19th Century Photograph of Nintendo Headquarters Unearthed

Thanks to the stalwart preservational efforts of historian Isao Yamazaki, we are able to catch a glimpse of the visage of Nintendo HQ from back in the day.

French publishing house Omaké Books recently brought the public’s attention to what is presumably the earliest surviving photograph of Nintendo’s home base. Originally posted on “The Miracles of Kyoto, 150 years after Meiji”, a website dedicated to archiving Kyoto’s past, it is dated at approximately Meiji 22 or 1889 in the Gregorian Calendar. The external appearance has certainly changed quite significantly over the course of 200 years.

Nintendo HQ during the Meiji Era (1889): Surviving black and white photograph of the “Marufuki Nintendo Card Co.” Before video games, Nintendo was a “flower card” manufacturing business. Image: Omaké Books

Nintendo office.jpg

Nintendo HQ, Kyoto. Photograph taken in 2006. Image: Wikipedia

The timing of this discovery is very curious, indeed. Nintendo, a company that began its journey selling paper cards, is now launching specially perforated cardboard toys designed to interact with the Nintendo Switch. History repeats itself.


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