role
2010 My Darling is a Foreigner Saori Lead role
2010 Surely Someday Shōko Gotō
2011 Taiheiyō no Kiseki: Fox to Yobareta Otoko Chieko Aono
2011 "Youkame no Semi" Erina Lead role
2012 “Tsuna Hiichatta!” Nishikawa Chiaki’ Lead role


  • 2002: Higuchi Ichiyō

PV appearances

  • 2007: Kazumasa Oda- "Kokoro"
  • 2008-09: Amnitsu Hime PV-Inoue Mao "Diamonds"


  • Glico Ice [real] (2010-)
  • NTT West FLET (2010-)
  • MIZUHO BANK (2006-
  • Eisai's Chocola BB [Series]
  • Panky (2007-)
  • KAGOME (2007-)
  • Dralion (2006-)
  • Kateikyoushi no Try (2006–2007)

Awards and nominations

Dramas and Films

Year Organization Award Work Result
2005 47th The Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actress Hana Yori Dango Won
2007 10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix Best Actress Hana Yori Dango 2 Won[8]
16th Hashida Awards Newcomer Award Won[9]
2007 MTV Student Voice Awards Best Actress Won[10]
54th The Television Academy Drama Awards Best Actress First Kiss Nominated
2008 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards Best Actress Hana Yori Dango 2 Won
2010 Nikkan Sports Grand Prix (Fall) Best Supporting Actress Juii Dolittle Nominated
2011 3rd TAMA Film Award Best Emerging Actress Miracle in the Pacific Won
35th Fumiko Yamaji Award Film Awards Newcomer Actress Youkame no Semi Won
TV Navi Best Actress Ohisama Won
70th The Television Drama Academy Awards Best Actress Won

Other Awards

  • 2007 Nail Queen Actress Category
  • 2009 22nd Japan Best Dressed Eyes Awards
  • 2011 Fountain Pen Award


External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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