Satoshi Tajiri

Satoshi Tajiri with his Pokémon stuffed animals.

Satoshi Tajiri (Japanese: 田尻 智, born August 28, 1965) is the creator of Pokémon, responsible for the initial concepts which would give the events and purposes for Pokémon today.

As a child, Tajiri lived in Machida, a suburb of Tokyo, and enjoyed catching and collecting insects, hunting them down in ponds, fields and forests, constantly looking for new insects and coming up with new ways to catch insects, such as beetles. He loved collecting and studying insects so much that his friends and family nicknamed him "Dr.Bug".

Tajiri disliked like school. His father wanted him to become an electrical utility repairman for a living, but this is not what Tajiri wanted. Later in the 1970s, the ponds and fields he found insects in as a child was paved over in cement for apartments and parking lots, as he wanted to give modern children the chance to hunt for creatures as he did. Tajiri got into video games when he was a student at a technical school, spending all his time in arcades. He was such a big fan that one local arcade gave him a Space Invaders machine to take home.

At age 16, Tajiri won a contest sponsored by Nintendo rival Sega for a game design concept. Which grew to become pokémon.

In 1982, at 17 years of age, Tajiri and his friends formed a games magazine by the name of Game Freak. A friend, and contributor to Game Freak, was Ken Sugimori, who would later become the illustrator and designer of all of the Pokémon images, as well as the human characters and other aspects of the games. Throughout the 1980s, Game Freak magazine had modest sales, and became very popular among its gaming crowd. In the 1990s, Game Freak started moving into game development, and they developed many titles, including a number of titles for Nintendo. In 1991, Tajiri discovered the Game Boy. When he saw two children playing together using the Link Cable to connect the game boys, he imagined insects crawling along the cable between the two systems. This sight inspired Tajiri, and, the idea for Pokémon as we know it was born. The game was given some important funding and concept work from another game design studio, known as Creatures, Inc.

Tajiri then went to work for Nintendo and spent the next six years working on his latest creation, Pokémon. Shigeru Miyamoto, the man behind Mario, The Legend of Zelda, Pikmin, and Donkey Kong, was assigned to assist in the development of the initial versions of Pocket Monsters, Red and Green. During this time Tajiri came to admire Miyamoto as a mentor for his creations. As a tribute to Miyamoto and Tajiri, the main character of the games and his rival have "Satoshi" and "Shigeru" amongst their default names, while the main character of the anime, Ash Ketchum, and his first rival, Gary Oak, are named the same, out of respect.

Tajiri's favorite pokémon is apparently Poliwhirl, a Tadpole-like Pokémon with swirls around its stomach. Tajiri claims that the swirls arond its body are meant to be intestines, as you would see the intestines of a Tadpole if you were to pick it up because a tadpole's stomach is clear.

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