In his latest column for Famitsu magazine, Kirby and Super Smash Bros. creator Masahiro Sakurai recalls the funeral of his colleague, recently deceased Nintendo President and CEO Satoru Iwata. “Normally at a place like this, one’s eyes go to the photo [of the deceased],” writes Sakurai. “The smiling face of Mr. Iwata surrounded by flowers was a very nice picture.” However, Sakurai, who was reserved a guest seat at the funeral, couldn’t keep his eyes from the casket.
“Inside there was the still body of Mr. Iwata. He was probably dressed in traditional white funeral garb, his glasses removed, and his nose stuffed [with cotton]. And today, his body was going to be burned and reduced to nothing. Mr. Iwata would no longer exist in this world…Many people, especially those close to him, spoke of how the realization that they would never be able to see Mr. Iwata again just hadn’t sunk in. I feel the same way.”
— Masahiro Sakurai
While most visitors to the funeral left after offering incense, Sakurai remained.
“As this was the last time I would be with Mr. Iwata, I wanted to remain there as long as I could,” he recalls. He will not, however, stand to let Iwata’s passing deter him from continuing his work with Nintendo:
“In a previous column, I wrote that when someone passes on, for those around them, it’s simply as though a character has been removed from their story, but for the deceased, the entire world has gone away. However, even for other people, Mr. Iwata’s presence was too great to simply call him a character in the story of life.
“Mr. Iwata’s world is gone, leaving a massive impression on those around him. Yet, even so, our world continues.
“I will not mourn or fall into depression. I will continue to do my work as best as I can. All I can offer is that I complete that which I have to do.”