Shigeru Miyamoto was born in Sonobe, Kyoto, Japan on November 16, 1952. He is a Japanese video game designer, producer, and game director who works as one of Nintendo’s representative directors. Miyamoto is widely regarded as one of the most accomplished and influential video game designers in history, having created some of the most highly praised and best-selling game franchises in history, including “Mario,” “The Legend of Zelda,” “Donkey Kong,” “Star Fox,” and “Pikmin.” He oversaw Nintendo’s Entertainment Analysis & Development software division, which was responsible for many Nintendo games, and he was instrumental in the development of other impactful games such as “Pokémon Red and Green” (known as “Pokémon Red and Blue” to Western Audiences) and “Metroid Prime.” Load up a Nintendo game cartridge in his honor!
Shigeru Miyamoto was born as the second child of Iijake Miyamoto and Hinako Aruha on November 16, 1952, in the rural village of Sonobe, northwest of Kyoto, Japan. Little Miyamoto had a talent for doodling, and his education frequently took a backseat to this pastime. He also stayed close to nature, exploring natural settings in Kyoto’s countryside. Such expeditions, which included discovering caves and bodies of water, later inspired him to create many of his popular video games, most notably “The Legend of Zelda.” Miyamoto enrolled at Kanazawa Municipal College of Industrial Arts in 1970 and graduated five years later with a degree in industrial design.
After receiving his degree in industrial design, Miyamoto had an interview with Hiroshi Yamauchi, president of Nintendo, a Japanese company that sells playing cards, toys, games, and other novelties. Yamauchi hired Miyamoto as an apprentice in the company’s planning department after being impressed by his toys. Miyamoto eventually became Nintendo’s first artist, and in 197,9 he assisted in the development of the art for “Sheriff,” an arcade video game developed by Nintendo R&D1. The first game he worked on was the cabinet arcade game “Radar Scope,” which was released in Japan in December 1979 and worldwide in November 1980. Yamauchi tasked him with converting a large number of unsold “Radar Scope” units into an entirely new arcade game. This marked the beginning of the evolution of “Donkey Kong,” an early example of the platform game released by Nintendo on April 22, 1981. While developing “Donkey Kong,” Miyamoto prioritized story development over technical and programming aspects, marking the first such instance in video game development. The game’s massive success allowed him to work on two sequels, “Donkey Kong Jr.” in 1982 and “Donkey Kong 3” in 1983. Moving ahead, he developed a platform game, “Mario Bros.,” based on the character of Jumpman from “Donkey Kong” who he renovated as Mario giving the character some superhuman skills. He also included Luigi, Mario’s younger brother, in the game. The game was a modest success and was re-released on various platforms over the years. Next, Miyamoto created a sequel to “Mario Bros.” titled “Super Mario Bros.,” which remains one of his most remarkable creations. It was first released in Japan and North America in 1985, followed by Australia and Europe a few years later.
The massive success of “Super Mario Bros.” led to the creation of a series of sequels and an extended franchise that included an anime film “Super Mario Bros: The Great Mission to Rescue Princess Peach!” in 1986, the T.V. series “The Super Mario Bros Super Show” in 1989, and the big-screen film “Super Mario Bros” in 1993. In 1998, Miyamoto became the first video game developer to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame. He was instrumental in the development of Nintendo’s home video game console “Wii,” which was released on November 19, 2006. After Nintendo’s president, Satoru Iwata, died in July 2015, he and Genyo Takeda were appointed as acting representative directors. He was in charge until September 2015. During that time, he was also formally appointed as the company’s “Creative Fellow.” In 2018, it was announced that Miyamoto would be working as a producer on an untitled Illumination film based on the Mario franchise.
Miyamoto earns a Bachelor's Degree in Industrial Design from Kanazawa Municipal College of Industrial Arts.
Miyamoto becomes Nintendo's first artist, assisting in the creation of artwork for the arcade video game "Sheriff."
Miyamoto creates the "Mario Bros." sequel, "Super Mario Bros.," which becomes one of his most notable works.
Miyamoto produces the 3.D. rail shooter game "Star Fox," which follows Fox McCloud and the rest of the Star Fox team as they defend Corneria from the invading forces of Andross.
Miyamoto becomes the first video game creator to be inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences Hall of Fame.
Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, the French Minister of Culture, knights Miyamoto in the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.
Miyamoto serves as a producer of an upcoming untitled “Mario” film being made by Illumination, which is based on the “Mario” franchise.
Why We Love Shigeru Miyamoto
He is passionate about what he does
Miyamoto has created many video games and he was behind many great releases that became hugely popular and successful. Being a creator is not just a job for him, he is devoted to what he does, and he has always been passionate about it.
He influenced many people
Miyamoto's incredible work in games inspired many people, and he revolutionized many things we see today, such as the Apple iPhone. He also influenced many competitors, including Nintendo, to create amazing games that people still play today and make them smile. Miyamoto was the one who saved video gaming from the Video Game Crash of 1983, which was about to end gaming forever — Miyamoto stepped in with his revolutionary hit "Donkey Kong," which was a worldwide hit and people loved it to death.
He is kind to others
Miyamoto is regarded as a symbol around the world, as well as for his personality. He uses video games to make others happy, and he constantly strives to provide the finest outcomes possible. Miyamoto rescued the gaming industry, and he adores his fans and appreciates their endless support.
5 Surprising Facts
He almost became a manga artist
Miyamoto loved manga and hoped to become a professional manga artist before pursuing a career in video games.
He did not anticipate Zelda's major success
Miyamoto and his design team worked on "Super Mario Bros." and "The Legend of Zelda" at the same time, but he was not expecting much from the latter.
He enjoys guessing the sizes of objects
Miyamoto has been known to look at objects and guess how long, wide, and high they are, and then verify his estimates with a tape measure he keeps with him.
He finds inspiration in everything
Miyamoto is well-known for allowing otherwise mundane experiences to inform his gaming design; he incorporates his hobbies and childhood memories into the creation of his games' characters, areas, and concepts.
He admires George Lucas
It is probably not surprising that one legend admires another, but Miyamoto regards the “Star Wars” creator as his biggest idol.
Shigeru Miyamoto FAQs
Who is Shigeru Miyamoto's wife?
Miyamoto is married to Yasuko Miyamoto, and they have a son named Kenshi Miyamoto.
Where does Shigeru Miyamoto live?
Miyamoto currently resides with his family in Kyoto, Japan.
Can Shigeru Miyamoto speak English?
Miyamoto speaks a little English, but not fluently, and prefers to conduct interviews in Japanese.
Shigeru Miyamoto’s birthday dates