Shigesato Itoi Essays About Life - Homework for you

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Shigesato Itoi Essays About Life

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Shigesato itoi essays about life

About This Page

The daily quotes featured in the Hobonichi Techo Planner are picked out from articles featured on the Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun (Hobonichi) website. While the English-translated quotes in the techo are only a few sentences long, readers have expressed interest in reading the rest of the articles from which they come. We’ve taken some of these Japanese articles and translated them into English for your enjoyment. We hope you like them!

About Hobonichi

Hobonichi has been posting new articles every single day since its launch on June 6, 1998. For the past eighteen years, readers enjoy Itoi's essays on lifestyle topics, as well as interviews, reportage articles, and special features, on topics like "Today’s Slop of the Tongue," a column based on readers’ contributions and edited by Hobonichi staff. All the contents are generally on the theme of the enjoyment of everyday life. Hobonichi attracts 1.4 million visitors per month.
Hobonichi also produces lifestyle merchandise, which includes the popular Hobonichi Techo (a daily planner), Hobonichi knitted belly warmers, and the Japanese-style nabe hot pot series. These items are sold directly to consumers through the website.
The business won the Michael Porter Prize in 2012 for its unique and successful business strategy.

About Shigesato Itoi

Shigesato Itoi, head of Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shimbun, is Japan’s foremost copywriter. In 1998 he started Hobonichi and has been focusing his efforts on the website ever since.

Other articles

Shigesato Itoi Says Mother 4 Would Be - Impossible - Nintendo Life

Honestly, we're just happy to be getting this one

While EarthBound fans may be jubilant about the game making it to the Wii U Virtual Console, its creator, Shigesato Itoi, has taken to Twitter to announce there will be no future installments in the series.

When asked by a fan on the social networking site if he would consider making Mother 4, his response was simple - "impossible".

To be fair, we can't really complain. Two weeks ago, EarthBound - known as Mother 2 in Japan - wasn't even down for a digital release in the West, but Nintendo announced during its Nintendo Direct broadcast that it would be making its way to the Wii U Virtual Console after years of fans crying out for it.

The game - which is the successor to Japanese exclusive, Mother - will be available in Europe for the first time when it emerges on the Virtual Console.

What are your thoughts on this? Were you hoping Itoi would add further titles to the series? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Haruki Murakami and Shigesato Itoi: Let - s Meet in a Dream (Yume de Aimashou)

Let’s Meet in a Dream is a collection of short-short stories (or perhaps short-short-short stories) by Haruki Murakami and Shigesato Itoi, originally published in 1981.

The stories range from one to five pages long, although according to Murakami, these are not quite “stories.” Rather, the book is just a collection of random, aimless pieces of light-hearted writing that Murakami and Itoi clearly enjoyed making.

In a preface, written on the occasion of the book’s 1986 reprinting, Murakami explains it this way:

Once in a while, someone will bring up Let’s Meet in a Dream and the “collection of dialogues” between Itoi and myself. This, however, is clearly a mistake. Let’s Meet in a Dream is not a dialogue—but what, then, is it? I haven’t been able to find a good answer to this question.

Let’s Meet in a Dream is neither a short story collection nor a book of essays, nor is it a miscellaneous mix of assorted manuscripts. In short, I guess it’s a book of enigmas. From its very conception this book has always harbored mysteries. After all, every single chapter title sprawled across the book is written in katakana. The two of us, Itoi and I, just hammered out these stories, or essays, or whatever, and threw them all together. And now that I think about it it’s an incredibly unique—assertive, even—concept that I can’t quite make any sense of. It’s usually pretty confusing to figure out why we inadvertently write some words in katakana, anyway. But to that end, there exists an underground power plant by the name of Nariyuki (written in katakana), for which this book owes its successful completion and chance to see the light of day.

The result, to me, is as follows:

What do you think?

I personally had a great time just working on it fifty-fifty with Shigesato Itoi.

The title, Let’s Meet in a Dream, was his brainchild. I’m not quite sure of the exact meaning behind it, either, but maybe it’s just saying, “Read this when you go to bed.” Or maybe it was some attempt between Itoi and I to meet up in some dream. Either way, the book is a complete mystery, from the tip of the title all the way down to the heart of the concept.

