Shigeru Miyamoto

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Shigeru Miyamoto
Miyamoto in 2019
Shigeru Miyamoto in 2019
Born November 16, 1952 (age 68)
Occupation at Nintendo Representative director, game developer, game designer
“What if, on a crowded street, you look up and see something appear that should not, given what we know, be there. You either shake your head and dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than we think. Perhaps it really is a doorway to another place. If you choose to go inside you may find many unexpected things...”
Shigeru Miyamoto

Shigeru Miyamoto (in Japanese: 宮本 茂) is a video game developer, producer, artist, and currently acting Representative Director of Nintendo,[1] best known for being the creator of the Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, and Pikmin series, among others. He joined the industry as a designer for character art in 1977.


In his early childhood, he was raised in the small, rural town of Sonobe, Japan, which is near his current home of Kyoto, about ten blocks from Nintendo headquarters. His home lacked a television, so he would spend a large amount of his time exploring the surrounding countryside.

Miyamoto wanted to make things that would astonish the world. In elementary school, he considered becoming a puppeteer, a painter, and later found interest in making toys. He also learned how to play the guitar and banjo. Miyamoto decided to study industrial design at Kanazawa Munici College of Industrial Arts and Crafts in 1970. Miyamoto only attended his classes half the time, and it took him five years to graduate.

Miyamoto was 24, when his father contacted an old toy company friend, named Hiroshi Yamauchi. The company's name was Nintendo. Yamauchi requested to see some toy designs, to which Miyamoto responded by returning with a bag of goodies, and an amazing portfolio. Miyamoto became Nintendo's first staff artist in 1977.

Three years later, in 1980, Nintendo of America was looking for a hit to establish themselves in the arcade market. They ordered a large number of units of an arcade game called Radar Scope, but by the time the machines arrived, the interest in the game had waned. Nintendo needed a game that the machines could be converted into easily. Yamauchi called Miyamoto into his office, as he was the only staff member available at the time. He questioned Miyamoto about his knowledge on this new concept. Miyamoto claimed to have loved video games in college. After some licenses fell through, Donkey Kong was born and made a huge hit.

With Donkey Kong's success and the series it began, Miyamoto was given his own team: the Creative Department, later known as Nintendo EAD. They would go on to make some of Nintendo's most memorable games, including Mario. While Miyamoto has mentioned that he finds it difficult to say who his favorite Nintendo character is, he states that some of his more beloved favorites include Mario, Princess Peach, Luigi, Bowser, Princess Zelda, Toad, Link, and Donkey Kong.[2] His favorite Mario game is Super Mario Bros 2 for the NES[3][4]. His favorite games for the NES are Baseball, Golf, and Mario Bros.[5] Miyamoto's favorite non-Nintendo game is Angry Birds.[6]

Miyamoto starred in a Mega 64 sketch about New Super Mario Bros.[7] Despite being an influential figure in video games and responsible for multi-million dollar franchises, Miyamoto is said to be very humble, insisting on settling for an average income. Miyamoto is also ambidextrous. He favors his left hand and likes to make characters that are left-handed (Bowser Jr. and Link being two examples). He has also been referred to by Mario in the game Mario vs. Donkey Kong. He rides his bike, or walks to work each day, usually with his wife, whom he met on the job (she was a general manager for his current occupation).

In early December of 2011, it was rumored that Miyamoto has announced his retirement. A few days later, the rumor was confirmed a fake.[8]

To honor the Year of Luigi, Miyamoto is often seen wearing Luigi-styled clothing for press appearances.

Following the in-office passing of Nintendo president Satoru Iwata, Miyamoto worked alongside Genyo Takeda as Representative Director of Nintendo,[1] both leading the company until Tatsumi Kimishima's appointment as Iwata's successor.

Games credited[edit]

Awards and honors[edit]

  • The first ever Inductee to the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame
  • A star on the Walk of Game
  • French Order of Arts and Literature
  • Featured in Time Asia's "60 Years of Asian Heroes"
  • GDC's Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Subject of an episode of Icons
  • The Spanish prize Príncipe de Asturias in Communication and Humanities.[9]
  • The 'Fellowship' award in the British Academy Video Game Awards.[10]


Promotional photos[edit]

Hand-drawn artwork[edit]



  • "Who knows how Mario will look like in the future. Maybe he'll wear metallic clothes! " - 1991[11]
  • "Videogames are bad for you? That's what they said about rock 'n' roll."[12]
  • "A delayed game is eventually good, but a rushed game is forever bad."[13]
  • "My favorite video game character is not Mario, it's Pac-Man."[14]
  • "A great idea can solve multiple problems at the same time."[15]
  • "I'll put my neck out and say that PlayStation games sound good, but when you watch them in action they're not finished at all in my opinion. A game is finished when a creator decides it is."[16]
  • "I don’t want to make games where the player is just a puppet in the hands of the creator, playing exactly as scripted. Trying to get players to become better and better at your game is certainly one valid approach to making games, but for me, I want to present games to players that are more like pure toys: something you can use, explore, and play with freely."[17]


  1. ^ a b Notification of Death and Personnel Change of a Representative Director(President) (July 13, 2015). Retrieved July 13, 2-15.
  2. ^ Nintendo mastermind Shigeru Miyamoto isn't ready for 'game over' [1]
  3. ^ Q&A: "Mario" creator Shigeru Miyamoto.
  4. ^ This Is Shigeru Miyamoto's Favorite Mario Game (June 15, 2012). IGN. Retrived September 1, 2014.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Shigeru Miyamoto admits he's a fan of Angry Birds
  7. ^ Mega64: New Super Mario Bros. Video
  8. ^ Nintendo: Miyamoto Not Stepping Down
  9. ^ [2]
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ Interview in Mario Mania guide, p. 31
  12. ^ Shelf, David (1993). Game Over: How Nintendo Conquered The World. Random House.
  13. ^ Shigeru Miyamoto: A rushed game is forever bad (April 27, 2012). The Guardian. Retrieved September 2, 2014.
  14. ^ David Doñas Salinas Metroide, Por. (2002) Biografía Shigeru Miyamoto (Spanish), translated. Retrieved August 22, 2008.
  15. ^
  16. ^ Miyamoto Says PlayStation Games Felt Incomplete (March 15, 2014). Gamnesia. Retrived September 2, 2014.
  17. ^ terebi game denshi yuugi taizen [1989], english translation by Blackoak, shmuplations, Retrieved February 27, 2017

External links[edit]

Shigeru Miyamoto coverage on other NIWA wikis:
The English Wikipedia logo, for use on the Wikipedia template. Wikipedia has an article on Shigeru Miyamoto.