Gaming Icon Takahashi Meijin Reveals Secret Behind “16-shots per second” | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Gaming Icon Takahashi Meijin Reveals Secret Behind “16-shots per second”

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A “superhero” that no one older than the ARAF generation knows?

“I am a former employee of Hudson, so I only played “Takahashi Meijin” as an activity to promote their games, but I have hardly played any other company’s games. I have hardly played any fighting games, and I am naturally good at some things and not so good at others. For example, I am not good at simulation games that involve thinking, because I am not as smart as other people.”

This is the story of Toshiyuki Takahashi, a.k.a. “Takahashi Meijin,” who led the NES boom in the 1980s and has been involved in various media mixes, including TV appearances, CD debuts, manga adaptations, and video game adaptations.

On May 23, his 63rd birthday, he appeared on the TBS program “Love It!”, and the name “Takahashi Meijin” trended No. 1 on SNS. While there is almost no one who does not know about him among the ARAF generation and older, he is also a mysterious figure who has been misunderstood as a “superhero who can do anything in the game.”


“For example, when Match-san (Masahiko Kondo) was a guest on TV TOKYO’s program, the director asked me to play Super Mario Bros. Afterwards we played Star Soldier together (laughs).”

On May 23, his 63rd birthday, he appeared on the TBS program “Lavit”! and the name “Takahashi Meijin” became the No. 1 trending name on SNS.

16-rounds” that children all over Japan imitated.

He became a super-famous person when he happened to be an employee of Hudson and was in charge of publicity.

“I started my relationship with CoroCoro when “Game Center Arashi” was over in “Monthly CoroCoro Comic” (hereafter “Corocoro”) and “Famicom Rocky” started in 1984, and Hudson was featured in it.”

“I wanted to see how children would react to games, so in March and April of the following year, when the “CoroCoro Manga Festival” was held at the Matsuzakaya Department Store in Ginza, I was asked if I could demonstrate something on stage for an hour. The children looked very pleased.”

In response to the success of the event, the first “National Caravan Famicom Convention” was held in 1985. The game used in the competition was “Star Force,” the first shooting game on the NES. At this point, however, “16-round shooting” had not been invented.

“In the middle of “Star Force,” an enemy character called Larios appears, and if you shoot eight shots in one second from the time the core comes out and glows until it combines, you get a bonus of 50,000 points. When the player was trying to defeat it, there were inquiries from users about how fast he or she was pressing the button.”

“At the time, we didn’t have the equipment to find out, and if you shot Larios before he lit up, the amount of shots you took would be added to 8. So, we decided that it would be 15 or 16 shots per second, and since hexadecimal numbers are beautiful from a computer point of view, we announced that we would use 16 shots in a row.”

“The following year, in the movie “GAME KING: TAKAHASHI MEIJIN VS MOURI MEIJIN Gekijoban” in which I fought Mouri Meijin in “Star Soldier,” the AD took out 240 frames of film for 10 seconds and counted the bullets I was shooting.”

But why do you shoot so fast?

“When I was in elementary school, I helped carry kerosene because my family owned a hardware store and we sold kerosene during the winter. We had to walk 400 to 500 meters carrying 18-liter cans and 20-liter polyethylene tanks.”

“At that time, my father gave me a hand grip that trained my grip strength to 50 kg and told me to ‘build up my strength,’ which was around the fourth grade. He actually trained me, and by the time I was in the 6th grade, I had a 45 kg grip strength. When I became an adult and worked as a grocer, I carried three bales of onions and my grip strength reached 85 kg at the maximum. However, I don’t know what the relationship is between grip strength and fast strike.”

“I am currently undergoing rehabilitation after tendon surgery, and my grip strength is only 20 kg, but I can still do 12 or 13 rounds per second. If I get my grip back up to 80 kg, I’m not sure if I can do 16 or not. Besides, continuous shooting is often thought of as pressing buttons with your fingers, but it is not, it is a total movement from the elbow to the tip.”

Children all over Japan imitated the “16-round.”

Why was “Takahashi Meijin” the one and only.

The extraordinary enthusiasm for the game spread even further, and masters from various companies appeared on the scene.

“In my case, I didn’t think it was enough if the games sold well; I knew there were things I had to say in order to keep the game industry going, so I held up such phrases as “one hour a day for games,” “let’s play outside and be cheerful,” and “our job is of course to study.”

“If I were a game manufacturer, I would have told them to play more and more, but since game arcades were originally a hangout for delinquents for elementary and junior high school students and games were bad for them, it was important to get rid of the bad image among mothers and get them to open their wallets.”

“If we had only been good at games, we probably would have ended up attracting attention only among children, but I think we were able to gain the approval of parents as well, and that is why we were able to attract a wide range of age groups.”


In a way, it is like “the big guy of the game,” similar to “the big guy of songs”. It must have been difficult for you to walk around town.

“For example, when I walked in Shinjuku Kabukicho, I was told to walk in the middle of the street with a staff on both sides of me and to keep my distance from the pink signs so that I would not be photographed by the weekly photo magazines such as FRIDAY. The company told me, ‘If you see a pink sign, keep your distance and walk in the middle of it.’”

What is interesting is that “continuous shooting” became an independent form of entertainment after the NES boom. A “Schwatch,” which only measures continuous shooting, also appeared.

“A few years ago, I was asked to help out at a kindergarten festival, and I brought three or four Schwatches with me to measure how many times I could press a button in 10 seconds. I put them on the table and told them to take turns trying, and they said, ‘I got 70 shots!’ ‘I’m 71,’ and ‘I want to do it again,’ and they would start lining up.”

“It’s the simple act of just hitting the buttons that makes you happy when you beat someone and frustrated when you lose. Even now, there is a game called “Mario Party” in which players compete by hitting buttons in rapid succession, but I think there is a universal appeal in the fact that all anyone has to do is press the buttons without thinking about it.”

He was like a “game guy,” similar to “Uta no Onii-san” and “Taiso no Onii-san.”

Incidentally, after leaving Hudson, he joined the game company MAGES. and is now in charge of games in general.

“I think there are two types of game players: those who spread the joy of games, like YouTube game players, are similar to me. The other is the professional e-sports gamer, who earns prize money by winning game tournaments for a living.”

“I need both of these. I do Twitter, blogging, and YouTube, but what about live gaming? The younger generation monetizing for a living is a dream and aspiration for children, but I’m 63 years old now, so I don’t want to exchange fun for money.”

What does “games” mean to Takahashi Meijin?

“For me, games are an item of my youth. I think games are not only for playing, but also a tool to get along with others. If you use it well, it doesn’t matter what age you are or what sex you are. It can be used in the same way that a grandfather can be friends with his grandchildren.”

“Besides, at first I was embarrassed to be called a “master,” but now I’ve gotten used to it (laughs). On the contrary, now when people ask me what they should call me, I say, ‘Meijin is fine.’”

Meijin Takahashi (real name: Toshiyuki Takahashi) After the title of Meijin was established at the “1st National Famicom Caravan Tournament” event in 1985, he appeared on TV, radio, and in movies, taking advantage of the Famicom boom of the time. He became popular as a hero among children. In addition to the “Takahashi Meijin’s Adventure Island” series of games using Meijin as a character, he has also released many related books, records, and CDs.

  • Interview and text by Wakako Takou

    Born in 1973. After working for a publishing company and an advertising production company, became a freelance writer. In addition to interviewing actors for weekly and monthly magazines, she writes drama columns for various media. His main publications include "All Important Things Are Taught by Morning Drama" (Ota Publishing), "KinKiKids: Owarinaki Michi" and "Hey!

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