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Today’s Darling, 12/6/2013

From Today’s Darling, Itoi’s daily blog:

I’ve been working for most of my life, now, so people remember different work of mine from different periods in my career. There’s something that makes me happy about that, so I can smirk about some of it and say, “Yeah, that was me.”

In particular, after making the MOTHER series, the players have grown up into adults, and they talk about the effect the game had on them and the memories it’s created. It makes me feel like a teacher reuniting with his pupils. Nowadays, I look back on all the hardships I faced creating those games, and I often think and say how glad I am to have done it.

The television series about our hunt for buried gold always gets people curious. They ask if anything came of it, and tell me I should do it again sometime. But I just say that nothing came of it, and I can’t.

Once in a while, I’ll meet someone who tells me they sent in entries to my magazine columns Hentai Yoiko Shimbun and Manryu Slogan Juku.

My main profession of copywriter is one that I performed without attaching my name to my work, but people still often give me as an example of a professional. And the television show “YOU” that I hosted for a short period of time, to this day people tell me they would always watch it. People even bring up my work writing lyrics for TOKIO.

But me, personally, I’ve forgotten it all. I’m always relying on other people to remind me of everything because I kept no records of anything, and my memory’s not very good. I haven’t done the math, but I think Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun is the longest and most fulfilled job I’ve ever held. It’s the first time in my life that I’ve been able to continually push ahead without ever losing sight of my motive, and I think it will be the last. Perhaps that’s why I want to reach so many more people now than I ever have.

Thanks for visiting Hobonichi. Seeing all the things that come to an end makes me want to do my best.

Official Earthbound 64 Cancellation Interview

The following article is a three-way discussion between Shigesato Itoi, Shigeru Miyamoto, and Satoru Iwata concerning the circumstances of the Earthbound 64 cancellation. The discussion goes on for quite a long time as they pore over every detail they could possibly think of to explain exactly what happened when they pulled the plug on the ill-fated Nintendo 64 game they’d been working on for a total of six years.

This discussion was posted alongside the official cancellation announcement on August 22nd, 2000, so it’s 13 years late to make it out of Japan, which isn’t surprising considering the volume. I recommend sitting down to read it when you’ve got time to burn.

(Original article can be found here.)


To Everyone Who Waited

A Discussion between Shigesato Itoi, Satoru Iwata and Shigeru Miyamoto about the cancellation of MOTHER 3.

Discussion Participants

●Shigesato Itoi
MOTHER 3 creator/scenario writer

 ●Satoru Iwata
MOTHER 3 producer
Former president of HAL Laboratory, current head of Nintendo’s corporate planning division and consultant at HAL Laboratory

●Shigeru Miyamoto
MOTHER 3 producer
Head of Nintendo Entertainment Analysis and Development

Itoi: We’re publishing this discussion before the opening of Nintendo Space World which runs August 24-26, 2000. Upcoming games are announced on the 24th, but some people may be surprised to see MOTHER 3 absent from the lineup. So before that happens, I’d like to have a discussion between the three of us so everyone can understand why MOTHER 3 disappeared. I’m very sorry to say this, but we’ve recently decided to discontinue the game’s development. Is “discontinue” the right word?

Read more…

The 64DREAM – December 1997 Interview: Shigesato Itoi and Shigeru Miyamoto Discuss the Nintendo 64DD

This issue celebrates the magazine’s one year anniversary with a discussion between two of the video game powerhouses at the time: Shigesato Itoi and Shigeru Miyamoto. They discuss their professional relationship, the unpopular Japanese TV advertisements for the Nintendo 64, the 64DD (two years before its release), and lots and lots of random personal questions!

Read more…

Satoru Iwata and Shigesato Itoi Discuss MOTHER 2 Before Virtual Console Release


Shigesato Itoi recently sat down with Satoru Iwata to share a discussion in commemoration of the MOTHER 2 release on the Japanese WiiU Virtual Console. Iwata did most of the talking, and former Weekly Famitsu editor and current Hobonichi employee (and token MOTHER 2 guy in the office) Yasuhiro Nagata headed the interview.

KameDaniRyuu has translated the three-part interview and posted it online. You can find the translated interview here and the original Japanese page here.

Satoru Iwata and Shigesato Itoi Discuss Connections between MOTHER 2 and Animal Crossing

Shigesato Itoi’s Hobonichi office has a tradition of celebrating the release of every Animal Crossing game by turning office-wide gameplay into an actual work project. (Jealous yet?) Almost every person in the office participates and keeps a blog of their town and experiences. You can read each person’s blog by clicking on their picture. (For those of you who for whatever strange reason can’t pick out Itoi’s face, his AC blog is here.)

In conjunction with this tradition, Iwata and two members of Nintendo’s EAD visited Itoi’s office last month to hold a group discussion about Animal Crossing: New Leaf for the 3DS a few days before the game’s release.

Near the end of the discussion, Iwata brings up MOTHER 2 and reveals some interesting insight about his work on the game:

Itoi: It’d be great for people who have never played the series to play this game. It’s—well, it’s a game that doesn’t have many struggles to it. It’s just filled with wonderful things.

Iwata: “Adults, children, and even your older sister.”

Itoi: Yeah. (laughs)

Iwata: This is kind of a personal thing, but when we made MOTHER 2 and you wrote the phrase “Adults, children, and even your older sister”… if you hadn’t been focusing on that idea, I don’t think I would have ever announced Nintendo’s intentions to expand the gaming population [when I took over as president]. So that slogan of yours turned out to be critical advice for me.

Itoi: And that sense of “Adults, children, and even your older sister” is quite clear in Animal Crossing.

It’s really heartwarming to see the MOTHER series have enough of an effect on people to influence the direction of Nintendo as a company.

You can find the original Japanese article here.

Kanji is Fun, and Ninjas are Sympathetic

I went to a Christmas event recently where there was a gingerbread town on display. One of the gingerbread houses immediately stood out to me–it was a really well-made Japanese dojo, complete with koi pond, rock garden, and ninjas practicing with Pocky!

Whenever I read kanji, the English meaning comes to mind faster than the Japanese reading does, so when I read the kanji they’d drawn onto the piece, something seemed off.

Then I realized, once the Japanese reading hit me, that they’d come across a homonym and, unfortunately, used the wrong “dojo.”

Today’s Japanese vocabulary lesson: sympathy. Reading: dōjō. Kanji: 同情

Click for learning.

Also featured at the event was a Lucky Cat themed tree. It was awesome! (And the golden cat’s arm moved!) I love seeing Japanese stuff in America, it makes me feel like there’s a lot of love between our countries and that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside ♪


Hobonichi’s plainspoken new haramaki: “I am wearing this.”

Haramakis are  belly warmers, a Japanese wardrobe staple that was once tossed into the cultural bin of “underwear garments that only old people wear.” In 2001 Shigesato Itoi’s company reimagined them as cute apparel that you’re allowed (and encouraged) to wear over your clothes.

This year’s models have this very Itoi-sounding slogan:

Itoi probably didn’t write this, since it started out as English, but it fits inside his copy-closet like a glove. Last year I wrote up an extensive look at his copywriting work, if you want to see for yourself.

If you know a little Japanese you can order your own haramaki at the Hobonichi Store, along with other quirky keep-warm gear. I bought a haramaki a few years back and wear it under my sweater every winter; belly warmers really do work!

The limited edition Bouillon haramaki I snagged featured Itoi’s photogenic dog.


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