|Also known as||The Principal|
|First Appearance||Persona 5|
|Japanese VA||Keiji Hirai|
|English VA||Richard Epcar|
- "You might have done a variety of things in hiding in your hometown, but you will behave yourself here."
- —Principal Kobayakawa, Persona 5
Kobayakawa is a character from Persona 5. He is the principal of Shujin Academy.
- Persona 5: Supporting Character
Kobayakawa is overweight and bald. He wears a beige suit, white undershirt and red bow tie.
Kobayakawa is callous and apathetic towards his students, caring only for the reputation of Shujin Academy and his own status. He was aware of Kamoshida's abuse of his students, but did not care due to Kamoshida's fame as an Olympian athlete. When he tells Makoto Niijima to investigate the Thieves upon realizing they might be students of his, he makes an implied threat to her academic prospects if she doesn't accept, something that backfires when she breaks out of his influence and tells him off for his corruption.
Kobayakawa is the principal of Shujin Academy. He appears on the day when the protagonist first arrives at the school on Sunday for registration. Kobayakawa assigns the protagonist to Sadayo Kawakami's class 2-D which is also attended by Ann Takamaki and Yuuki Mishima because it is the only class of second year with vacancy. Kobayakawa is heavily implied to cover up the scandals around Suguru Kamoshida because of the tournament volleyball trophies the latter has won for the school.
After the Phantom Thieves of Hearts has stolen Kamoshida's arrogance and made him confess in front of the whole student body, Kobayakawa under the pressure from someone else becomes worried of the possibility that the Phantom Thieves are students of the school, and that it will taint the school's reputation, so he asks the president of the student council, Makoto Niijima, to investigate who the thieves are. Makoto, on the other hand, increasingly doubts Kobayakawa's motive to push the investigation even though she has already obtained strong evidence. After Junya Kaneshiro, the one who had been extorting many students including those from Shujin Academy, has been reformed by the thieves with Makoto joining their cause during the heist, she claims to Kobayakawa that she does not have any proof that the thieves are from their school and believes they act on justice. Kobayakawa once again tries to push her to work for him by promising a recommendation letter for university, but she declines and believes that she can enter without his recommendation but by her own strength. After she leaves, Kobayakawa calls for someone he cringingly addresses as "Sir," apologizes and promises he will try to find out about the thieves.
After the story about Kobayakawa's true nature is leaked to a tabloid magazine, the SIU Director and the other conspirators decide to get rid of him. While the students has gone for a class trip to Hawaii, Kobayakawa is walking into the police station with unknown intent. But when he crossed the street, he feels a strong pain in his chest before his eyes become hollow. He stands in the middle of the street, resulting in his death from being crashed into by a truck.
The next day at school, his death is announced as a suicide, but rumors start to circulate around the school that the thieves are the ones responsible for changing his heart since there are no signs of Kobayakawa that may lead him to want to kill himself. Because of his well-known reputation for not caring his students but only the image of the school, most students do not feel sorry for his death, despite the attempts of the vice principal to claim that Kobayakawa did care about the students.
After Kunikazu Okumura's death when confessing wrongdoings, the police has found a Phantom Thieves' calling card for Kobayakawa. The truth is that the calling card and his death are staged by Goro Akechi as part of his plan to frame the thieves and make himself a member of the gang for proceeding to the next phase of his grand scheme.
When the Phantom Thieves infiltrate Shido's Palace, Shido's ally, a politician referred to as Ooe, reveals that Kobayakawa was assassinated because of his plans to expose the Conspiracy to the police out of guilt.
- While he remains unnamed in the Japanese version, in the Western version he is addressed as "Principal Kobayakawa."
- He is the second high school principal in the series to suffer a gruesome death for his connection with the Conspiracy after Takashi Hanya from Persona 2.