The Japanese Engine is, on pure speed, the fastest engine. However, his abilities tend to make him rash and less tactical than other engines. This means he is easily pushed into over-extending himself and crashing out of control.
In most productions, he races with Volta. In Broadway, he races in Heat 2 and the Uphill Final, but is knocked out. In the German production he races in Heat 1. However through the drama of the race in the German production, Caboose pushes Volta aside, and steals her place. The Japanese Engine continues the race with Caboose, but the brake truck fails to slow him down in time for a crucial turn just before the end of the race, causing him to crash spectacularly. In 2018, his partner was changed to Wrench. In Japan and Australia, he races with one of the Rockies in Heat 1 while his twin Nakamura races in Heat 2 with Volta. In this version, he races in both the final and the rerun, but is knocked out mid race in the rerun.
In the original production, the Japanese Engine was called "Hashamoto". The 1992 re-vamp changed the name to "Nintendo" in all English language productions, whereas in Germany he kept the original name "Hashamoto". In Japan and Australia, however, there were two Shinkansen engines - one called "Hashimoto" and the other was "Nakamura" (in 1987) or "Yamamoto" (in 1990).
In 2018, the Bochum production underwent significant revisions for the show's 30th anniversary. The Japanese Engine was re-branded "Manga", and given a predominantly silver colour scheme, with yellow highlights.
In John Napier's original designs, the Japanese engine is labelled as "Yoshimoto".
In London, all the Nationals wore similar costumes of coloured stripes and boxes painted with allusions to their real-world engines, but far from direct models. The feeling was of a set of toy engines Control has carefully painted to represent the different countries. Hashamoto was yellow and white stripes, with the Japanese flag on his chest and back.
The Broadway transfer saw a major overhaul in the Engine's costumes, with significantly more budget and the goal to make them bigger and more impressive. Hashamoto developed more of the aerodynamic curves of the Bullet Train. The Broadway costumes went on to be used for the US tour and Las Vegas productions. Once the show went to Germany and the Japan/Australia tours, he was re-coloured from yellow to blue.
When the 3D races were being filmed for the 2003 US Tour, the production company used old blue German costumes that could be broken down for the filming. This brought the US tour costumes in line with the German as the costumes onstage had to match the ones on film.
|1984 - 1985||Drue Williams|
|1985 - 1987||Eamon Geoghegan|
|1987 - 1988||Trevor Hodge / Gary Forbes|
|1988 - 1989||?|
|1989 - 1990||?|
|1990 - 1991||Masayoshi Hamana|
|1991 - 1992||Simon Harrison-Scott|
|1992 - 1994||Scott Pattison (as Nintendo)|
|1994 - 1995||Grant Anthony|
|1995 - 1997||Adam Floyd|
|1997 - 1998||Andrew Spillett|
|1998 - 1999||Richard Twyman|
|1999 - 2000||Adam Floyd|
|2000 - 2001||Leo Bidwell|
|2001 - 2002||Paul Ramsay|
|1987 (Temporary)||D Michael Heath|
|1987 - 1989||Ken Rose|
Japan / Australia Tours
|1987||Hashimoto||Mayo Kawasaki||Nakamura||Harold Yi|
|1990||Hashimoto||Hiroshi Watari||Yamamoto||Kenichiro Maeno|
|1988 - 1989||Ric Mount|
|1989 - 1990||John Little|
|1990 - 1991||Gary Forbes / Ramon Visser|
|1991 - 1992||Chris Lamontagne|
|1992 - 1993||Kirk Kuhn|
|1993 - 1996||Robert Jakeman|
|1996 - 1998||Kouta Otsuka|
|1998 - 1999||Joop Leiwakabessy|
|1999 - 2007||Tom Moneypenny|
|2007 - 2008||Eddie Dredge|
|2008 - 2010||Travis Hickey|
|2010 - 2012||Vladimir Hub|
|2012 - 2014||Nils Haberstroh|
|2014 - 2016||Elliot Collins|
|2016 - 2017||Dewayne Adams|
|2017 - 2018||Paddy Joe Martin|
|2018 - 2019||Gary Sheridan (as Manga)|
|2019 - 2020||Jamie Sidhom|
|2020 - 2021||Vladimir Hub (Cancelled due to Covid)|
|2021 - 2023||Vladimir Hub|
US Tour 1989 - 1991
|1989 - 1991||Glenn Shiroma|
Las Vegas 1993 - 1997
|1993 - 1994||Bob Lee Dysinger|
|1994 - 1995||Robert Dean|
|1995 - 1996||?|
|1996 - 1997||Juan Cantu|
|1997 - close||Richard D Barber|
US Tour 2003 - 2004
|2003 - 2004||Robert Roby / Angelo Rivera|
UK Tours 2004 - 2008
|2004 - 2005||Philippe Reynolds|
|2006 - 2007||Tim Driesen|
|2007 - 2008||Matt Krzan|
NZ Tour 2009
UK Tour 2012-2013
|2012 - 2013||Nick Bower|
|Asia 2013||Nick Bower|
While Control describes Hashamoto as one of the "champion engines of the world," bullet trains are technically Electric-Multiple Units (EMU's) , meaning they are powered by "self-propelled carriages" rather than a locomotive.
When the show opened in 1984, there were two models of Shinkansen that Hashamoto could have been designed after: the 0 series, capable of 140 mph, and the 200 series, which could reach speeds between 130 mph to 171 mph, depending on the built date.
"Hashamoto" is actually a misspelling of an actual Japanese surname. The Australia/Japan Tour changed it to the proper spelling "Hashimoto."
"Yamamoto" (the second Shinkansen from the 2nd Japan Tour) also uses a Japanese surname.