No. 100

The memorable 100th column!
I would like to express my gratitude for those
who keep reading my columns.
So, as a token of my gratitude, I’m going to tell
you a secret tip about Pokemon Diamond & Pearl!

Those of you who play it everyday might already
know this, but…
In Pokemon Diamond & Pearl, we featured a function
by which the weather will change!

As the game is now available in North America and in
Europe, the feature to change the weather is
exactly the same all over the world.
That means!

In a word,
the weather is the same all over the world on
the same day.

That is, we put in a function that will enable you
to say, as a universal greeting word,
‘you find lots of snow in — city on — day
of — month.’

This is a small feature, but if you’re playing
Pokemon with your friends, why don’t you say
something about the weather to them?
You might just find something that’s a
little different from things you already knew.

This is another trick we included that will open up
the world of gaming. We intended to let players enjoy
talking about the game outside the game.

See ya.

No. 99

Picasso once said, ‘I do not seek. I find.’
I use this phrase often these days when
I give lectures…
I think the same thing when I try to come
up with ideas.

When you’re looking for an idea, it’s not
enough just to look at something, hoping that
a great idea will come to you.
It’s the same thing when you are surfing
the internet. But, things start to look
different when you try to ‘find.’

Let’s say there’s a drawing of many circles
in front of you. Many kinds of circles, such
as irregular circles, perfect circles, red
circles and blue circles, are drawn in the
You might ‘find’ it interesting,
but it doesn’t go anywhere if you are just
looking at it, no matter how long you do.
Of course, you may be able to understand
its beauty, or its style, or its theme.

But once you think of it differently…
Once you start to think in terms of ‘to find,’
such as ‘How can we play on (make a game
out of) this drawing?’

* Find perfect circles within a given time
period, or
* Count the numbers of circles of the same
color, and compete for the number of the same
color with other 3 people, or
* Point at a circle with your left hand, and
point another circle of exactly the same size
and shape with your right hand.
The faster you do, the more you score.
As these examples show…

If you think in terms of ‘to find something,’
you can turn a drawing into various kinds of games.

What’s more, the ideas you came up with can be
connected (linked) to other ideas you already have.
That way your game might become even more interesting.
Or, you might be able to look at the idea from
other perspectives.

You can start from anything.
It’s like, you open a book, and try to count
the number of the letter ‘S’ as fast as you can.
Let’s compete!
You ‘find’ an idea.

Please give it a try. I’m sure the variety
of your ideas will expand.

See ya.

No. 98

I love them.

Even when I go overseas on work, I of course
have a Starbucks Latte. And… no matter where
you are, it tastes good!

But I think they taste slightly different
depending on where you drink it.

I felt that the milk was slightly thicker
at the first Starbucks store in Seattle. And in
Germany, the milk seemed to be sweetened a bit.
Not only the tastes, but the interiors are different.

Starbucks is Starbucks all over the world.
They are the same, and yet slightly different from
each other.

I think it’s because they put their customers first.
They choose the chairs, tables, and even the pictures
to be hung on the walls, after they thoroughly
studied the coustomers’ tastes.
The staff are trained to make us feel at home.

I learned a lot from them.

I too, should never forget about those who
play our games.
Every time I drink a tall latte, I feel that way.

See ya.

No. 97

We started a campaign for Pokemon fans in North America
to promote Pokemon trade!

This is an event where the users in North America
can trade their Ponyta with the three of Game Freak
staff’s Psyduck.

I’m speaking in English in View Interview Video,
although it’s a bit embarrassing.
(I didn’t know where to look at…)

At first I was supposed to talk in Japanese and have
English subtitles, but at the last minute we decided
that I’d better speak in English. That’s because
children in North America are not used to reading
subtitles, and I didn’t want to make it hard for them
to understand me. I thought it would be easier to
show my passion and to make them feel me as a real
person at the same time if I talk in English.

I practiced it many times…
My teacher patiently taught and corrected me
so many times, so it seems that my English is good
enough for kids to understand me.
I’m so relieved…

See ya.

The official NOA website: Pokemon-games:

No. 96

Our summer vacation starts tomorrow!

Are you enjoying your summer vacation!?
Let’s all enjoy summer, both when you play
and you study!

As for me, I’m planning to go to a Pokemon
event at Palcity in Yokohama on August 17th.
I went to the one held in Makuhari (Chiba prefecture)
and I felt great to find so many people there.
So, I’m very much looking forward to Yokohama, too.

