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Posts tagged Japan

Eyeball-licking trend in Japan debunked by sharp-eyed reporter
August 31, 2013 | 9:38 pm

JapanWhen the Guardian posted a "news article" earlier this year headlined "Eyeball-licking: the fetish that is making Japanese teenagers sick," all hell broke loose. That's because the "story" was a hoax, and the Guardian, along with a number of news-gathering outlets, did not do the proper fact-checking that such stories warrant. But thanks to the Tokyo-based American journalist Mark Schreiber—he's been writing, reporting and translating in Japan since 1965—the fake story has been debunked, and the Guardian has since apologized and taken the article down. Case closed? Not really, because this kind of thing happens a lot in the digital age, where fact-checkers...

Japan Considering Copyright Extension; Canada Next?
July 16, 2013 | 10:25 am

copyrightFrom the inimitable Michael Geist comes this little tidbit that Japan is considering extending its standard copyright from Life-Plus-50 to Life-Plus-70. What makes this especially worrying is that Canada, one of the last Life-Plus-50 bastions, is, like Japan, considering participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and is facing pressure from TPP leader America to similarly extend copyright to 70 years. Chris Meadows earlier reported for TeleRead about a study that proves longer copyright terms don't actually keep works available and thus benefit their creators. I hope Canada (and Japan) don't cave to the pressure. I am all for creators benefiting from their work, but...

New children’s e-book program Nintendo’s first official foray into e-books, but far from first for the Game Boy
July 4, 2013 | 4:47 am

Happy Fourth, to those of our readership who observe it! Rocketnews has a comprehensive English-language report on some new Nintendo-related e-book news. Nintendo is launching an e-book program for its 3DS handhelds aimed at grade-school kids, with 300 Japanese children’s books available. Whereas Nintendo used to be the undisputed king of console and mobile gaming, and still does well in Japan, its numbers have been declining abroad as more and more kids turn to smartphones and tablets and the gaming possibilities they represent. Hence, it’s starting to explore new markets. On The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder mentions...

Try doing this with a Kindle, say Japan’s book stackers
June 7, 2013 | 12:38 pm

Japanese book stackersThat same Japanese craft-based sensibility that brought us origami and ikebana has obviously been at work again—in book stacking. Thanks to Rocket News 24, we can now gaze in wonderment at the awesome creativity and dexterity of bookstore shelf stackers in Japan, as they build book displays that would put their Western peers to shame. Despite the global importance of Sony devices and Rakuten’s Kobo as e-book readers, Japan’s e-book market has reportedly been slow to take off, and is still held back by hidebound publishing houses reluctant to face the same digital disruption that has upset their Western rivals. One upside of...

In Japan, an app that makes newspaper reading an interactive experience for kids
February 1, 2013 | 4:45 pm

A daily Japanese newspaper, the Tokyo Shimbun, has recently launched an app that allows children to scan specially-marked articles with their smartphone, which then reveals various kid-friendly content related to the article. An anime character, for instance, might pop up on a child's smartphone screen and explain the article in kid-friendly terms. Various graphics and pop-up headlines may also be revealed. The app, AR News, was developed by a Japanese firm known as Dentsu, which was contracted to create a solution that would make newspapers, and newspaper reading, more enjoyable to children. To use the app, a child simply has to find an...

New 3D-photographic scanner will capture 250 book pages per minute
November 19, 2012 | 9:45 pm

dnp1CNet has a report on a new book scanner (Japanese) from Dai Nippon Printing that takes and corrects three-dimensional images of book pages, allowing for them to be scanned at the amazing rate of 250 pages a minute, meaning that the average book could be captured in little more than two to three minutes tops. This is the result of the scanning development technology we covered in March of last year, created by University of Tokyo professors in the hope that it could be used for easy scanning and sharing of manga titles. (The manga studios were not amused.)...

Quick Links: Amazon in the news
November 8, 2012 | 10:15 pm

It’s an Amazon roundup! Here are some Amazon stories from the last few days that might not deserve full pieces by themselves, but are nonetheless interesting tidbits. Wired reports Amazon has released a firmware update for the Paperwhite that will allow readers to enlarge panes in manga novels—undoubtedly aimed mainly at the Japanese market, but potentially useful over here, too, for translated manga. And perhaps also for those single-issue DC comics, if DC decides to allow reading them on black and white devices after all. It also fixes some issues with novels that only filled half the screen, and improves handling...

Rakuten removes all Japanese customer reviews of Kobo Touch from its website
July 26, 2012 | 8:10 pm

Over at The Digital Reader, Nate Hoffelder has coverage of the Kobo Touch’s launch in Japan, which seems to have turned into something of a debacle. Bad reviews of the device were posted so prevalently to Rakuten’s website that it finally removed all reviews, both good and bad, from its site. Customers reported problems with buggy desktop software, lack of availability of Japanese titles, and unresponsive touchscreens. Nate writes: Folks, they took the reviews down from the website so new customers wouldn’t be warned about the many problems. I want you to look past the...

A war against Amazon in Japan
July 12, 2012 | 10:16 am

From an article by Robin Birtle in Publishing Perspectives: TOKYO: The keynote panel discussion at Tokyo’s E-Book Expo, as part of the Tokyo Book Fair last week, wasn’t expected to get the pulses racing despite the presence of Mikitani-san, whose company Rakuten has acquired Kobo, and Noma-san, the leader of the giant publisher Kodansha. We feared that the dot-com arriviste and the bastion of traditional Japanese publishing would do little more than exchange platitudes. Such an exchange would signal that the publishing establishment had pigeon holed Kobo alongside the much reviled Amazon and that the prospect for the whole industry getting out its...

Pottermore in Japan
July 5, 2012 | 8:29 am

Pottermore070512 From Shelf Awareness: The Pottermore Shop willlaunch in Japan later this summer, featuring Japanese-language e-book editions of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter novels published in ePub3 format. A Japanese version of the Pottermore Experience will debut at a date yet to be announced, according to the company.Pottermore CEO Charlie Redmayne said the Harry Potter books "have been phenomenally popular in Japan and we are delighted now to make the e-book version available in Japanese. We will also soon be making the free to use Experience available--which will offer Japanese Harry Potter fans the chance to explore and discover new writing by J.K. Rowling as...

Here’s the official Kobo announcement about their entry into the Japanese market
July 2, 2012 | 2:40 pm

Screen Shot 2012 07 02 at 2 38 21 PM From the press release: Kobo Inc., a global leader in eReading, today announced that it will launch its full eReading service in Japan on July 19. The company’s award-winning Kobo Touch™ eReader will be offered to Japanese consumers for ¥7,980 including tax (or $100 USD). Starting today July 2, the Kobo Touch eReader is now available for pre-order through Kobo’s parent company and the world’s third-largest e-commerce company, Rakuten. On July 19, Kobo will launch with a fully localized Japanese experience at, with local currency, and popular Japanese content and authors. Since its inception in December 2009, Kobo has experienced explosive growth...

Japan’s ebook market in 2012
July 2, 2012 | 7:52 am

Images From an article in Publishing Perspectives by Robin Birtle: In 2011, the only significant e-book revenue in Japan was derived from manga comics. To develop as a mainstream market, a significant push was, and still is, needed from one of the handful of industry players with real clout. One of those players, Rakuten, announced in November 2011 their intention to purchase Kobo. That Kobo will be able to launch a Japanese service on July 19th this year is a truly impressive feat of rapid execution. Pre-orders for the Kobo Touch commenced on Monday with a price set at ¥7,980 ($100), well under...