One domain, Two blogs

I am integrating my English blog and Japanese blog under single domain:
From now on, all my English posts will appear on
(but not under my old English blog: "nobilog returns")

This has become all possible thanks to "a-blog cms", a contents managing system developed by Appleple, a Japanese company based in Nagoya.

Not yet localized for the English market, their CMS provide very unique and interesting way of composing an article which I will write in detail sometime other day.

投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2010年02月20日 | Permalink

Apple tops PC,DMP and mobile phone customer satisfaction in Japan

Apple tops in customer satisfaction ranking in Japan

Gfk marketing service has released the result of the  research in customer satisfaction.

Gfk marketing service Japan Ltd.'s annual customer satisfaction index came out today, and in the PC and music player and most importantly in the phone categories Apple came out on top.

The survey run between Jan. 2008 and December 2008. The score are based on four elements: customer satisfaction immediately after the purchase, design, ease of use and price performance.

Here are the results, the number within () is the name of the manufacturer and the score out of 100:

  • Digital Music Player
    1.  iPod shuffle 2GB 2008 (Apple /71.7)
    2.  iPod touch 32GB2008 (Apple /70.9)
    3.  iPod touch 32GB/Apple (Apple/ 70.2)
    4. NW-S736F (SONY /69.3)
    5. iPod nano 8GB2008 (Apple /68.7)   
  • Desktop PCs 
    1.  iMac MB323J/A (Apple /81.1) 
    2. iMac MB324J/A (Apple / 78.3) 
    3. PC-VN750RG6 (NEC / 70.8) 
    4. FMVFA50 (Fujitsu / 65.5) 
    5. FMVCEA509 (Fujitsu / 64.9) 
  • Note PCs 
    1.  MacBook Air MB003J/A (Apple / 82.0) 
    2.  MacBook MB403J/A (Apple / 74.9)
    3. PATX66GLP (Toshiba / 67.6) 
    4. FMVNFB70 (Fujitsu / 67.1) 
    5. PC-LL750MG (NEC / 66.0) 
  • mobile phones 
    1.  iPhone 3G 16GB (Apple / 73.7) 
    2. SO906I (Sony Ericsson / 66.6) 
    3. W61CA (CASIO /65.2) 
    4. W61SH (SHARP / 64.3) 
    5. 923SH (SHARP / 63.3) 
  • Digital Compact Camera 
    1.  DSC-W300 (SONY / 73.6) 
    2. IXY DIGITAL 20 IS (CANON / 70.7) 
    3. DSC-T300 (SONY / 69.7) 
    4. DSC-T700 (SONY / 69.2) 
    5. μ1020 (Olympus / 69.1) 
  • Digital SLR Camera  
    1.  D90 (Nikon / 77.9) 
    2. E-520 (Olympus / 76.1) 
    3. DSLR-A200 (SONY / 73.0) 
    4.   D60 (Nikon / 68.6)
    5. EOS KISS X2 (CANON / 68.5) 
  • GfK Marketing Services Japan / transcribed for web by 'nobilog returns'

投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2009年06月02日 | Permalink

"LIGHT-LIGHT": a MUST-SEE exhibition in Tokyo


If you like modern art and if you are in Tokyo this week, you are VERY LUCKY.

CURIOSITY is having an exhibition called "LIGHT-LIGHT" at Louis Vuitton OMOTESANDO in Aoyama.
It is just one installation but it is one of the most talked about installation of Milano Salone last year.
It is a beautiful art of light and air. You would see about 80 lighted ping-pong ball float and dance.
Beside the main installation, you would find "LIGHT-FOOD"; a version of "LIGHT-LIGHT" made by melange ball, you can eat.
The exhibition will go on until April 5th.

Another MUST-SEE (or MUST-ATTEND) is "Roppongi Art Night" which will take place all over Roppongi this weekend.
You would see a giant robot by Kenji Yanobe as well as a art project called "ART CUBE" lead by Katsuhiko Hibino. See the official site for detail but this is one art event, you CAN'T MISS.

If you are interested in art for sale, there will be two art market event in early April.
One, of course, is the "ART FAIR TOKYO" which will take place at TOKYO INTERNATIONAL FORUM in Yurakucho.
And the other, "101 Tokyo" will take place in Akihabara.

If you are new to Tokyo and looking for more art event, Tokyo Art Beat is the web site you should bookmark on your browser; there also is New York Art Beat run by the same people.

If you are unluckily out of Tokyo this week, you may still have the luck to visit The Miyagi Museum of Art where you would see a beautiful installation called "Factory and Fantasy" by WOW; it'll be exhibited there by Sunday, March 29th.

投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2009年03月24日 | Permalink

Appliya does hardware, too


 "iPhone AppStore is not an easy business." said Hareo Shiiya, the CEO of Appliya, a Tokyo-based iPhone app publisher who dressed as one of the characters from popular Sci-Fi anime "Evangelion."
 "Sometime, the application you devoted yourself into can be easily ruined by the rivals or copy-cats.".

 APPLIYA made a Japanese sword application called "Katana" last fall. Before that there was a light savor app., so they thought it will get approved easily. Wrong. They had to wait five months before the app get approved. And after it was finally released, another Japanese sword application called "iKatana" was also released. Because the latter was free, it almost destroyed the sales of APPLIYA's application.

 But Hareo said, he knew this would happen looking at how other iPhone app developers are doing. And the solution he came up with was using copyrighted characters and contents. Because they are copyrighted, people can't just copy them; if they just copy the idea, it would only be half the value of what it is. Plus, if the buyer value that character/contents, they wouldn't mind paying the premium.

