Young at heart


If the orig­i­nal Poké­monRed,

Blue and Green res­onated with so many partly be­cause they were so deeply rooted in child­hood ex­pe­ri­ence, Ma­suda en­sured that Ruby and Sap­phire would re­peat the trick by bas­ing the re­gion on sum­mers spent with grand­par­ents and other rel­a­tives in Kyushu, Ja­pan’s south­ern­most is­land. “When I was young, I of­ten spent my sum­mer hol­i­days there, catch­ing bugs, fish­ing, swim­ming in the sea and so on,” he re­calls. “My un­cle and my older brother of­ten took me out night fish­ing or col­lect­ing seashells, or even look­ing for snakes! That was how, as a child, I learnt about the kind­ness of oth­ers and the ties be­tween peo­ple. My ex­pe­ri­ences in Kyushu are ac­tu­ally how I came up with the name for the Hoenn re­gion. My idea was ‘a place abun­dant in green­ery’, so I took two Ja­panese char­ac­ters mean­ing ‘abun­dant’ and ‘green­ery’ and put them to­gether. The re­sult­ing word is pro­nounced ‘houen’, which in other lan­guages be­came Hoenn.”

Ju­nichi Ma­suda, Poké­mon di­rec­tor and com­poser

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