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  • Japanese developers who care about looking tasteful in public

    Posted on April 24th, 2013 keving 1 comment

    Toshiyuki Takahashi posted on his blog yesterday about his appearance on SegaNama, a Nicovideo live stream hosted by Sega now and again. That’s him on the right, with Sega chief creative officer Toshihiro Nagoshi in the center.

    The photo reminded me of the fact that Nagoshi — the chief creative mind behind the Yakuza series, and a man who frequently shows up in the Japan gaming press to represent his company and comment on issues — has gradually gone more and more…um, what’s the word? Concerned about his personal appearance. He bucks the trend of nerdy Japanese game developers posing awkwardly in Famitsu interviews and actually spends a bit of cash on things like clothes and hairstyling. Here’s what he looked like in 1996, back when he was chiefly known for producing Daytona USA:


    And here he is talking about the Xbox at the 2002 Game Developers Conference (courtesy Game Watch), sporting some longer locks and a tasteful hint of chapatsu coloring:


    Makes a difference, doesn’t it?

    Of course, this sort of transformation has nothin’ on what Team Ninja/Valhalla’s Tomonobu Itagaki did in the early 2000’s, considering that he looked like this in early 2000, following Dead or Alive 2’s release:



    He then went through what Jin described in his weblog as “a very late rebellious phase”, and it was to the point where I interviewed him in 2004 or so and was honestly surprised when he took off his sunglasses in front of me midway.

    Itagaki brought up this habit of dressing up like a biker for his media appearances on a page in Valhalla’s website that I can’t find right now but references:

    “Before I became a game developer, I thought about becoming a professional gambler. For mahjong, you know? And when you’re doing that, if someone can read your eyes, then that isn’t good for you. So I wear sunglasses when I go out, generally.”

    Despite this habit, he decided to go back into game work after leaving Team Ninja instead of pursuing his original dreams. That’s a pity, because judging by the mahjong games in my MAME directory, that career’s a great way to meet friendly women.



    1 responses to “Japanese developers who care about looking tasteful in public” RSS icon

    • “Makes a difference, doesn’t it?”

      Well, I don’t know…
      I mean, he does looks different in each picture, but I can’t say he looks any better or worse in one than he does in the others. His hairstyle changes and he’s gotten older, but I think he looks quite presentable in each image.

      Is there something I’m not picking up on?

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