Shigesato Itoi (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 and company Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun (‘Almost Daily Itoi News'). He is best known outside Japan for his work on Nintendo's Mother/EarthBound 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 and company 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.
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