Hiroko Makunouchi (幕之内寛子, Makunouchi Hiroko) is the mother of Ippo Makunouchi and the owner and operator of Makunouchi Fishing Boat. After Makunouchi Kazuo returned with a new boat for the Makunouchi Fishing Boat, he decided to retire from the commercial fishing boat to be there with his family. Before retreating, he went to one last trip on the commercial fishing boat, promising Hiroko and Ippo that he would be back in a week, and that he would stay at home afterwards. Hiroko told him to be careful since it looked like there is a storm. However, due to a storm, the fishing boat sunk, and Kazou went down with it after saving Sakuma. After a week of searching, he was declared dead. Hiroko with Ippo after Kazuo returned. During the funeral without shedding a tear, she thanked everyone and thought Kazuo would be proud to hear from them.
The men thought she would be alone, but she believed she was never alone since she has her son.
As Ippo kept on waiting for his father's return, Hiroko tried to get Ippo to come home, but he wouldn't listen. One day, Ippo returned soaking wet carrying Kazuo's cap, telling her that he kept his promise of coming home. She decided to take over the family's fishing boat business, later getting a captain's license for the fishing boat, while the local fisherman made a sign for it, and offered to help her. Ippo not wanting to go to high school. Since Kazuo's death, Hiroko tried to get into dating again, however, nobody sparked her interest. The men thought she would be alone, but she believed she was never alone since she has her son. After Ippo saw his mother always tired from working, he mentioned not enrolling in high school, but she told it was unacceptable. She believed he needed to enrol in case he found something else he wanted to do. She told him not to worry bout anything else. She thought if he had time to worry about the business, then he should use it to worry about his future.
39;t come because of work.
Hiroko worried about Ippo's injuries. When Makunouchi Ippo came home from school, Hiroko noticed he got beat up by students again. When Ippo got accepted to the gym and about to leave the gym for a spar, Hiroko suggested to think of his opponent as a fish, like his father used to. Before Ippo's debut match, Hiroko made a big meal for him and told him that she can't come because of work. Sometime before Ippo's debut match, Ippo asked her to put his name on his new trunks, but gave her an incorrect spelling ("IPO"), which he ended up wearing anyways, since it was too late when he noticed. At home, Ippo asked Hiroko if she could come see him fight, Hiroko responded that she doesn't want to see her son get hit. Ippo became worried that Hiroko is doing too much work, when Ippo was asked to go to outdoor camp, Hiroko lets him go. Hiroko meeting Aoki, Kimura, and Takamura. When Hiroko wanted to watch a TV show, Ippo asked her for more time so he can research his next opponent. She asked Ippo if his opponent is strong.
When Ippo got back from the Yamaguchi Chiropractic, Hiroko asked Ippo how it went.
Takamura Mamoru, Aoki Masaru, and Kimura Tatsuya visited the house to see Ippo. Hiroko told them that he was sleeping due to a fever as the trio went to his room. When Ippo got back from the Yamaguchi Chiropractic, Hiroko asked Ippo how it went. Hiroko questioned if he should use medicine instead of a bucket of ice, however, Ippo reassured her that it is the best method. After Ippo won the All Japan Rookie King Tournament, Hiroko got a phone call from him. Hiroko asked Ippo how is his injuries. Hiroko then congratulated him on his victory. When Ippo came home, Hiroko heard about his entry in the Class A Tournament. When Ippo asked Hiroko if he can go to the training camp, Hiroko let him go. The next day however, Hiroko collapsed due to anemia from overworking and was sent to the hospital. When Hiroko woke up and saw Ippo, she apologised to Ippo that he could not go to the training camp and wants to close the fishing business. However, Ippo reassured her that he can do it. Two weeks before she was supposed to be released, Hiroko began packing up and go back home. Ippo stopped her, as he wants to continue helping and have boxing as a hobby. When it was time to pick Hiroko up, Ippo and Umezawa Masahiko drove to the hospital and congratulated Hiroko on her release.
39;s since he lost, as he looked disappointed and embarrassed.
Hiroko then gave Ippo a new pair of boxing trunks. Hiroko then arrived back home. The night before the Class A Tournament finals, Hiroko gave Ippo dinner and noted how he only eats a little before a match. Hiroko was then asked how she was feeling, which she informed Ippo that, thanks to him, she was fine. After Ippo's match against Alexander Volg Zangief, Hiroko began to get worried as Ippo has been passed out for three days at the Kawai Hospital. While at the hospital with Ippo, she met Volg, who apologised to her for hurting her son. She peeled Volg an apple, and before Volg left, told him how seeing her son work hard is a wonderful thing for any mother. When Ippo woke up, she informed him that he was sleeping for three days and that Volg came by. Hiroko talking with Ippo about how his face has become like a man's. When Ippo came back from a date with Mashiba Kumi, Hiroko asked how the date went and mentioned that since he was 19 years old it was no surprise to hear such things. Later when Ippo returned to the house, Hiroko noticed how Ippo's face looked more of a man's since he lost, as he looked disappointed and embarrassed. She told him that he must really like boxing and to have fun until he gets tired of it.
