Yoichi Kotabe

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Yoichi Kotabe
Date of Birth: September 15, 1936
Home Town: Tanpei City, Taiwan
Occupation: Artist
Bestselling Game: Super Mario Bros.
Development Teams
Nintendo EAD - R&D 1 - Game Freak - NST - AlphaDream - Camelot
Key Franchises
Donkey Kong - Mario - Pokémon - Zelda

Yoichi Kotabe is an illustrator and character designer for Nintendo.


Yoichi Kotabe was born on September 15, 1936 in Tanpei City, Taiwan. He moved to Japan after the end of World War II.

Kotabe first became interested in animation after watching Momotaro's Sea Eagle. He learned to draw and do oil paintings from his father, but gave up oils for water color. He learned Japanese-style painting and entered the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music.

He was tempted to stay at the university, but Madame White Snake inspired him to apply for a job at Toei Animation. While there, he worked on Hols: Prince of the Sun with Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki.

Shortly after, he left Toei Animation with Takahata and Miyazaki. They worked on numerous projects including Pippi Longstocking, Panda! Go, Panda!, 3000 Leagues in Search of Mother, and Heidi, Girl of the Alps.

As early as 1990, Kotabe began working for Nintendo as an illustrator. Kotabe has worked on many of Nintendo's top franchises, including the Mario series, The Legend of Zelda, and Pokémon. He is also involved with the Pokémon movies and television show.


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