Asiajin Seoul meet up on October 16th

We proudly announce that the first Asiajin meetup in Seoul will be held on 16th, October (Saturday). Asiajin co-founder, Shunichi Arai, will visit the city and talk about the situation of the Japanese web and startup industry.

This will be a great opportunity to meet new friends, and learn about the differences between Korean and Japanese web market.

Feel free to join us. Everyone is very welcomed.

Please register from this Eventbrite page.

* Date: 2010 October 16th (Saturday)
* Time: 16:00-18:00 (including Q&A session and networking)
* Topic: Current situation of Japanese web and startup industry.
* Language: English
* Fee: 10,000won
* Place: Mindoole yongto, Shinchon branch (민들레영토 신촌점)

Report: Asiajin Meeting #1 (part two)

Asiajin Meeting Tokyo #1 signboard

This is the second part of our coverage of the Asiajin meeting #1 which took part this Tuesday.


Presentation No. 4

“The 4th presenter abused the meeting by violating its regulation of not speaking in one’s mother tongue against agreement. Thus we do not cover the presentation. You may find the information somewhere else. (Akky AKIMOTO)”

Presentation No. 5
(“Ememo – not a web application but an email application”)

Daisuke Furukawa -who is a freelance web developer- spoke about a product he developed by himself called ememo. Ememo is basically an electronic account book, mainly for private use. Daisuke coded the application for use with mobile phones in particular.

Here is how it works:

Users just write a mail to stating what they bought by how much. Ememo automatically lists all items, calculates the prices and also shows the amount of money you spent in a given time frame! The interface is that simple.

It’s free and very easy to use, so please check ememo out. If you would like to cancel the service, you can do so by mailing the word “UNDO” to the address above.


Ememo was launched in October last year. You can access the slides of Daisuke’s presentation here.

Presentation No. 6
(“How to live like Japanese in ?”)

“Yoski” Yosuke Akamatsu’s performance made the audience laugh constantly. Yoski is a president of sidefeed, a “feed” technologies provider (seven of sidefeed’s 14 services are available also in English. One of those services is ranked in 24th [J] by traffic in Japan.), but his talk was nothing about his company this time.


In his ironic presentation (which he didn’t hold on his company’s behalf), Yoski pointed out some of the various cultural differences he came across when thinking about Japan’s popular and geeky social portal service Hatena.

According to Yoski, Hatena hosts a lot of particularly enthusiastic users. In his view, Hatena is more “Web 2.0”-like than Yahoo! Japan or 2ch, the wildly popular BBS. He went on explaining Japanese terms like “ota”, “wabi” or “moe” and how they can be linked to this country’s unique Internet culture.

You had to be there to understand Yoski’s jokes!

Presentation No. 7
(“Differences between Japanese and American web communities”)

“Kensuu” (who has the cool title of “HeadPresident and Manager of 3rd creative division”, rocketstart) delivered another presentation focusing on cultural issues. He talked about differences in user behavior when participating in web communities in particular. He has been a community expert who managed popular forum services for youth. He recently published a Japanese book “Web community de ichiban taisetsu na koto”(“The most important thing on Web community”).

Kensuu’s two key points were:

Japanese people generally love to stay totally anonymous on the web. For example, the majority of 2ch users are registered by the name of “nanashisan” (名無しさん) which means “nameless”.
Japanese users do not “join” a web community but “mix” with it. According to Kensuu, this difference -which may seem purely semantic at first- reflects a unique characteristic of this country’s Internet culture.

The Japanese see members in online communities as a cohesive unit which they can blend into and become a part of. On the contrary, Western users tend to keep and stress their own identity and individuality in such a case.

Kensuu also said Japanese people like to “read” and enjoy the overall atmosphere in web communities, explaining why names are not important to them.

The aftermath

Amazingly, almost all participants of Asiajin Meeting #1 went to the following Nijikai (a kind of post-event get-together Japanese style). This was a pleasant surprise and a first for me to see!

Thank you very much to all the presenters, guests, viewers and Andrew Shuttleworth for his great job with the livecast.

Be sure to join us for Asiajin Meeting Tokyo #2 (coming soon)!

Report: Asiajin Meeting #1 (part one)

The Asiajin Meeting #1 took place this Tuesday in Akasaka/Tokyo. Courtesy of Cybozu Labs, the event was free of charge.

Asiajin Meeting Tokyo #1 signboard

About 30 people participated while the number of people viewing the live broadcasting (done by Andrew Shuttleworth) peaked at 25. We will see to it that we announce the livecast earlier next time, especially for our readers from outside Japan. Also we apologize we had to turn down a lot of Asiajin readers interested in joining due to limited capacity.

