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Shigesato Itoi, 2015
November 10, 1948|
Maebashi, Gunma, Japan
|Occupation||Essayist, voice actor, copywriter, lyricist, game designer|
Mother series |
"Almost Daily Itoi News"
Kanako Higuchi (m. 1993)
Shigesato Itoi (糸井 重里 Itoi Shigesato, born November 10, 1948) is a Japanese copywriter, essayist, lyricist, game designer, and actor. Itoi is the editor-in-chief of his website “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun” (‘Almost Daily Itoi News'). He is best known outside Japan for his work on Nintendo's Mother series of games, as well as his self-titled bass fishing video game.
During the 1980s Itoi established the profession of writing copy for advertisements among the general public in Japan. Later Itoi branched into writing essays, lyrics, and into designing video games. He is best known in the US for Nintendo's MOTHER 2, released in 1994 in Japan and in 1995 in North America (as EarthBound).
In 1997, Itoi began using the Internet and bought his first Macintosh. In 1998 he started the website “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun” (“Almost Daily Itoi News”), which is the center of his activity today. Under the theme of “creating good mood”, the website has been updated every day for the past 15 years, with Itoi’s essays on lifestyle, interviews and articles, and merchandise sales. He talks about his dog, Bouillon, and his interviews with artists, craftsmen, businessmen, etc., which tend to center on philosophical issues. Itoi has co-written several books modeled on these interviews, in which he has a series of long conversations with, for example, an expert on neurology (Kaiba "The Hippocampus"), about how to live as a human being in the world.
His latest book, Atama no naka ni aru kouen ("A park in your mind"), is the fourth anthology issue of writings collected from the 'Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun'. "Hobo Nichi" (as it is called) provides its articles for free without any advertisement on the website. Merchandising of original lifestyle goods and publishing are the main business. The Hobonichi Day Planner, selling 342,000 units, is Japan’s best-seller in the category. Other products include T-shirts, towels, “haramaki” (belly warmers), calendars, and pottery.
He has voiced Satsuki's father, Tatsuo Kusakabe, in the Japanese version of the 1988 Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro. He has been a judge on several episodes of the Japanese television shows Iron Chef and Hey! Spring of Trivia. Itoi made his acting debut in 2010, when he played the role of a professor in the film adaptation of Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood.
Shigesato Itoi was the lead designer for all three titles in the Mother series.
Itoi claims that the final battle of EarthBound was inspired from his accidental childhood viewing of the Shintoho film titled The Military Policeman and the Dismembered Beauty. Specifically, the scene that inspired the battle was a scene depicting a woman being murdered. 
Itoi has repeatedly explained that he would not be involved in a fourth title of the series.
- "Interview with Shigesato Itoi" (in Japanese). 1101.com. Retrieved 2009-03-27.
- Mandelin, Clyde (20 January 2009). "The Scene that Inspired Giygas". Earthbound Central. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Shigesato Itoi Tells All about Mother 3 (Part One)". Nintendo Dream. Translation. July 2006. p. 1. Archived from the original on September 1, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- "Shigesato Itoi Tells All about Mother 3 (Part Two)". Nintendo Dream. Translation. August 2006. p. 7. Archived from the original on September 1, 2014. Retrieved August 31, 2014.
- Shigesato Itoi's Website
- Shigesato Itoi on IMDb
- Shigesato Itoi profile at MobyGames
- Shigesato Itoi manga at Media Arts Database (in Japanese)
- Shigesato Itoi anime at Media Arts Database (in Japanese)
- Super Mario 25th Anniversary Itoi discusses Mario Bros. with its creator Shigeru Miyamoto
- Johnny Weir!!! Itoi interviews US Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir