It has been revealed that the former managing director for Sega Japan, Hidekazu Yukawa died in June 2021, but the news was kept private until today. The man dubbed ‘Mr Sega’ reportedly passed away from pneumonia last year, with family and friends not willing to disclose the information until the time was right.
During Hidekazu Yukawa’s time with Sega, the man became a sort of celebrity in his home country. He appeared in several television commercials that aimed at promoting the release of the highly anticipated Dreamcast (remember that?), with the commercials becoming a massive hit in Japan. And not only that, but the man’s face also appeared on the console’s box – now, if that isn’t fame then what else is?
These commercials might not be known to many people in the West, so let us attempt to explain their kookiness. The whole campaign aimed to poke fun at the struggles Sega had when competing with Sony; the first video saw Hidekazu Yukawa crushed when he overhears a group of kids talking about how “lame” Sega is, Yukawa then walks away, but not long after he is beating up in an alley – when it rains it pours.
The commercials became a little bit more light-hearted and involved Yukawa going door to door trying to sell Dreamcasts. Imagine that the director of the company knocking on every door attempting to sell consoles. You can watch all the videos that Yukawa appeared in below.
But it wasn’t just commercials that ‘Mr Sega’ appeared in, no, because Yukawa also lent his face to a demo disc called What’s Shenmue? That was given away to fans for free when they bought Shenmue, and he also appeared in a DLC for Sonic Adventure too. The news of Yukawa’s passing is sad and fans all around the world have taken to social media to pay their respects to the cult figure, one who was responsible for a much-beloved console and collection of games