Nintendo was founded in 1889
Nintendo has one of the richest histories of any company in the game industry. I mean you could probably stretch that qualifier to “any industry” and get away with it — they’re that prolific, dating all the way back to the 19th century. French book site Omake Books managed to give us a glimpse into that history this week by providing a picture of Nintendo’s original headquarters, circa 1889, in Kyoto.
The story goes that the building was originally owned by Naoshichi Yamauchi, who operated Haikyo, a woodworking business. After bringing on Fusajiro Yamauchi the rest was history — Nintendo was born with the sole purpose of crafting Hanafuda cards, a thriving business when the Japanese government had outlawed other forms of card games. It wasn’t until 1963 that the company would be changed from “Nintendo Playing Card Co.” to “Nintendo Co.”
Incredibly they pivoted into toys because most of their other business (including a love hotel chain) failed. What might have been!
Incroyable ! Le premier local de Nintendo! [Omake Books]