Tokyo Life

Published on September 20th, 2013 | by Tanuki


Hiroshi Yamauchi, Former President of Nintendo Passes Away

“All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

It’s can be hard to accept, but all good things must come to an end. Just earlier this month, we blogged about the bitter-sweetness of Miyazaki-san’s retirement from Studio Ghibli. However, on an even more somber note, it is today that Japan (and the world) has lost a great figure of the video game realm: Hiroshi Yamauchi-san, President of Nintendo (1949-2002) has past away to pneumonia at the age of 85.


Back in the day: Classic photo of two kids playing on the Famicom in a Tokyo Department store (1987).

With an astounding career spanning over 50 years with Nintendo, Yamauchi-san is credited with guiding the company through thick and thin. Always marching towards new horizons, Yamauchi held strong throughout the early years at Nintendo’s helm which saw only mild success with things from boardgames to pitching machines.

Under Yamauchi-san’s leadership, Nintendo would evolve from solely producing illustrative hanadfuda playing cards to ultimately branching into the world of video games. By the early 80’s, the release of the Famicom console (1983), Mario Bros. and Donkey Kong titles (now of legendary status) blew the doors open for Nintendo, giving it the momentum that still persists today.

While some may not immediately make the Nintendo/Yamauchi connection—like you would, say, to the gregarious and cam-friendly Shigeru Miyamoto—make no mistake, Yamauchi-san was a fierce businessman responsible for so much in shaping modern video game culture. Imagine a world without Link, Kid Icarus or Simon Belmont. In fact IGN’s Fran Mirabella reckoned his job probably wouldn’t exist had it not been for Yamauchi’s impact on the world of video games.

Here’s to you Yamauchi-sama! Thanks for the memories. You’ll be missed, your legacy …never forgotten.

Image Source: NY Times

Tags: , , , , ,

About the Author

(Staff Blogger, CKE18 Evangelist) :: When his perverted mind is not overdosing on Japanese girls, Tanuki enjoys common otaku hobbies like: drawing manga, watching anime, gaming, practicing Japanese, and cosplaying as a Human.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to Top ↑