At the end of each chapter, there’s an “i” for Itoi or an “m” for Murakami. I think you’ll be able to figure us out without looking, though.

The book was originally published as a hardcover on November 25, 1981 through Tojusha. The table of contents just lists all of the stories with their simple, self-explanatory titles in Japanese alphabetical order. Here is a list of the short-shorts divided by author:

The book was rereleased on June 15, 1986 by Kodansha. In this edition, Itoi added one more story, “Special Issue.” Murakami removed the following stories from the original print:

Sudden Death
Shigesato Itoi
Shangri La
Philip Marlowe Part 2
Yakult Swallows
Love Letter

And added the following stories:

There’s a long-standing rumor among fans of Itoi’s 1995 videogame, EarthBound, that a segment of the script was actually taken from this book. Hidden in a drawer in a piece of oceanfront property purchased by the unwitting player is the following sensationalist fragment:

“My Secret Life, chapter three.” (Story from the previous chapter.)

I was neither a murder suspect, nor a target for an international spy organization. But I drove a car down the Jersey Turnpike at 80 mph….

A police officer pulled me over and asked for my driver’s license. He said I was going 20 mph over the speed limit. I instantly pointed to my wife and said “I’m in a hurry, my wife is in labor.” Fortunately, my wife actually had a big stomach. I hoped he’d let me go with this excuse.

“Oh, since it’s an emergency. I’ll lead you to the hospital with my police car,” he said.

“No, it’s not necessary.”

“Why not?” asked the officer.

“Let’s get going,” said the officer…

“No, no! We can’t! This baby is a demon child!”

The rumor was first propogated by Tim Rogers in his lengthy article about the game:

Mother 2 doesn’t let you look in dressers. However, in this purchased house, you can look in the dresser. Should you look, you are rewarded with. a magazine. You can’t even carry this magazine with you. After reading it, Ness throws it back in the dresser. The story Ness reads, which comes from the Let’s Meet in a Dream collection Shigesato Itoi wrote with Haruki Murakami, is basically this: a man and his wife go out to dinner and have an argument. On the drive back, the man is driving at dangerous speeds because of his anger. His wife isn’t talking to him. He drives so fast that he gets pulled over by a police officer. The cop asks him if he has any idea how fast he was going. The man breaks out into a sweat. He then screams at the cop, “You don’t understand — my wife is. pregnant!” The cop believes this. “She’s. going into labor!” The cop asks if there’s anything he can do. The man screams, “No! Stay back! This is a. demon child!”

But a look through both versions of Dream turns up no version of this story. (His recap of the in-game magazine article, of course, is also wrong.) There is also no rumor or even question of the magazine’s origin on the Japanese side of the internet; it’s probably just something Itoi wrote along with the rest of the game script. In length and content it’s totally congruent with the kind of weird short-shorts peppered throughout Let’s Meet in a Dream. but unfortunately this meeting is just a coincidence.

What He Said: Shigesato Itoi, Creativity, Having Fun, and Thoughts On ‘EarthBound’ - The Dark Opera

We could all do better to invite more fun into our lives.

If we ask children to use their imaginations, they can transform a lone backyard birch tree into an imposing tower, ready to be besieged by sticks turned to swords or any other instrument from untold arsenals. In fact, they could spring all manner of townships, dark caverns, or space stations from any size space if they tried – if they’d learned to have fun with it. Then, well, everything around them could become interesting, could be novel, and wonderful.

Shigesato Itoi is a “cultural figure in Japan, known for his copywriting, essays, lyrics, Nintendo game creation, and his role as editor-in-chief of his popular webstie “Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun” (‘Almost’ Daily Itoi News)” (From wiki ). He is best known in most western circles as the creator of “Earthbound”, a whimsical Super Nintendo game with quite the cult following.

Over at, Mr. Itoi had some things to say about that little old video game that has won over the hearts of many. Haven’t played the game? That’s okay. Don’t care for video games? That’s okay too. What he has to say about it is such a curious and thoughtful thing, that it’s worth the trespassing into unknown territory.

