Ketai Shousetsu: Could I Have Your Ringtone?
turbotodd 100000388Y Comments (3) Visits (1896)
I've been to Japan a few times now. My first trip was in the summer of 1998, and my second the spring of 2000 (just before the Internet bubble popped).
One of the things I noticed while traveling around on the subway in Tokyo was the ubiquity of mobile phones. This was long before the pervasiveness of the flip phone or Blackberry in the U.S.
Culturally, this seemed to make a lot of sense. You could see that the Japanese were an extremely mobile society, particularly with their excellent train systems.
And Internet landline connections were, at that time, still prohibitively expensive.
So most Japanese users' connections to the Internet were via mobile handsets.
Hence, I was not surprised at all to read Duncan Riley's post this morning about a story that appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald.
In it, the Herald's Justin Norrie explains that half of this year's top sellers for fiction this year in Japan had been composed on the tiny handset of a mobile phone (selling an average of 400K copies).
(Hmmm. Methinks the keyboard on my ThinkPad simply isn't small enough. That's why I can't write the great American novel!)
All texting aside, I wasn't surprised to learn about this.
If you've seen anyone under the age of 25 using a mobile device, you know that texting is second nature to them, especially in Japan where you've got a generation that has grown up with these devices.
Me, I just wonder what these newfound mobile phone authors are going to autograph at book signings.
Perhaps said digerati literati could give away a unique author's ringtone?