A Fan Is Translating The Iwata-San Book Into English


A book about the life of Satoru Iwata is now available in Japan and a lone fan is now translating into English for the benefit of international Nintendo fans.

Iwata-san is a book by Yasuda Nagata that combines numerous articles written by Iwata for both the Hobonichi and Nintendo website. The book also contains all of the "Iwata-asks" interviews, where he spoke to different developers about their classic projects and most recent releases. Iwata-san also contains interviews with prominent industry figures,  such as Shigeru Miyamoto and Shigesato Itoi, who reminisce about their old friend and colleague.

Iwata-san is available now in Japan, but there has been no word on an official English localization and it seems unlikely that one will be made. An effort is being made to localize Iwata-san into English by a fan named Kody F, who has posted translated parts of the book to his website.

Satoru Iwata Book

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The translation of Iwata-san is starting with a series of articles on the official website for the book, which were written by the author about his experiences while creating it.

It's possible that Nintendo might try and stop this project with legal action, as the company has never been afraid to get litigious. There have also been many examples of fans translating Japanese-only books and never receiving any threats of legal action, usually when the companies involved have no intention of funding an international release. The Final Fantasy VII fanbase only have access to several books from the series due to fan translations and Square Enix has never complained. There have also been fan translations of video games hanging around in the ether for years that companies have never complained about, most notably Mother 3. 

Satoru Iwata was a beloved figure in the video game industry and everyone who worked with him has only had glowing things to say since his passing. The Nintendo fans still mourn Iwata to this day and it would have been nice for Iwata-san to receive an official English localization. For now, it seems that it will be up to the work a single dedicated fan for Iwata-san to be available to Western fans.

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