Veteran games writer Andy Robinson, who before resuming a career in journalism spent a few years at Yooka-Laylee developer Playtonic, has a very cool story about how Banjo-Kazooie got its name.
While touring Japan recently, Robinson learned that former Nintendo president Hiroshi Yamauchi, who died in 2013, has a son called Katsuhito Yamauchi, whose name is more commonly shortened to just “Katsuhi”. And he has a grandson called Banjo Yamauchi.
Put them together and Banjo-Katsuhi very quickly becomes Banjo Kazooie. This has since been partially confirmed by Banjo’s creator Greg Mayles:
The Banjo part is true, not so sure about the Kazooie one though!
— Gregg Mayles (@Ghoulyboy) March 10, 2019
And Banjo composer Grant Kirkhope:
It’s true!!!! https://t.co/UEq8xwzn4L
— Grant Kirkhope (@grantkirkhope) February 5, 2020
As VGC note in their story, both Katsuhito and Banjo became two of Nintendo’s biggest shareholders through inheritance after Yamauichi’s death.