A total of seven entrepreneurs, journalists and engineers held presentations. One person cancelled because of illness. All of the Japanese presenters spoke in English sharing the meeting’s underlying concept of intercultural communication.




We at Asiajin think they all did amazingly well so we can say the Asiajin Meeting #1 was a great success!

Part one of this report focuses on the first three presentations:

Presentation No. 1
(“Who will be the target consumers in the Japanese mobile content market?”)

The presenter would like to stay anonymous. She spoke about mobile content services in Japan, user demographics and how consumers in this country prefer the mobile phone over the PC. The presentation was very interesting but is unfortunately off-the-record.

Presentation No. 2
(“Natalie – English version”)

Masahiko Tachizono, director at Natasha,Inc., attended to introduce his company’s Natalie service. Essentially, “Natalie” is a J-Pop news service. Masahiko said between 20 to 30 fresh articles from the J-Pop world are put online everyday.

Readers are able to customize the service so that they view news items suitable to their tastes.

Natalie also connects with Twitter (which is very popular in Japan). When a user twitters a comment on a Natalie news article, the service retrieves the message and adds it as a comment on the web site if it includes the corresponding URL. Natalie offers a similar solution with the Japanese social bookmarking platform Hatena. I think this is a very clever idea!

There is also a mobile version available. Moreover, Natalie offers a widget for bloggers. A Facebook application and even an optimized version for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch are also planned.

After his presentation, Masahiko told me the English version of Natalie for J-Pop fans outside Japan will be available soon.

Presentation No. 3
(“Project 1,000 speakers”)

amachang, a well respected JavaScript specialist working for Cybozu Labs spoke about a private project of his, named 1,000 speakers (Ustream channel). I agree with his statement that a lot of (not all) Japanese IT professionals are too shy and modest to present themselves to other people if they can’t remain anonymous.

This observation was amachang’s main motivation to hold a monthly conference which he labelled “1,000 speakers”. His aim is to have 1,000 people present their work and discuss openly until the project is finished. This is a really great idea!

amachang said speaking publicly helps young developers in particular to raise awareness of their work and improve their visibility in Japan’s huge IT community.
Please read the second part of the Asiajin Meeting #1 report for coverage of the remaining presentations and a conclusion.

Asiajin Meeting Tokyo #1 tonight

victory shake

We have sent e-mail to people who had applied for the first Asiajin Meeting Tokyo at Cybozu Labs, Tameike-San’nou, Minatoku. Please check your e-mail for the event detail. If you need to salvage your spam folder, our sender domain of the mail is, as you might guess, “”.

We are sorry for people to whom we are unabled to secure seats. Please wait event reports from participants. We hope this first one goes well then we will hold another meeting soon.

photo by Zach Taylor. CreativeCommons Attribution License

Asiajin Meeting Tokyo #1 on 26th(Tue), Feb.

We are going to hold our first readers’ meeting on 2/26 (Tue) night.

Asiajin Meeting Tokyo

The meeting will include 5-6 English presentations about 1. popular net services in Japan, or 2. their project/product. Those presentation will be in English by Japanese web entrepreneurs/developers, all of whom heavily use Japanese net services everyday at their office and home.

As it is “Asiajin” meeting, we are aiming at networking under inter-cultural/inter-language atomosphere by this meeting. We are expecting 10-15 non-Japanese Asiajin readers as audience.

At this point, we are asking presentation to several interesting persons, such like a successful blog service director, a huge student BBS founder, serial mashup-sites creator, etc.

Also, non-native-Japanese-speakers’ Japanese presentation are welcome. If no slots are open we will be able to have yours at the 2nd meeting. If you are a perfect J/E bilingual or super linguist, you are supposed to help our meeting as a bilingual presentation mentor 🙂

Who should attend?

We are expecting foreighners in Tokyo who are interested in Web/IT and Japanese/English communication. For some presenters, this might be the first time English presentation in their lives. We expect your kind help to improve their English presentation skills and welcome practicing your Japanese in the discussion, too.


5-6 speakers make presentations
Niji-kai in Akasaka with interested attendees


Cybozu Labs meeting room
2007-02-26(Tuesday) 19:00 start
Akasaka Twin Tower East 15F, 2-17-22 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo map

Power and WiFi are available for guest. The meeting room is kindly sponsered by Cybozu Labs so there is no fee required.

Please secure your seat by submitting following form.

Thank you for your interests. Application was closed

supplemental info for Japanese readers

* 基本的に聞き手には東京在住の外国人を募集しています。日本語が第一言語の方は英語でのプレゼンテーション必須です(他人作の日本語のサービス紹介等でも可。5分以上目安)。予定されるプレゼンテーションのテーマをコメントに書いてください。話者多数の場合は2回目にお願いする可能性があります。