[[quoteright:299:[[VideoGame/EarthBound http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Itoi_Saturn_4295.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:299:[[BlatantLies tHat's itOi On tHE lEft]], [[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, b. 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.

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 ShigeruMiyamoto, Creator/HirokazuTanaka and 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 [[{{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 SuperFamicom and {{Nintendo 64}} (he was ''really'' into bass fishing in the late 90s) and a health diary for 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 gets him to do important ''Iwata Asks'' interviews instead - 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.

!! Things Itoi has worked on
* ''Let's Meet in a Dream'' (in collaboration with Creator/HarukiMurakami)
* ''MyNeighborTotoro'' - voiced Mei and Satsuki's father
* ''IronChef'' - judge on four episodes
* The ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER}}'' series:
** ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER|1}}''
** ''VideoGame/{{Earthbound}}'' (''MOTHER 2'')
** ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}''
* ''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 ''{{For The Frog The Bell Tolls}}'', 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
* 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: Again, the story about Giygas's creation.
* HeAlsoDid: Unsurprisingly, many people in the west aren't aware of his non-''MOTHER'' work; it's kind of inverted in Japan, where ''MOTHER'' is just another thing he dabbled in and comparatively obscure.
* HeroesLoveDogs: [[http://www.1101.com/pl/060216kimagure/index.html A whole section of Hobonichi]] is essentially a blog devoted to Itoi's dog, Bouillon.
* TheMerch: This is how his site is supported, as it contains no advertisements. Memorably, his line of customizable ''Hobonichi'' day planners has sold over 300,000 copies (that's right, Itoi can make ''day planners'' sell like hotcakes). And yes, there have been ''MOTHER'' shirts at some point. [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment Also]], [[http://earthboundcentral.com/2010/07/shigesato-itoi-ramen/ ramen]].
* NiceHat: They're quite common in photos of him from the past three years or so.
* NightmareFuel: In-universe example, you could say - pretty much everyone knows the story behind him and [[Film/TheMilitaryPolicemanAndTheDismemberedBeauty the film]] that ultimately inspired Giygas, [[http://earthboundcentral.com/2008/02/shigesato-itoi-giygas-and-boobies/ but in case you don't]]...
* RenaissanceMan
* 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.