Minoru Arakawa, President of Nintendo of America for the
past 22 years, today announced his retirement effective immediately.
After many months of consideration, Arakawa felt the timing was
appropriate to turn the office over to new leadership.
"The U.S. video game industry is extremely strong and NOA's
position within the industry has never been better," said
Arakawa. "The recent impressive marketplace successes of both
Game Boy Advance and the Nintendo GameCube coupled with NOA's
unparalleled financial and management resources allow me the
opportunity to pursue new endeavors."
significant contributions to the success of NOA and the development
of the U.S. video game industry are unequaled and widely acclaimed.
Many of Arakawa's initiatives have become industry standards,
largely responsible for the unprecedented strength of interactive
entertainment today.” - Howard Lincoln, NOA Board
Arakawa grew up in Kyoto, Japan. His family had been in the textile
business for generations and his father had helped grow the company
into one of the largest in Japan. Minoru attended Kyoto University
in the 1960s and majored in civil engineering. After graduating,
Minoru was accepted to a graduate program at MIT and moved to
Cambridge, MA where he roomed with Harvard student, Howard Lincoln.
Arakawa would later return to Japan to work for real estate
developer Marubeni. There he would also find his wife Yoko Yamauchi,
Hiroshi Yamauchi's daughter. Arakawa was assigned to head up the
development of a Marubeni condominium complex in Vancouver. Work in
Canada went very well for Minoru.
A few years later Arakawa's family visited Yoko's family in Japan
where Hiroshi, impressed by his son-in-law's great successes, asked
Minoru to join Nintendo. He wished to expand Nintendo beyond Japan
and offered Arakawa a position as president of an independent
subsidiary in North America. After much consideration, Arakawa
accepted Yamauchi's offer and in 1979 moved his family from
Vancouver to Manhattan where he would set up Nintendo of America's
In the early day's of Nintendo of America, Arakawa's primary task
was to break Nintendo into America's coin-operated arcade business.
He oversaw the introduction of "Space Fever" and the disastrous
"Radarscope" operation. Enduring tough times at NOA,
Arakawa decided it would be best to move the subsidiary's
headquarters closer to Nintendo and thought Seattle to be the best
In need of a new game, Arakawa was supplied a unique title from
young Nintendo developer, Shigeru Miyamoto. "Donkey Kong"
would turn things around for Nintendo of America, proving
tremendously successful and forever changing the video game arena.
Arakawa moved the company's headquarters to a large campus in
Redmond and brought on Peter Main, Howard Lincoln, and other great
NOA minds. The rest is history. Arakawa oversaw the introduction of
Game & Watch, Game Boy, and every Nintendo home console to date.
He also saw the company through many intense business rivalries and
serious legal battles over the years.
Minoru Arakawa was always one of Nintendo's greatest assets. The
editors of GameCubicle would like to wish Arakawa best of luck in
his retirement and congratulate him on many years well served.
In a separate announcement made in Kyoto, Japan, Nintendo announced Mr. Arakawa would be succeeded
by Mr. Tatsumi Kimishima.
Mr. Kimishima has been with NCL for the past two years serving most
recently as Chief Financial Officer of The Pokemon Company and
President of Pokemon U.S.A., Inc. A native of Japan, Mr. Kimishima
spent over 25 years with the Sanwa Bank in several management roles
including nearly seven years in New York and California. Mr.
Kimishima will assume his new responsibilities effective
Rick - Editor in