Latest posts by Chris Salzberg

Japan: The future of Toyota

  10 January 2009

Michi Kaifu at Tech Mom from Silicon Valley responds to news that Toyota “crown prince” Akio Toyoda is to take the company's president position in June this year. Reflecting on the future of the car maker and on rumors in the Japanese blogosphere, Kaifu writes, “if you still have some...

Japan: “What are you up to now?” has become a taboo question

  9 January 2009

The world recession has hit Japan just as it has hit other parts of the world, and many are worried about their future. In an entry that attracted a great deal of sympathy from readers, blogger koheko reflects on the impact of the slowdown on human relationships with friends and colleagues, to the point where the simple question, "What are you up to?" has become taboo.

Japan: J-CAST vs. newspapers

  6 January 2009

Blogger smashmedia points to [ja] Japanese business news site J-CAST‘s recent negative campaign against traditional media. The blogger posts links to a J-CAST interview [ja] with freelance journalist Tetsuya Kuroyabu [黒薮哲哉], who explains that more than 20% of newspapers (so-called “oshigami”) are actually undelivered, concealing a lower-than-expected readership; the blogger...

Japan: The end of PingMag?

  6 January 2009

PingMag, the Tokyo-based magazine about “Design and Making Things”, has announced that it will be “taking an extended hiatus, and will not be updated for the foreseeable future.” Over 300 comments from fans of the site have poured in, many describing people's sadness at seeing the end of a unique...

Japan: Who is running 2-Channel?

  2 January 2009

Who runs Japan's largest bulletin board, 2-Channel [2ch]? This is the question being debated on 2channel threads today [ja], with rumors that the board's enigmatic founder Hiroyuki Nishimura has transferred ownership to a company, PACKET MONSTER INC., apparently based in Singapore. “The beginning of the end,” one commenter writes. Many...

Japan: The year in Japanese blogs

  24 December 2008

What were bloggers writing about this year in the Japanese blogosphere? The year in Japanese blogs at Global Voices included posts on everything from an American Enka singer making waves in Japan, to debates on the regulation of “harmful” Internet content, to the Olympic torch relay in Nagano.

Japan: Crisis in primary news reporting

  8 December 2008

The shifting landscape of news media in Japan has triggered its fair share of debate recently, with many criticizing the mainstream press for major slip-ups and what some perceive as an attitude problem. On August 4th in a popular entry at Hatena's AnonymousDiary, one blogger picked up the theme of the crisis of primary news reporting in Japan, recounting the story of a friend who works as a fledgling reporter at a major local newspaper.

Japan: How to learn a foreign language

  8 December 2008

Britty at Brittys Wake gives suggestions to Japanese about how to learn a foreign language [ja]. “There are two things that are absolutely necessary if you want to learn a foreign language. The first is time, and the second is skill in using your native language.” On the need for...

Japan: Bloggers’ Meeting on Dec. 18th

  7 December 2008

Agile Media Network announces [ja] a bloggers meeting on December 18th starting from 19.30 at the Nomura Research Institute [ja]. The event is free and in Japanese. More info in Japanese here. [ja]

Japan: Hatena Bottle a spam trap?

  7 December 2008

In a post entitled, “I realized for the first time yesterday that Hatena is doomed” [昨日初めて「”はてな”はダメだ」と思った], blogger id:grgr56 explains how they tried out the new service “Hatena Bottle” yesterday [ja] and concluded: “Hatena Bottle is a spam trap”: “I noticed [after registering] that mails started coming. […] If you go...

Japan: Ikeda on the Fall of Japanese

  5 December 2008

Minae Mizumura‘s The Fall of the Japanese Language in the Age of English, which sparked debate recently in Japan on the future of the country's national language, is the subject of a blog post [ja] by Nobuo Ikeda. Ikeda writes that his wife had bought the book and described it...

Japan: Fukuoka Bar Association requests halt to Street View

  4 December 2008

Matimulog reports on news that the Fukuoka Bar Association has made a declaration requesting that Google halt its Street View service [ja], launched in August of this year in Japan to mixed reviews, due to its violation of the right to privacy. The blogger writes: “I can't help but wonder:...

Japan: Falling Land Prices

  23 November 2008

The GLOCOM blog reports that land prices are falling across Japan, even in prime locations such as Otemachi and Ginza (Tokyo). The trend resembles the beginning of country's so-called “lost decade” in the early 1990s.

Japan: Suginami Ward proposes removal of Street View images

  23 November 2008

Following on a request by the Machida city council for regulation of Google's Street View service, recently introduced in Japan, Asiajin reports that the ward of Suginami in central Tokyo has advised its residents on how to submit [ja] takedown requests to Google. An article at Asahi reports that Suginami...

Japan: The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya

  3 November 2008

In a post entitled “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya”, Yasai-DX2 posts a picture of three guys [ja] dressed up as Japanese anime character Haruhi Suzumiya. “Well, they have nice legs, no?” one commenter responds.

Japan: Chrétien, Aso, ALF

  2 November 2008

mamachari at niwahacker.com remarks on the resemblance between Japanese Prime Minister Taro Aso, former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, and sitcom character ALF.

Japan: Thoughts on Itochu trading scam

  31 October 2008

On October 10th, Itochu Corporation announced that it had paid close to one hundred billion yen in false transactions valued at nearly 100 billion yen to Mongolian suppliers for construction machinery and materials. One blogger and chartered accountant offers their thoughts on what happened inside Itochu.

Japan: Response to Obama “Put down the Wii Remote” Ad

  31 October 2008

Comments from Japanese net users respond [ja] to an ad by U.S. presidential nominee Obama in which viewers are told to “put down the remote and go vote“. “Why Wii?” one asks. Another writes: “Anti-Japan policies before even becoming president?” And one person wonders: “Does Obama despise Japan?”

Japan: Spam mail from a chimpanzee

  31 October 2008

id:crystaline reports [ja] that she discovered a spam mail with the title: “It might seem unbelievable, but I am a chimpanzee”. The ‘chimp’ explains: “At first, I thought I was a human. Like the other humans around me. However, I acquired knowledge, and realized that I was different. And I...

Japan: Why is Halloween not popular in Japan?

  30 October 2008

id:nakakzs writes about the lack of interest in Halloween among Japanese people [ja] compared to other imported holidays such as Christmas and Valentine's Day, noting that many people only know that Halloween takes place “sometime in autumn”. id:nakakzs traces the lack of popularity to a number of factors: bad timing...

Japan: Refunds from Saizeriya

  29 October 2008

News that Saizeriya [ja], a Japanese restaurant chain offering low-cost Italian food, is offering refunds for people who ate pizza with melamine-tainted dough — without asking for receipts — has sparked some people who never ate any of the tainted dough to take up the restaurant's offer anyway [ja]. At...