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October 1st, 2010 | EarthBound, Itoi, Uncommon Knowledge, Videos

By now most obsessed EarthBound fans probably know that Shigesato Itoi once did some TV specials in Japan centered around supposed hidden gold. The mine in the Dusty Dunes Desert was based off of this experience.

Anyway, a few years ago I managed to find a bunch of videos of the TV specials and snagged them from some video site before they got taken down. I forgot about them until Ryan e-mailed me recently after he found them on YouTube. Here’s the final video, it isn’t in English but it’s worth a look:

You can even see that Itoi has a MOTHER 2 jacket of some sort on! From what I’ve read, he was in the middle of working on the game while doing this mining stuff too. In the end, nothing was ever found, and every so often Itoi revisits the site or starts digging somewhere else or something, I’m not quite sure. But here’s a recent picture, from last year I believe.

The details behind the whole hidden treasure ordeal is actually kind of complicated, and I can’t find any good English sites about it, but supposedly the Tokugawa shogunate buried gold a long time ago, but the exact location was lost. Various old documents and stuff are pieced together by people – with Itoi at the helm – and they try to determine the exact location the treasure should be. Then they dig and dig and dig… and eventually only find some random scraps of metal or something, I don’t remember the details.


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15 Comments to Shigesato Itoi’s Gold Mine Adventure

Ginrei said on Oct. 1, 2010

Oh, wow, I almost missed that picture; by dig, you mean DIG. Sheesh!

KingDarian said on Oct. 1, 2010


It’s pretty cool to see, up-close, one of the events in Itoi’s life that influenced the game. Did he encounter any rogue moles in his dig?

Yossarian said on Oct. 2, 2010

Hah, the symbol in his helm almost looks like a franklin badge =P

Saturnome said on Oct. 2, 2010

I wish you could unearth the details sometimes, because it’s interesting …
I know you are over mega super ultra mambo tango foxtrot busy, but is the big Itoi article you talked about some time ago coming up? For Itoi’s birthday next month, it could be nice : P

Mato said on Oct. 2, 2010

I don’t have the time to do the big Itoi article I had hoped to write. Instead, I might just write a very quick summary of stuff, mostly to clear up people’s questions and misunderstandings.

walawalawashington said on Oct. 3, 2010

honestly I don’t think they’re going to find gold, and I think Itoi knows it. I think he just wanted to dig a big hole.

Plan: Lets get a bunch of guys together and dig a whole for a few years. Tell them there is gold somewhere, we’ll have a blast!

walawalawashington said on Oct. 3, 2010


DylanYoshi said on Oct. 4, 2010

Was the Diamond they found in Earthbound supposed to symbolize something?

yetikirby said on Oct. 14, 2010

Wow!I remember reading about this some were but never thought I would see any footage of it!

Guy said on Oct. 16, 2010

Lucky Japanese stars. They are allowed to go on mining expeditions D:

Skulryk said on Jul. 21, 2011

MOTHER 2: The Legend of Itoi’s Gold

Cube the Starman said on Jul. 22, 2011

I think itoi might like playing minecraft ALOT!

TomServo said on Nov. 17, 2011

Shigesato Itoi: Renaissance Man

Count Monty said on May. 13, 2012


Itoi is freakin’ awesome! Makin’ games, Voicin’ people and makin’ slogans for Studio Ghibli, Writin’ essays, (accidentally seeing an R-rated Movie as a kid), bein’ a judge on Iron Chef and Trivia Shows, Co-authorin’ short stories with Haruki Murakami(really good author btw), and it turns out he’s a JAPANESE INDIANA JONES!


Wyatt8740 said on Dec. 12, 2013

The link is dead. Like everything else I want to see on youtube, this is deleted.


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