Fusajiro Yamauchi (山内 房治郎 Yamauchi, Fusajirō, November 22, 1859 – January 1940) was a Japanese entrepreneur who founded the company that is now known as Nintendo. Yamauchi lived in Kyoto, Japan and had a daughter, Tei Yamauchi (who later married future Nintendo president and Fusajiro Yamauchi's successor, Sekiryo Kaneda).
The Japanese government had banned all foreign playing cards and games in 1633, trying to deter illegal gambling. For the next 250 years the government continued doing the same thing with every new card game that appeared. A couple of years after, the government accepted a new card game “Hanafuda”, which used illustrations instead of numbers. Even though it was something new, the constant banning of these games had taken a toll on the public, reducing the games´ popularity, until a young entrepreneur named Fusajiro Yamauchi came up with a new approach to save this game and increase its popularity. His new approach was to use hand crafted artwork instead of general illustrations. This was new and significantly increased the game's popularity.
In 1889, he opened the first “Hanafuda” card shop called “Nintendo Koppai”. With the huge success he had selling these cards; he rapidly began expanding and opening another card shop in Osaka. He later went to create more card games.
Retirement and death
Fusajiro retired in 1929 at the age of 70, leaving his son-in-law Sekiryo Kaneda (whose name had changed to Sekiryo Yamauchi) in charge of the company. In the next eleven years Fusajiro remained out of the business until his death in 1940.
- "Fusajiro Yamauchi - Founder of Nintendo". Classicgames.about.com. 2012-04-10. Retrieved 2012-08-05.