Hideoki™ was born in Suwa City, in the mountains of Nagano, in 1942. His family moved to Tokyo shortly thereafter, just as World War II was approaching its climax. One of his first memories is of being three years old, escaping the firebombing of Tokyo with his mother clenching his and his sister’s hands with his brother strapped to her back. Tokyo was burning with such ferocity that Hideoki™ remembers seeing the embers of corrugated metal landing in the river and thinking, “why is the river on fire?”
After the war, he was sent to Chiba to live with his Aunt and Uncle due to lack of food. One day the mountains would become his obsession, but at first the sea was his playground. In middle school, he would even swim across Tokyo Bay to Kanagawa and take buses back home. Despite studying extremely hard to get into his high school of choice, he failed the entrance exam by just one point and was rejected. Unable to reconcile the unfairness of the system, he decided that he and Japan just didn’t match. He still ended up going to the well-regarded Waseda High School, but couldn’t be bothered with school and spent all of his time in the mountains, climbing. He would sneak off to the mountains and climb peak after peak, even in winter time, sometimes leading teams of climbers many years his senior. He was so dedicated to his climbing that one day he came home to find a note taped to the door: “We moved, here’s the new address,” it said.