 In my previous post, I wrote about a series of 'Evangelion' apps but that was the thought behind how Appliya came to produce them.

 After my article, there was an official press announcement event on March 4 deep in the heart of Akihabara, in a eight-story building full of Otaku stuff. And even though it was an announcement of a few $1-$2 applications, about two dozen press from IT publications, game publications and anime publications showed up to cover the event.


 Yohei Takada, the producer and Taisuke Odajima, the director of APPLIYA said iPhone is a "嗜好品  (Shiko-hin)" and so are the iPhone apps.
 "Shiko-hin" in Japanese means some non-essential staff that shows someone's taste.
 Some collectible items or tobacco are a good example of "shiko-hin" although non-essential, those who love tobacco shows distinctive taste and shows strong attachment to certain brands; sometime, it is to show that "I am a manly Marbolo type guy" or some would go deeper into explaining the different flavors.

 Anyway, because Appliya think both iPhone and iPhone apps are "Shiko-hin", they made it as collectible items.
 They have already release three apps I mentioned before:

  1. Evangelion vol.1 cut out

  2. Evangelion vol.2 Clock

  3. Evangelion vol.3 Picture Stamp  

 But there soon will be two more apps, one is to make your own customizable Evangelion  calendar which can also be used as your iPhone wall-paper.

 Another one if a Evangelion 16 puzzle which if you solved will give you a new official  Evangelion iPhone wallpaper.

 Because they unified the look of each application, if you are Evangelion fan and buy one of the apps, you would want to collect all five of them.


I don't know if I would do it, but as a big Lost fan, I understand that if abc would make a Lost application with the official characters, I might collect them ;-)



BTW. at the moment, Appliya doesn't have any free versions of the apps, but along with the five iPhone apps, Appliya has silently announced a new 'free' hardware and I was more impressed with that.

 The iPhone stand is made of paper and if you access the web site of Appliya and download a PDF, you can make one for yourself, too.

 French-Japanese Appliya director, Taisuke Odajima believes to enjoy the Evangelion clock app and calendar app, you would need an iPhone stand. But asking people to buy a stand just for their apps would be asking too much. So he asked his wife to make an iPhone stand using Japanese tradition of Origami.
 For those of you not as Origami expert as Taisuke's wife, Appliya is sharing a PDF file with instructions over here:

You can also watch the video I shot on YouTube:

投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2009年03月04日 | Permalink

iPhone developer momentum also strong in Japan


Last week, there were two parties related to iPhone packed full with  Japanese iPhone developers. 
 The one on Friday took place at the corporate headquarter of APPLIYA.

 APPLIYA is a very interesting company. They aim to become an iPhone software publisher; they don't have any internal engineers. They find interesting iPhone engineers and produce interesting iPhone apps.
 Most of the software made by a single engineer (or small group of engineer) can be interesting but very rough cut application and may not have good graphics, etc.
 APPLIYA tries to match the engineering with right kind of contents such as manga, anime or more traditional Japanese contents such as Ukiyoe, and produce more convincing apps.

 As such,  the party at APPLIYA drew about 50 to 60 people, most of whom are iPhone software developers interested in working for APPLIYA and about 30% were media and blogger including the world-famousdanny choo.

 You can find the list of their apps by searching their name: "APPLIYA."
 But right now, there focus is to sell series of Evangelion (a Japanese anime) apps for die hard Evangelion fans:

  1. Evangelion vol.1 cut out

  2. Evangelion vol.2 Clock

  3. Evangelion vol.3 Picture Stamp 

 No.1 and 3 are basically camera app which will add Evangelion elements to the taken photo.

 The party on Saturday was a big one, over 100 developers, media and those interested in iPhone business gathered in a loft in Mita. The event started as the reunion of January event held at Six Apart, San Francisco.
 The party was organized by Conit, the developer of Melody Bell
and Samurai Chess.
 All the presenters did their Japanese version of presentation. 
 And at the near end of the party, there was a lightning talk session.
 Here are some of the highlights:


Geppetto introduced iNinja, a real Japanese Ninja action game. The guy said that there is a whole collection of ninja app on App Store but few are real Japanese ;-) 

Kazutoshi Otani, a well-known Mac advocate based in Osaka presented the equipments he use to take photographs with his iPhone. He plans to have an iPhone based photo exhibition soon. 

Takayuki Fukatsu, is one of my favorite developer, he is the guy who developed the guy famous for making LiquidPics. He is also very vocal iPhone developer and runs a network of iPhone developers on twitter. He showed the upcoming sequel (or maybe the update) to his popular camera app Quad Camera

Pankaku, Inc. was the last to present. He is the author of  LightBike, one of the few Japan made app which reached the no.1 in U.S. AppStore.
He said he is pretty lucky and it wasn't something he had expected. He just worked hard on the app trying to refine it even after the release. And suddenly they were at the top. 

 On the party floor, there were a few dozen developers who didn't take the stage but were showing around interesting stuffs which assured that the developer momentum is also very strong in Japan although most of them now realize the Japanese iPhone market alone would not be a good business; for the successful ones, the U.S. AppStore sales can be 2-3 times bigger than that of Japanese. 

 Because many developers in Japan are desperate for information from the other developers as well as for partners who can help, I think this kind of developer activities will take place more often this year.

 One to look forward to, of course, is the first iPhoneDevCamp in Japan planned for early May.

投稿者名 Nobuyuki Hayashi 林信行 投稿日時 2009年03月02日 | Permalink