At the event at Palcity, you will be able to
take pictures with Pikachu, play Pokemon Diamond/Pearl
battles, and collect Pokemon via wireless communication,
among other things…
It must be a great fun! Please come visit us!

This year’s summer is different from
any other summer!
Let’s experience it fully!


No. 95

On August 7th (Tue), I went to a concert called
“PIKACHU THE LIVE” held at Tokyo International
Forum! I saw the stage starting at 4 pm, and
I was really surprised to find such a huge crowd

Pokemon Sound Tracks was performed with
Mr. Miyazaki as the conductor,
and they brought back fond memories.
Miss Shoko Nakagawa made me feel like it was
the fun Pokemon Sunday program.
When the song “Mezase Pokemon Master
(the first opening theme song of Pokemon TV animation)”
was performed, I nearly cried.
Lucario’s wave showed the first three Pokemon
only vaguely, and everyone shouted ‘Pipluuup!!!’
Gurin-san made us smile, and Miss Asuka Hayashi’s
Jirachi moved us.
Sowelu san did a great job of imitating Manaphy,
and when Miss Fumie Akiyoshi sang her song
“Together (the recent ending song of Pokemon TV
animation)” we all did the routine ‘Good! Good!
I totally enjoyed myself! It was such fun!!!

Oh, well…
It was such a wonderful concert.
I was really moved, and I felt so lucky to enjoy
such a great concert.

This concert was held to celebrate the
10th anniversary of Pokemon movies,
and it made me feel that I’d like to go to
a concert like this every year…
I know it’s not easily done… but I honestly felt
that way. The concert was that good.

And of course!
Thank you so much for those of you who came
to the concert, and those of you who supported us!
I’m sure I have received a lot of energies from you!

When I was on my way home, I was lucky to meet
people who have been supporting me!
It was great to meet you!
Thank you very much!!!

See ya.


No. 94

Today is August 6th, the day when an atomic bomb
was dropped in Hiroshima.
It was 62 years ago, at 8:15 am.

While people all over the world are seeking peace,
we also create such weapons. Humans are a strange
creature. That is exactly why we must keep on
making an appeal, always keep on thinking about it.

A weapon that killed 250,000 people.
A weapon that killed ordinary citizens.
And in a way that no human imagination thought it

Nuclear weapons are not oridnary weapons.
Not only they have superior capabilities in killing
but they take many lives in a second…
and make people suffer long after the bombing,
for a long time.
They contaminate the land and the animals with

Why do we need them?
Are we so irresponsible that we think it’s fine to
use them just because we have them? We do it just
because we can?
Can’t we keep a firm eye on the future?
Is it because we want to be stronger?
Or because we’re afraid?
Or in the name of justice?
What effects do they hope to achieve using them?
To shut up the enemies?

All of us who live on this planet Earth have
a responsibility to think.
Countries need to talk with each other in a
responsible manner.

A city searching for world peace and appealing for
the elimination of nuclear weapons, Hiroshima.
The first region in the world where an atomic bomb
was dropped, Hiroshima.
We need to listen to what people in Hiroshima
tell us, what they keep informing us,
and learn a lot from them.
I hope that Hiroshima will keep on sending its
message until nuclear weapons are abolished.

We Japanese have the opportunity and the power
to think about war and nuclear weapons.
As the only nation in the world where atomic bombs
were dropped, we need to think about them and keep
on telling others about them.

Peace. We can take time to think about it in Japan.
I’d like to keep informing the world about this great
thing about this country.

See ya.

No. 93

In the old days when I was a programmer,
I created an imitation of Tetris as a way
to learn programming.

I think it was then that I learned what is
fascinating and magical about games themselves.

That is,
*the speed of falling blocks
*the speed of rotating blocks
*the speed of moving blocks using the Direction
*the speed of blocks landing on the bottom
line and get stuck
*the balance of speeds that have been determined
differently for each stage
By changing such different kinds of speeds,
the game can both be such a fun game and
also such a boring game.

It was all because of one element, the speed.
You can see how important, (although if
you’re not familiar with it, it may seem trivial),
it is to determine the speed.

It also makes you realize that Tetris has
been created in a way so that a delicate
balance was achieved.

And, if I dare say so,
I learned then that what is important in
a game (itself) is not visual images.

No matter what pretty images you add to
a game of Shogi (Japanese chess), it’s the
same Shogi game when you think about what
makes the game fun to play (as a game).

See ya.