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Here's an incredible look at Nintendo's first HQ back in 1889

Link to the past.

Nintendo boasts perhaps the richest history among video game companies, having been founded back at the tail-end of the 19th century. Now we have a fascinating look back at those early days thanks to a recently-unearthed photograph.

The image purports to show Nintendo's first headquarters in Kyoto from the company's year of inception in 1889, and comes via a blog post on French publisher Omake Books' site exploring the genealogy of founder Fusajiro Yamauchi.

Nintendo was first founded as a card manufacturer, the business built around the popular game of Hanafuda. You can learn more about all that in Chris Bratt's wonderful video posted below.

The company behind Arms would go on to find greater success in video games via various other pursuits excellently chronicled by Nintendo enthusiast and historian Erik Voskuil on his blog Before Mario (you can pick up the accompanying book on that very same Omake Books site, by the way). There was, of course, the time when it made foldable cardboard toys some 40 years ago. What a silly idea that sounds like, right?

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Martin Robinson avatar

Martin Robinson


Martin worked at Eurogamer from 2011 to 2023. He has a Gradius 2 arcade board and likes to play racing games with special boots and gloves on.

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