When Ippo came back from his trip to the mountains, Hiroko asked how the trip went. Hiroko and Umezawa giving Ippo a dating map after eavesdropping. While Ippo was spaced out in his room, Hiroko answered the phone when Kumi called and gave the phone to Ippo. Hiroko and Umezawa eavesdropped on the conversation. When Ippo came back and went to bed, Hiroko noticed Ippo could not sleep as it got closer to his match with Sendō Takeshi, but she believed it was not due to being scared, as he was like this during training camp due to excitement. After Ippo won against Sendō and became the JBC featherweight champion, she informed Takamura, Aoki, and Kimura that Ippo went to bed as soon as he came home. She then expressed her disbelief of Ippo's being "Japan's best" when Umezawa told her. When Ippo woke up, Hiroko congratulated Ippo for becoming the champion. A day before Ippo's first title defense match against Sanada Kazuki, Hiroko and Umezawa gifted Ippo new red boxing shoes and trunks, with the trunks having twelve stars signaling the twelve knockouts Ippo achieved. The next day, when Umezawa became excited as Ippo was in high spirits, Hiroko believed that the way Ippo said he would win by knockout, lead her to believe that he may lose. After Ippo's win against Sanada, Hiroko noticed Umezawa declining requests from interviewers wanting to talk to Ippo, as he was worried about his health.
When Hiroko heard about the guest, she rushed to Ippo to meet him.
Hiroko thought Umezawa was like a manager for a movie star based on his actions. When Ippo returned home after sparring against WBA featherweight champion Ricardo Martinez, Hiroko was worried about Ippo's face, suggesting him to look into a mirror. When Ippo received a phone call from Aoki, Hiroko wondered why Ippo ran out of the house in excitement. Shimabukuro asking if Hiroko is a woman of the sea. When Ippo came home one night after having dinner at the Itagaki family's house, Hiroko made him dinner since Ippo could not eat there as he didn't have time. Ippo's fourth JBC title defense opponent, Shimabukuro Iwao, arrived to the Makunouchi Fishing Boat and Ippo went to Tokyo Bay to talk to him. When Hiroko heard about the guest, she rushed to Ippo to meet him. She invited him for dinner at her home, thinking he was one of Ippo's friends. Hiroko was then worried if Shimabukuro had strange hobbies when he proceeded to smell her and deemed her a woman of the sea. Hiroko was worried that Ippo's been hanging out with a bad crowd, but then decided that Shimabukuro was not bad, just weird and thought that he was a bachelor in her age despite him being 22. Later, due to Ippo's intense training, Ippo wasn' t able to carry out his duties for the boat. She told him not to push himself too hard since he was told to rest, mentioning that it is hard for him to carry the customer's equipment. Hiroko stops an argument between the females.
After Ippo defeated Shimabukuro, Umezawa told her that it was an awesome fight than the newspaper could show, suggesting that she should go to one of Ippo's matches. Hiroko disagreed, since she didn't want to see her son being beaten to a pulp, believing that she would have a heart attack from the shock. While Ippo was sleeping for two days, Itagaki Nanako arrived as she was worried about him. Hiroko gave her permission to check on him and thought how rare it is for females to visit him, not believing that her son would be popular. As Mashiba Kumi and mura Mari arrived and the three females began arguing, Hiroko entered the room and offered tea for them. She expressed that while worried about Ippo's boxing, she is unable to ask him to stop the sport since he comes home happy everyday. Hiroko then mentioned that when Ippo is heavily injured like this, she tries to let him sleep as peacefully as she can, which made Kumi, Nanako, and Mari feel guilty, and they decide to leave. After Ippo recovered from his injuries against Shimabukuro, he was planning to head to the gym. Hiroko was worried that Ippo was already practising again and told Wanpo to go with him in order to make sure Ippo only walked. Hiroko giving Volg natt. When Ippo brought Volg to their house, Hiroko made them dinner consisting of fish and nattō. Though she thought Volg would like the nattō, Volg had it stuck to his mouth, prompting Hiroko to give him tea. Hiroko offered Volg to stay at her home while he finds a place in America.
While Volg stayed there, he helped with the fishing boat, though Hiroko insisted that he didn't have to help. A few days later, Hiroko told Volg to relax while Ippo and Umezawa took the boat out and asked if Volg had a request on what he wanted to ear, but Volg mentioned he was willing to try anything. Volg asked Hiroko if he could get the videos of Ippo's next opponent since he couldn't read the words on the video tapes. When Ippo returned, she told Ippo that Volg was watching videos, however, Volg was gone by the time Ippo checked on him. Later, when Hiroko finished dinner, she went to get Volg while he was doing roadwork and mentioned that it would be sad when he leaves. She asked him if he will be okay in America by himself and if he spoke English. Along the way home, Ippo approached them and he and Volg ran the way home in a competition as Hiroko watched. When it was time for Volg to leave Japan, Hiroko gave him a good luck charm and money for helping out with the store. Hiroko was asked by Volg to say "I pray for your success, my son" in Russian. After she did, and Volg responded back, she watched as Volg left with Umezawa to the airport.