IGN has been pulling quotes from Iwata-san, the book Earthbound creator Shigesaot Itoi put together to celebrate the late Satoru Iwata. Itoi himself had some words to share on Iwata, which you can find below.
“Iwata said that the vision behind his business was to make everyone happy: himself, his friends at work, and his customers. He used the English word for ‘happy’ instead of the Japanese word, which charmed me. It’s funny how you remember the most insignificant things, but whenever Iwata used the word ‘happy,’ he would show you the palms of both of his hands. That’s something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
On the day of Iwata’s funeral, it rained in torrents, and Miyamoto and I were waiting around. Suddenly I decided to ask him how much chance Iwata himself had believed he had to be cured. Miyamoto responded immediately, in a very natural manner. ‘He totally believed that he would become better. He didn’t have the slightest intention to die.’ That answer made me realize just how close Miyamoto and Iwata were, and to what extent they understood each other.
It’s hard to describe how I felt when first meeting Iwata. There was something very pleasant about him. Without even really knowing him, you could immediately feel that he was someone you could trust. What I really appreciated about Iwata is that he was never insecure, and he would never show off or get mad just to show his authority or anything like that. That’s why you could have long conversations with him without things ever becoming awkward in the slightest.
All we would do is talk, to the extent that my wife once said something like, ‘All men ever do is chat!’ In Kyoto, I would come up with an excuse to meet him somewhere in town and have a chat, and then we would continue our conversation over lunch, and we would still be talking after coming back home. I remember how Iwata would throw a ball for my dog while talking, then my wife would take the dog for a stroll and when she came back we were still talking. Sometimes a conversation that started in the afternoon could last until after 9pm.
As the head of a big company, he probably should have been accompanied by someone, but Iwata always came over to my office just by himself. He would grab a cab, and as he rolled his suitcase, I can still hear him say ‘Hello there’ with that high-pitched voice of his.”