Find Satoshi

A Six Degrees of Separation puzzle. Is it possible to locate a man given only his photograph and first name?

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Is it possible to locate a man given only his photograph and first name? The answer is YES!

In 2006, UK-based game company Mind Candy tested the theory of six degrees of separation as part of an Alternate Reality Game (ARG). They gave us a photograph of a man, a name, and the Japanese characters that translate to “Find me”.

In 2020, thanks to the power of community, that person has been found!

Thank you everyone who helped participate in the quest to find Satoshi!


On July 31, 2006, an alternate reality game (ARG) called Perplex City released foil packs of puzzle cards ranging in difficulty from easy (“red”) to impossible (“silver”). Players could solve the cards and enter solutions into the website, to appear on a leaderboard. The game ended in 2008, and the website is now defunct.

Puzzle #256 was a silver card titled “Billion to One”. It features a man’s photograph and the Japanese characters 私を 見つけなさい (watashi o mitsuke nasai, “find me”). A Perplex City hint line gave the clue, “My name is Satoshi.”

Perplex City players identified the background of the photo as being in Kaysersberg, Alsace, France. (View the exact location on Google Streetview here.)

The website was started in November 2006 by Laura E. Hall as a way to consolidate information about the search for Satoshi for quick sharing. (There were also several other sites by enthusiastic community members, as we all were eager to solve this puzzle!)

Laura was coincidentally near Kaysersberg in December 2007 for a work trip and was able to visit the town, standing on the same spot that Satoshi stood on for his selfie.

Mind Candy confirmed additional information about the hunt:

  • First, Satoshi had willingly agreed to participate in the game.
  • Second, he had to be contacted directly. If he saw the site, he wouldn’t reach out.
  • Third, he had been told a password, which he would reveal to whoever contacted him.

How Satoshi Was Found

Over the years, Laura received many emails and tips about Satoshi’s identity, but none resulted in a connection. The trail was cold, with occasional surges of interest when people found the site for the first time and shared it.

In 2018, Asher Isbrucker created a podcast about the project, interviewing Laura and Mind Candy co-founder Adrian Hon.

In February 2020, the YouTube channel Inside A Mind did a video about the project, generating a lot of community interest in the project, including the revival of the Reddit forum and a Discord.

In December 2020, Reddit user th0may used a reverse image search and discovered a photograph of a man holding a beer.

Further searching revealed more photographs of this man.

His freckles match up exactly! But we still had to get in touch with him directly—remember, he wouldn’t contact us, even if he saw the site.

His email was on his company website, so with the help of a friend in Japan, Laura composed an email in English and Japanese. And a day later, she received a reply confirming that this was indeed “our” Satoshi! (She has asked permission to share the text of the email, and will post here if it is granted.)

The creator of the puzzle, a former employer of Mind Candy, then confirmed that it was correct.

14 years after the hunt began, Satoshi has been found!