The headquarters for Nintendo of America and its competitor Microsoft are very close to each other, with only the interstate separating them.
Introducing Minoru Arakawa
Minoru Arakawa was a young man part of a wealthy Japanese family that owned Arakawa Textiles. The company employed around 1,000 people and made a profit of $5 to $6 million dollars every year. His father, Waichiro Arakawa, ran the company, and his older brother, Shohichi Arakawa, was planned to be his successor. Arakawa Textiles imported their materials from all around the world, from China to the United States, and their company had become one of the largest textile companies in Japan.
Whereas Arakawa's siblings' lives were basically already planned out from the beginning, his parents simply implied that they wanted Arakawa to do what made him satisfied. He entered Kyoto University sometime in 1964 and majored and got his masters in civil engineering. Following this he decided to travel across the ocean to Boston, Massachusetts in the United States where he was accepted to MIT. Prior to the start of the school year he drove 15,000 miles across the country to visit many of the states in the union, spending a measly $5 each day and spending nights in his car. Sometime after getting his second masters degree, he met up with Japanese business men visiting America who were employees of a trade company that did business in other countries. This excited Arakawa who quickly left Massachusetts behind and went to Tokyo, Japan where he got a job with the hotel maker Marubeni.
Soon after receiving his new job, Arakawa and a friend from America who was visiting Tokyo went to a ball in Kyoto.
Introducing Yoko Yamauchi
Yoko Yamauchi is the daughter of Hiroshi Yamauchi, then president of Nintendo. As far back as she can remember she had a bitter relationship with her father, who was absolutely consumed with the company. Hiroshi has a reputation for being very strict and oftentimes angry, and Yoko had to unfortunately live with this. Yoko's mother, Michiko Yamauchi, was in a state of distress during Yoko's childhood years due to several miscarriages, so her grandmother, Tei Yamauchi, mostly took care of her. As Yoko grew up, her relationship with her mother improved. The same could not be said about her father.
One night, a college friend offered to take Yoko to a ball in Kyoto. Yoko knew her father would quarrel with her if she brought it up to him, but thankfully Hiroshi was out of town. Her mother agreed and she was off.
Minoru and Yoko
At the ball, a drunk man approached Yoko and asked her to dance. She reluctantly agreed but soon found out what a mistake this was. Upon asking her friend for help, the two switched partners and Yoko ended up with Minoru. They instantly hit it off. The two had known about each other, but never met. The Yamauchi and Arakawa family also had a history, one that would be a stumbling block for the two had they planned to date. Years ago an Arakawa man was arranged by his parents to marry a Yamauchi girl. After the engagement was made and presents swapped, the Arakawa broke up with the Yamauchi. This enraged the Yamauchis and humiliated the Arakawas. Tei Yamauchi, Yoko's grandmother, went as far as to break the Arakawa's seal in half. Minoru and Yoko laughed about this during their time together at the ball.
Minoru and Yoko started dating, and after months of doing so it was time for Minoru to meet Yoko's father. Minoru was understandably nervous about doing so due to the stories Yoko had told him, but the plans were made nonetheless. The Arakawas, renowned and respected members of society, were the type of family that Hiroshi Yamauchi detested. On the other hand, Hiroshi only managed to become president of his company due to being in the right family and did so at a very young age. Nintendo hadn't reached the same levels of success as Arakawa Textiles and the upper class Waichiro Arakawa was the type of person that would reject Hiroshi. This is, at least, what Hiroshi made them out to be prior to the meeting.
At the dinner, Hiroshi keenly observed his guest and bombarded him with questions about his life to make sure he was appropriate for his daughter. Hiroshi even went as far as to seemingly deliberately put Minoru in a very uncomfortable situation by commending him for going to the acclaimed Harvard college in America. After explaining to him that he had in fact gone to MIT, Hiroshi replied by saying "I have never heard of it".
Arakawa probably felt distraught over the meeting. However, despite how Hiroshi acted, he sat down with the family for tea after dinner and casually said to Minoru; "If you are going to marry my daughter, you should marry quickly". This shocked and excited both Minoru and Yoko. Hiroshi jokingly stated that he came to this conclusion due to the fact that he didn't want his daughter marrying someone handsome and good-looking due to the fact that other girls would encompass him. After Minoru left, Hiroshi revealed to his wife that he knew all along that he would accept due to the fact that Minoru's father was so well-mannered and that his son would have to mirror his attitude.
In 2008 Nintendo started construction on six new buildings. Of the two preexisting buildings, one was demolished. Construction on the buildings finalized in the first half of 2010. The interior of the buildings is highly stylized in comparison to the previous headquarters, featuring various references to Nintendo throughout such as d-pad shaped tables, windows with familiar Mario items on them, and more.
- Minoru Arakawa - First president of Nintendo of America.
- Reggie Fils-Aime - Current president of Nintendo of America.