Tim Cook meets Nintendo’s games designer Shigeru Miyamoto during Japan visit

Tim Cook Shigeru Miyamoto

Apple’s boss Tim Cook met Nintendo’s legendary games designer Shigeru Miyamoto during a recent whirlwind tour of Japan.

As part of his itinerary, he also met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and confirmed an upcoming technology center in Yokohama.

During the trip, Cook tweeted out a “good morning” message in Japanese and posted two images, one with Miyamoto and the other acknowledging that he had used Apple Pay to ride Japan’s famous Yamanote transit line.

Cook also met Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, telling Xinhuanet:

We talked about the future and doing great things together. I shared with prime minister Abe our love for Japan and how important the country is to Apple.

In the June quarter, Apple product sales in Japan accounted for eight percent of its total global revenue.

The CEO has confirmed that Apple would complete its construction of a site in Yokohama, just outside of Tokyo, by December and that it would be used as a development facility.

As for Apple Pay’s public launch for Miyamoto commuters, it’s due soon. “Can’t wait for our customers in Japan to start using it later this month,” wrote Cook.

Cook then got the hang of Super Mario Run, an endless runner optimized for one-handed gaming that will be hitting iOS later this year, “thanks to Miyamoto-san and his awesome team at Nintendo”.

Apple’s boss invited Miyamoto to present Super Marion Run at the iPhone 7 press conference last month. Miyamoto appeared on stage to standing ovation from the audience. Aside from Super Mario Run, Nintendo and DeNA have confirmed plans to release Animal Crossing and Fire Emblem on the iOS platform this fall.

Shigeru Miyamoto, 63, for those who are not in the know, joined Nintendo in 1977 when the company was beginning its foray into video games.

Since then, he’s created some of the most beloved video game franchises, including the Mario, Donkey Kong, The Legend of Zelda, Star Fox, F-Zero, Pikmin and Wii series.

Wikipedia has more on his humble beginnings:

Miyamoto was born in the Japanese town of Sonobe, a rural town northwest of Kyoto on November 16, 1952. His parents were of “modest means,” and his father taught the English language.

From an early age, Miyamoto began to explore the natural areas around his home. On one of these expeditions, Miyamoto came upon a cave, and, after days of hesitation, went inside. Miyamoto’s expeditions into the Kyoto countryside inspired his later work, particularly The Legend of Zelda, a seminal video game.

Miyamoto graduated from Kanazawa Municipal College of Industrial Arts with a degree in industrial design but no job lined up. He also had a love for manga and initially hoped to become a professional manga artist before considering a career in video games. He was influenced by manga’s classical kishōtenketsu narrative structure, as well as Western genre television shows. The title that inspired him to enter the video game industry was the 1978 arcade hit Space Invaders.

As a Creative Fellow, a title Nintendo assigned to him in September 2015, Miyamoto now oversees and manages the company’s Entertainment Analysis & Development division, which is behind many of Nintendo’s first-party titles.

Miyamoto’s earliest work appeared on arcade machines in the late 1970s.