BySam Plank, writer at
"You have to be what you are. Whatever you are, you gotta be it." -Johnny Cash. Tweet a tweeter at my twitty twitter, @tw1tterintw1t
Sam Plank

When you think about , a game involving people walking around while looking at their phones, falling into ponds and wandering out into traffic to catch imaginary creatures, one thing you probably don't think about is backstory that game might have.

While the origin stories for the themselves floating around out there are fascinating enough, the backstory of Satoshi Tajiri, the man behind the game, is sure to change the meaning of “Gotta Catch 'Em All!” forever!

A Childhood Full Of Bugs - Literally

(Credit: Flickr/l-ines)
(Credit: Flickr/l-ines)

As a child, Satoshi was like a lot of little boys, full of curiosity and a love of critters. His favorite critter was the small, buggy kind. His love of bugs, and the fact that he was born with Asperger's syndrome, turned him into a bug hunting machine. The Asperger's amplified his obsession with creepy-crawlies, turning him into such an extreme bug hunter that his classmates nicknamed him “Dr. Bug.”

During his buggy adventures, he would catch the insects, take them home, and study them. At one point, he observed bugs that he had placed together sometimes fought each other.

Sounding familiar yet?

Small Town Changes

(Credit: Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)
(Credit: Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Country singer Tracey Lawrence said it best with this line: “The only thing that stays the same is everything changes.” The same went for Satoshi's hometown. The population started booming, and all his favorite bug hunting places went from grass to concrete. Buildings came up, trees came down, and the wildlife, including the bugs, went away. This forced Satoshi to look for other ways to ease his mind, and he soon became obsessed with video games.

Not exactly every parents' dream for their kid, is it? Little did they know, his new obsession would one day blend perfectly with the old, and it would make him a very wealthy, successful man in the future.

The Future Came Fast


When he was 17, Satoshi created the arcade video game magazine Game Freak, and started to make a name for himself in the gaming world. He started out very small, with his magazine being handwritten and stapled together, but fast forward 18 years to 1990 when he first thought up the idea for Pokemon. He approached with his idea, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It's amazing how a kid, like any other kid, with his love of and catching all sorts of creepy crawly things, was able to create one of the biggest, longest lasting franchises ever. In fact, it's so successful that Pokemon has actually been described as Japan's most successful export.

You want to know the level of skill from my childhood that mildly affected my adult life? How to do that whistle thing by blowing into my hands.

Well played, Satoshi.

Need more Pokemon? Here ya go!


Latest from our Creators