Inoue Mao’s Biography

井上真央 (いのうえ まお)

For more basic info and a list of her portfolio check out JADEEYES’ post: Inoue Mao’s Profile

Inoue Mao was born January 9, 1987 (on a Friday) in Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan. She used to be known as a popular U-15 idol [Junior idol for modeling, U-15 meaning “Under 15”]. She was well known for her role as Imai Akane in the drama Kids War. Kids War was not her first drama, she had been taking parts from other dramas since the age of five, but it wasn’t until 1999 with Kids War that she was actually recognized.

In 2005 she starred in probably her most well known drama – Hana Yori Dango. Inoue took on the part of Makino Tsukushi, a lower class girl who is trying to make the the best of going to a school built for elites and is full of playboys and rich snobs. The drama had a sequel as well as a “Final” movie. The movie for Hana Yori Dango was also the first time she took part as a lead in a film and not a drama.


In a variety show Inoue Mao revealed that it was her mother who had encouraged her to join performing acts at the early age of 4. She had also taken up music and arts, as acting wasn’t her priority at the time. But whenever she received her first fan letter she was encouraged to continue on with acting. Even though she joined show business at such an early age she prioritized going to school. In 2004 she put acting on hold despite her rise in popularity due to Kids War. She instead decided to concentrate on graduating from the University of Japan and enrolled at Meiji University in 2005.

Along with studying theater and literature she chose Mandarin as her second major. In 2006 she co-starred in her first movie, Check It Out, Yo!, alongside Ichihara Hayato, Hiraoka Yuta, and Emoto Tasuku. In 2007 she also co-starred in the summer drama First Kiss with Check It Out, Yo! ‘s co-star Hiraoka.

After her graduation from Meiji University in 2009 she starred alongside Okada Masaki in the movie Boku no Hatsukoi wo Kimi ni Sasagu (I Give My First Love To You). The movie was also based off of a manga. Inoue played the part of Mayu Taneda, the daughter of Takuma’s doctor, Dr. Takahito Taneda.

In 2010 Inoue returned in another drama alongside previous Hana Yori Dango co-star Oguri Shun in the drama Juui Dolittle (Veterinarian Dolittle). Inoue plays as an animal nurse named Tajima Asuka who works alongside Dolittle. (This drama is not like the movie Dr. Dolittle starring Eddie Murphy)

Her most recent work was in the 2011 drama, Ohisama. Inoue plays the part of Yoko Sudo, a woman living in Japan during World War II. The drama follows her life as she overcomes hardships and starts with Yoko Sudo as a high school student who eventually becomes a teacher and starts a family. On February 9, 2012, Inoue won an award for Newcomer of the Year for her role in Ohisama.

Last year started with Ohisama and ended with hosting Kouhaku. While it was a year with a lot of responsibilities, it was also very fulfilling – Mao Inoue

Other Info:

◊ Her hobbies include Basketball, badminton, Japanese dance, music, and oil painting

◊ Started her acting career at the age of 5

◊ She had graduated on 26 March 2009, from Meiji University’s Faculty of Literature, majoring in theater (taking Chinese as her second language elective at the university)

◊ Loves animals and even has a Boston Terrier named Hug

◊ If she wasn’t in the entertainment industry she would be a veterinarian

◊ Is a big fan of Disneyland

◊ Received an award for the 47th Television Drama Academy Awards: Best ActressHana Yori Dango and also for the 10th Nikkan Sports Drama Grand Prix (Jan-Mar 07): Best Actress – Hana Yori Dango 2

◊ Won a Newcomer of the Year award during the 36th Annual Elan d’or Awards for Ohisama

Mao Inoue’s official site: http://www.mao-inoue.jp/

I first saw her in Hana Yori Dango. Being my second drama she really stood out to me as an actress. The emotions she pulled off and the way she acted in general was very moving and well done. I don’t think they could’ve picked a better actress to play as Makino. I have also seen a few episodes from the drama First Kiss, although it was a while ago and I haven’t gotten around to restarting it yet. I’m really surprised at myself for not seeing her in much else at the moment, she really is a good actress and I was thinking of even watching Ohisama despite it’s crazy length of 156 episodes to see how well it was. I’m looking forward to seeing more with her! If you haven’t seen anything with her yet I would highly recommend starting off with one of her more well known roles such as Hana Yori Dango (: –crazy4you

Posted on March 18, 2012, in Actors and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. I hope I can watch more of her so that I can get a better feel of her as an actress, I just dont remember much from the doctor drama haha… She is very pretty🙂

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