Nintendo’s Origins


Were you aware of  Nintendo’s origin as a card game company?

Believe it or not, Nintendo started in 1889 in Kyoto, Japan. As a nineteenth-century company, Nintendo produced “flower cards” used to play a number of different Japanese card games.

My colleagues in Japan used to play them with me on the bullet train between Tokyo and Osaka. Not too many years ago they still had dining cars on that run…very nice; after a long day of meetings in Osaka they would drink, eat curry rice and play Nintendo cards on the trip home. Only after trying several other business ventures did Nintendo eventually enter the video game industry.

Imagine Christmas day telling someone you have bought them a Nintendo game only to open a deck of 52 cards.


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