“Circle” and “Cross”: Two Japanse web services using Japanse style expression

Newsing is a social bookmark service similar to Digg. The big difference is a coloured circle beside the bookmarked news title. It’s a graphed circle with red and gray and “circle” means thumbs up and “cross” means thumbs down.

newsing.jp

Users can express their attitude to the bookmarked news by clicking either a red circle or a gray cross. You might not familiar with this expression but it is quite general and familiar in Japan.

In western countries “check” is a sign for correct. But in Japan “check” usually used as a sign for wrong.

The sign for correct is “circle( Maru in Japanese)” and the sing for wrong is “check” or “cross( Batsu in Japanese)”.

You can see how it’ s used in Japan by watching a famous quiz TV program during 80’s in Japan. It was kind of a reality show. Thousands of people joined to the quiz contest to travel from Tokyo, Japan to New York, U.S.A.. By answering correct answers certain numbers of participants could survive to travel further. First, 100 people can go out from the main stadium to Narita Tokyo international airport. And finally only three people survive to reach New York and fight final quiz battle to be a champion of quiz.

Trans America Ultra Quiz: YouTube

Well “circle” is a shape that means a lot in Japan.
If you make a circle with your thumb and forefinger that means “money”; representing a coin. And the circle is of course even used in a national flag.

You can find “circle” and “cross” also in buttons of playstation controller. “Cirle” is normally used to accept the commnad and”Cross” is used to cancel the command for typical Japanese games.

Kotonoha is a unique service collecting comments to the questions posted by users.

Kotonoha

Various type of questions are posted by users from silly one to the serious one. You can see how people react to each questions by reading the comments posted for “Circle” or “Cross” of that question.

So how was your day today? Maru or Batsu?

Published by

Hiroumi Mitani

Working for Rakuten, Inc. in Japan as a senior producer of international developement office.