[[quoteright:299:[[VideoGame/EarthBound http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Itoi_Saturn_4295.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:299:tHat's itOi On tHE [=RighT=], [[VerbalTic ZOOm]].]]
->''"A game isnít something that can be made by one person alone. Well, itís possible that a really hard-working game creator could finish a game all alone, but even then he would still need a player. Games grow and mature when theyíre created, played, and conveyed over and over."''
-->--'''Itoi''', in [[http://earthboundcentral.com/2009/01/one-year-after-mother-3/ a 2007 issue of Nintendo Dream magazine]]

->''"Being free does not lead to decadence. It brings out potential."''
-->-- '''Itoi''', in [[http://www.webinknow.com/2011/12/content-marketing-japanese-unusual-style.html a 2011 interview with David Meerman Scott]]

Shigesato Itoi (糸井 重里, born November 10, 1948) is a Japanese essayist and copywriter whose works are widely considered to have had a defining influence on modern Japanese culture. He's dabbled in pretty much everything at some point or another over the past thirty years or so - he's done books, he's done songwriting, he's done websites, he's done voice acting, he's done film, he's done television, [[TheLastOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers he's done day planners]]... The man is an endless font of variety, really, and Japan loves him for it. He is perhaps most famous as an advertisement copywriter and designer, and had a hand in a number of Japan's most famous ad campaigns in the modern era.

Of course, that's [[HeAlsoDid not what he's known for]] in the western world. No, the west knows him better for something that to him and to Japan was little more than a little experiment in storytelling he did on the side. Around here, he's best known as the brilliant mind behind the ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' trilogy of Creator/{{Nintendo}} video games, namely ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}'', ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' and ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}''. He's a good friend of Creator/ShigeruMiyamoto, Creator/HirokazuTanaka and the late, great Creator/SatoruIwata (who [[GeniusProgramming singlehandedly reprogrammed]] ''EarthBound'' from scratch midway through development, rescuing the entire project when all seemed lost), he served on the board of Nintendo subsidiary [[Franchise/{{Kirby}} HAL]] [[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Laboratory]] for a while, and he is an occasional participant in the ''Iwata Asks'' interview series. Other video game endeavours of his include bass fishing video games for the UsefulNotes/SuperFamicom and UsefulNotes/Nintendo64 (he was ''really'' into bass fishing in the late 90s) and a health diary for UsefulNotes/NintendoDSi.

In 1998, he established the [[http://www.1101.com/ Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun]] (Pretty-Much-Daily Itoi News, commonly called ''Hobonichi''), a strange news site-hybrid themed around the idea of brightening peoples' days. It's partially a news site, but its biggest draw is its status as the home of his essays and thoughts on life, living, philosophy and his dog, and interviews with interesting people. On that note, he ''really'' loves interviewing people - his interviews never fail to be long and interesting and he's filled multiple books with them. This is pretty much why Iwata sometimes got him to do important ''Iwata Asks'' interviews when Iwata still lived - because he's really, ''really'' good at it.

[[http://twitter.com/itoi_shigesato He has a Twitter account]], which is quite the interesting read if you're versed in Japanese. It's pretty easy to tell whenever he mentions ''MOTHER'', because the title is always written in English.

!! A small samble of things Itoi has worked on
* ''Let's Meet in a Dream'' (in collaboration with Creator/HarukiMurakami)
* ''Anime/MyNeighborTotoro'' - voiced Tatsuo Kusanabe (Mei and Satsuki's father); also created the tagline for the film ("These strange creatures still exist in Japan... probably") which contributed to the ''MNT'' poster being one of the most famous movie posters in Japanese film history
* ''Series/IronChef'' - judge on four episodes
* The ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' series:
** ''VideoGame/EarthBoundBeginnings'' (''MOTHER 1'')
** ''VideoGame/EarthBound'' (''MOTHER 2'')
** ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}''
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros''
* ''Literature/NorwegianWood'' - portrayed the Professor

!! Tropes associated with Itoi:
* {{Bishonen}}: Dear God, just ''look'' at him on [[http://earthboundcentral.com/2011/02/shigesato-itois-copywriting/ this magazine cover from 1983]]!
* TheCameo: He appears as an NPC in ''VideoGame/ForTheFrogTheBellTolls'', mining for gold.
* CelebrityEndorsement: Sort of, because he obviously created it - in Japan, the big selling point of the ''MOTHER'' series was always the fact that he, a rather popular celebrity, made it; the ads for ''MOTHER'' made a point of pointing that out. Also, he likes to endorse food he enjoys (several of these crop up in the ''MOTHER trilogy''), with a curry restaurant actually using a page full of his praise (and scribbles) as its packaging.
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: If ''MOTHER'' wasn't enough to convince you that this is the case, the rest of his body of work will!
* CoolOldGuy: Pretty much how he's conducted his golden years.
* GoldFever: He tried his hand at gold mining in the early 90s; this later inspired the Dusty Dunes Desert mining site in ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', which was in development around that time.
* HarmfulToMinors: Meta example. As a child, Itoi accidentally walked in to [[Film/TheMilitaryPolicemanAndTheDismemberedBeauty a horror film]] while at a movie theater and saw what he thought was a rape scene. The scene traumatized him and ultimately inspired him to create Giygas.
* HeroesLoveDogs: [[http://www.1101.com/pl/060216kimagure/index.html A whole section of Hobonichi]] is essentially a blog devoted to Itoi's dog, Bouillon.
* NiceHat: They're quite common in photos of him since 2009.
* NightmareFuel: Again, the story about Giygas's creation.
* RenaissanceMan: His talents and creations are manifold and varied, from interviews to ad slogans to video game development.
* SignatureStyle: His work is always offbeat yet borderline poetic, carry its point well, and will demonstrate a deft mastery of MoodWhiplash.
* {{Tagline}}: Once his primary job; he's responsible for many particularly famous Japanese ones.
* TrademarkFavoriteFood: Croquette rolls. Inevitably, they showed up repeatedly in ''MOTHER''.
* WidgetSeries: Quite a bit of his work.