What is the video game, Earthbound?
Even today, it’s so hard to answer that question.

It was like a group of children taking dolls from a toy chest. 
Old dishes no longer used in the kitchen. 
Nuts and bolts found inside a toolbox.
Little flowers and leaves from the backyard. 
And they were all laid down on the carpet with everybody singing made-up songs.
Ready to talk all day about that world they just made. 
That, I think was how Earthbound was made.

Well, I’m a grown-up too, 
so I didn’t hold back in adding things here and there, 
like putting more angles here, 
hiding a secret there, 
and sometimes slipping in little mean things.

Then a whole lot of friends came over to play. 
And they helped it grow as they were having fun as they pleased. 
They gave it branches, leaves and flowers,
to what was once a simple story of just root and trunk. 
For every person that played, there are that many iterations of Earthbound.

As I met different people on unrelated occasions, 
they told me “I found out about you by playing Earthbound.” 
This was not only right after the game was out. 
People were telling me this after it’s been out for quite some time.

All sorts of people tell me about their memories, 
about all the things I left in the playground called Earthbound. 
From the tiny safety pins, broken pieces of colored glass to the withering leaves. 
When I ask them, “how do you remember so much?”
With their eyes gleaming, they say, 
“I love that world so much I remember everything about it.” 
I reply right away saying “me too.”

Ah hah! That may be it.
Maybe I wanted to make a playground. 
A playground filled with things no matter how small or unwanted, 
they would all be kept dear in people’s hearts…

The best memories are of times we had fun aren’t they?

Earthbound invites us to have fun. Everything in the game is already interesting because it was born by what feels like unbridled creativity, ever present at the fringes of the adventure, and woven carefully into the story line, colouring even serious themes in a unique way that gives surprising depth.

Story has the power to connect with others, to heal ourselves, to make an impact. It can be all kinds of serious and solemn. But there is also a wonderful potency when it is mixed with the disarming whimsy that invites us to have fun, and feel the freedom of being back at a playground.

Some kids can play make-belief better than others… so can adults for that matter. And if they are skilled enough, they can disarm others of what is holding them back. Too, the creation, when done just so, is so alluring that it can do that on its own. It’s never any bigger a plunge if we choose to dive into an adventure that’s unfamiliar and exciting.

That is exactly what Mr. Itoi and the EarthBound team does in their work on the Super Nintendo title "EarthBound" (and also, how they’ve endeared their audience to the other two parts of the trilogy known as the Mother series in Japan).

The result is an experience that is memorable and even invigorating, as any of those members of the earthbound cult following will attest.

Maybe it's time you tried 'EarthBound'

The whimsical, the wildly creative, should be no more dismissed than its serious counterparts. It’s those fun adventures that have such potential to leave its mark and at the very least remind us of how recharging it can be to invite fun into our lives.

For the complete thoughts of Mr.Itoi on Earthbound, please click the link HERE
You won't regret it!

What it's like to channel your inner kid:

Shigesato Itoi on why Mother 4 is - totally impossible

Shigesato Itoi on why Mother 4 is "totally impossible"

Earthbound creator Shigesato Itoi has explained why he won't make a fourth game in his beloved Mother series.

"When I made [Mother] 3, I thought I could do it, so I did it," Itoi said in an interview with Japanese gaming outlet Game Watch Impress (translated via Kotaku ). But when it comes to a new entry, he said it would be "totally impossible."

This is because Itoi simply doesn't have a brilliant idea for another entry and he doesn't want to drag the series on. "Among big-time popstars, if they, you know, put out ten albums, around the fourth album, they can't make very good songs," he said. "The albums sell, but everyone at the concerts wants to hear songs from those first three albums. Everyone."

"I'm glad that video games are not my profession," said the famous ad man and essayist. "If it was my job, I would've already made 4 and 5."

Instead we'll have to settle for Itoi's original three Mother entries and the upcoming unofficial fan-made sequel .

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About Jeffrey Matulef

Jeffrey Matulef is the best-dressed man in 1984. Based in Portland, OR he operates as Eurogamer's US news editor.