Shigeru Miyamoto
Shigeru Miyamoto GDC 2007
Shigeru Miyamoto.
Complete Name Miyamoto Shigeru
Birth Date November 16, 1952
Age 67
Death Date N/A
Nationality Japanese
Occupation Game Director, Game Producer, Character Artist, Game designer, General Manager

Shigeru Miyamoto (宮本 茂 Miyamoto Shigeru, born November 16, 1952 (age 67[1] at Sonobe, Kyoto[2]) is a Japanese video game designer and producer for Nintendo. Sometimes called "the father of modern video gaming,"[3] he is best known as the creator of some of the best-selling, most critically acclaimed, most enduring, and most influential game franchise of all time.

Miyamoto joined Nintendo in 1977, when the company was beginning its foray into video games. His games have been seen on every Nintendo video game console, with his earliest work appearing on arcade machines. Franchises Miyamoto has created include Super Mario, the best-selling franchise of all time, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, Pikmin, and the Wii (video game series), like Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort.

Personal life

Early life

Miyamoto was born in the Japanese town of Sonobe, a rural town northwest of Kyoto,[4] on November 16, 1952. His parents were of "modest means," and his father taught English.[5]

From an early age, Miyamoto began to explore the natural areas around his home. On one of these expeditions, Miyamoto came upon a cave, and, after days of hesitation, went inside. Miyamoto's expeditions into the Kyoto countryside inspired his later work, particularly The Legend of Zelda, a seminal video game.[6]

Miyamoto graduated from Kanazawa Municipal College of Industrial Arts with a degree in industrial design[7] but no job lined up. He also had a love for manga and initially intended to become a professional manga artist before considering a career in video games, where the manga influence in his work would later be evident.[8] The title that inspired him to enter the video game industry was the 1978 arcade hit Space Invaders.[9]

Western genre television shows had a major influence on Miyamoto.[10]

Current life

Now, Miyamoto has a wife, Yasuko, and two children. His son was 25 in 2010 and worked at an advertising agency. His daughter was 23 in 2010 and was studying zoology at the time. His children played video games, but he also made them go outside. Although he knows some English, he does not speak it well, and he prefers to speak in Japanese for interviews.[11]

Miyamoto does not generally sign autographs, out of concern that he would be inundated. He also does not appear on Japanese television, so as to remain anonymous. More foreign tourists than Japanese people approach him.[12]

Although a game designer, Miyamoto spends little time playing video games, preferring to play the guitar, mandolin and banjo.[13] He avidly enjoys bluegrass.[14]

He has a Shetland Sheepdog named Pikku that provided the inspiration for Nintendogs.[15] He is also a semi-professional dog breeder.[16] He has been quoted as stating, "Video games are bad for you? That's what they said about rock and roll".[17] Miyamoto enjoys rearranging furniture in his house, even late at night.[18] He has also has stated that he has a hobby of guessing the measurements of objects, then checking to see if he was correct, and apparently carries a tape measure with him everywhere.[19]


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