Chris Salzberg

Writer/translator/web developer living in Tokyo, Japan. Between April 2007 and March 2009, I was the Japanese language editor for Global Voices. Follow me on Twitter or check out stuff I've done on github.

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Latest posts by Chris Salzberg

Japan’s IT Exodus: A Personal Perspective (Part 1)

  30 October 2011

37-year-old software architect Ryo Asai writes at his blog “Becoming a Master Programmer” about his reasons for leaving his previous job, a Japanese system integration company, to work at Amazon Japan. In explaining his reasons for the move, Asai provides a unique perspective on the underlying roots of Japan's failure to keep up in the new digital economy.

Japan: We're Losing to Apple, and Here's Why

  18 October 2011

Blogger Isseki Nagae considers the sorry state of the Japanese personal electronics industry in light of the recent success of Apple in Japan. Through the words of Steve Jobs, Nagae argues that Japanese manufacturers pay too much attention to the views of the average user rather than developing new ideas.

Japan: Tweeting from Fukushima

  19 March 2011

At Japan's Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Reactor in Fukushima Prefecture, a brave group of workers, dubbed the Fukushima 50, have been left to tame an escalating nuclear disaster. Japan Ground Self-Defence Force (SDF) official and Twitter user @kir_imperial - one of the people on the ground in Fukushima - has been tweeting about day-to-day events at the nuclear power plant.

Japan: Tell the World to Help

  15 March 2011

A simple search for pictures posted on Twitter can bring up amazing things. Search the characters “宮城” (Miyagi) and a handful of different pictures come up from the prefecture, one of the hardest-hit in Japan by the recent tsunami. Scroll down, and one picture stands out, a blob of brown and blue until you click it…

Japan: Tsunami Strikes Coast, Leaves Nothing in Wake

  11 March 2011

Following the country's largest earthquake in recorded history, Japan is being hit by it's most ferocious tsunami. People across the country are glued to their TV screens as scenes of a tsunami measuring more than 7 meters in height sweeping away cars and buildings flashes across the news.

Japan and the World Cup: Silencing the critics

  28 June 2010

Ranked near the bottom of the 32 teams on the field in South Africa, facing odds estimated at 400-to-1 and four straight pre-tournament losses to boot, Japan was not even expected to win a game in this year's World Cup. But with their convincing 3-1 win over Denmark, perceptions have completely changed, propelling coach Takashi Okada from the butt of all jokes to a national hero.

Japan: Monozukuri for the Modern Age

  30 May 2010

The Japanese counterpart of Make Magazine, an American quarterly magazine for DIY enthusiasts, organizes a regular event in Tokyo called Make Tokyo Meeting (MTM). The fifth MTM, held at the Tokyo Institute of Technology on May 22-23, was the largest yet, featuring everything from bicycle wheels with LED lights, to complex wooden ball machines, to mechanical robot birds. Check out reports on the event on blogs, Twitter and YouTube.

Japan: PacMan, still a hit after 30 years

  23 May 2010

When it was released in 1980, Pac-Man captured the world's attention and transformed the video game industry. Now Pac-Man is back to celebrate his 30th birthday, and he's popping up in unexpected places. In blogs and on Twitter, Japanese reflect on the game that launched their country to the forefront of the global video game industry.

Japan: For Haiti it may be too little, too late

  17 January 2010

In an odd twist of fate, the worst earthquake to hit Haiti in two hundred years has erupted within days of the 15th anniversary of Japan's worst earthquake since the second world war: the Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995. Given the timing of the catastrophe, one might have expected a strong Japanese presence in Haiti. To the frustration of many in Japan, the opposite was in fact the case.

Japan: Debating the fate of Shimokitazawa

  4 November 2009

Tokyo's neighborhood of Shimokitazawa is well-known for its complicated spaghetti-like web of shop-lined streets, train tracks and back alleyways, but that web may be in for a big change. Plans to redevelop the area to make way for a 26-meter wide thoroughfare had already aroused opposition among some of the area's fans, but a proposed new design scheme for the local train station has added fuel to the flames. Blogger Hideaki Matsunaga explains why.

Japan: On Twitter, nobody knows you're a bot

  12 March 2009

“On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.” -- The words of a well-known adage dating back to a New Yorker cartoon from 1993 capture the anonymity people generally expect from online communication. This week a new take on this adage hit the Japanese blogosphere when a blogger discovered that two of his closest friends on Twitter were actually bots designed as part of a programming contest.

Japan: To you who will graduate this year

  3 March 2009

Spring is fast approaching, and in Japan that means two things: the fall of cherry blossoms and the start of the new school year, which coincides with last year's graduates joining the workforce. One blogger and university professor posted a letter to a student which struck a drew a huge reaction among Japanese bloggers. The first line of the letter begins, "To you who will graduate this year"...

Japan: Why do Japanese work so hard?

  1 March 2009

Japanese blogger id:eliya, who is doing economics research abroad, writes that he is often asked by colleagues why Japanese work so hard [ja]. Referring to economics professor Masami Nomura's book, “Employment Instability” (雇用不安) [ja], he explains that Japanese work hard basically because the penalty for being fired from your job...

Japan: Bloggers on the Nakagawa affair

  27 February 2009

Over a week has passed since now-infamous footage of Japan's former finance minister Shōichi Nakagawa stumbling through a 20 minute speech at the G7 meeting in Rome made world headlines and hit the top of YouTube charts. In this post I feature a handful of responses to the speech by Japanese bloggers.

Japan: Municipal opposition to Street View

  14 February 2009

Demands by municipal assemblies and bar associations across Japan that Google revise [ja] or even halt altogether its new Street View service, rolled out in 12 Japanese cities late last summer to mixed reactions, have triggered renewed debate on issues of privacy and the limits of public space. The latest moves by municipal governments come on the heels of demands by a group of Japanese lawyers and professors, who petitioned Google in mid-December to retract its service.

Japan: Google Japan and PayPerPost

  13 February 2009

Motohiko Tokuriki at Tokuriki.com posts a long discussion [ja] of the recent PayPerPost incident at Google Japan. Tokuriki writes that while he does not agree with the PayPerPost approach, there is nonetheless a distinction to be made between the PayPerPost strategy in which funding is openly acknowledged, and the strategy...

Japan: Tokyo gov't invites Google to discuss Street View

  12 February 2009

Blogger Hiromitsu Takagi posts a transcript [ja] of a recent open meeting [ja] organized by the Tokyo metropolitan government about Google's Street View service, introduced in major Japanese cities last summer. Google was invited to the meeting and reportedly told that, in future cases, the company should give advance notification...

Japan: Message translation service brings heartbreak

  11 February 2009

Commenters at Japan's popular bulletin board service 2channel are responding to the story [ja] of a Japanese girl (ID tomochan) who, reportedly through the “enjoy JAPAN (KOREA) translation service” run by Korean search portal Naver, became close friends with a Korean guy. Naver plans to end the service on February...

Japan: Bloggers respond to new filtering measures

  4 February 2009

Over the past week, Japan's major mobile phone operators have commenced filtering web access on mobile phones contracted to minors (users under 18 years of age), following on legislation introduced in late 2007 and on developments over the last year toward the regulation of “harmful” content. Bloggers respond.

Japan: Looking back on 2008

  25 January 2009

The last year in Japan saw, among other things, an economic crisis, employment instability, and the beginnings of the collapse of journalism. While the year was already recapped here last month, we add to that recap the reflections of bloggers looking back over the year. Blogger Motohiko Tokuriki wrote about...

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