Report: Banjo-Kazooie Was Named After Former Nintendo President's Family

Illustration for article titled Report: iBanjo-Kazooie/i Was Named After Former Nintendo Presidents Family

Veteran games writer Andy Robinson, who before resuming a career in journalism spent a few years at Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic, has a very cool story about how Banjo-Kazooie got its name.

While touring Japan recently, Robinson learned that former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who died in 2013, has a son called Katsuhito Yamauchi, whose name is more commonly shortened to just “Katsuhi”. And he has a grandson called Banjo Yamauchi.

Put them together and Banjo-Katsuhi very quickly becomes Banjo Kazooie. This has since been partially confirmed by Banjo’s creator Greg Mayles:


And Banjo composer Grant Kirkhope:

As VGC note in their story, both Katsuhito and Banjo became two of Nintendo’s biggest shareholders through inheritance after Yamauichi’s death.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs

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Opening up your kid to a childhood filled with ‘benjo’ jokes is kind of uncool.