Illustration for article titled The Man Who Inspired Snorlax
Photo: The Pokemon Company, Image: Conekuriya, Niantic

One of the most beloved Pokémon is Snorlax. Meet the man who inspired the character.

In a recent interview with Japanese newspaper Yomiuri, Pokémon art director Ken Sugimori confirmed that planner Koji Nishino served as the model for Snorlax.

Advertisement

Nishino has worked on the series since Red and Green.

Previously, it seems, that it wasn’t 100 percent clear the character was based on the game developer.

“(Nishino), with this (huge) appearance, was the model for the Snorlax Pokémon,” Sugimori was quoted as saying. “Though, he’s abnormally fussy about cute things.”

Advertisement

Prior to this official confirmation, there was an image of Nishino circulating online (above) with a quote from him reading, “Snorlax is like my kid.”

Advertisement

In Japanese, Snorlax is called “Kabigon,” which, according to Pokémon urban legend, was Nishino’s nickname. The reason is that “kabi” (カビ)means “mold,” and apparently, Nishino would even eat food that had gone moldy.

Illustration for article titled The Man Who Inspired Snorlax
Photo: The Pokemon Company, Image: Bulbapedia, Game Freak
Advertisement

He really looks like Snorlax.

Illustration for article titled The Man Who Inspired Snorlax
Image: Gamy, Niantic, Photo: The Pokemon Company
Advertisement

Or, better yet, Snorlax really looks like Nishino.


Kotaku East is your slice of Asian internet culture, bringing you the latest talking points from Japan, Korea, China and beyond. Tune in every morning from 4am to 8am.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored five books, including most recently, Japanese Whisky: The Ultimate Guide to the World's Most Desirable Spirit.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter