Interviews


Interview with CoolIris VP of business development, Sebastian Blum

Occasionally the folks from Palo Alto-based Cooliris swing through Tokyo as part of efforts to promote their photo sharing service in Asia. Our readers may recall that we spoke with them back in March, when they were making good progress in China with an early partnerships with social service Renren ...

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Interview with Matthew Romaine, co-founder of Gengo

Back in July we mentioned that Tokyo-based translation startup Gengo would be relocating its head office to Shibuya. Today we were lucky enough to have the company’s CTO Matthew Romaine give us a brief tour of the place, as well as provide some brief updates on how business is ...

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Interview with Kei Kajitani, VCNC Japan president

I conducted an interview with Kei Kajitani, the president of VCNC Japan, who operate couples app Between in the country. Here is a short video that I shot with him giving a brief overview of his company. It's in Japanese and I added English subtitles. Shot outside, on the ...

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Interview with Yusuke Mitsumoto, CEO of Bracket

Myself and Yukari Mitsuhashi conducted an interview with Yusuke Mitsumoto, the CEO of Japanese e-commerce startup Bracket. Here is a short video that we shot with him giving a brief overview of his company. It's in Japanese and we added English subtitles. This was part of a larger 'Tokyo ...

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Interview with Takako Kansai, founder of Zaim

It has been a while since we checked in on Japanese personal finance app Zaim. So I was surprised and delighted to bump into the service’s creator Takako Kansai at an event in Osaka last week. In addition to being a mainstay app on my mobile, letting me scan ...

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A fine line: Shantell Martin projects freestyle performance art

At a recent FITC event in Tokyo I had a chance to hear renowed artist Shantell Martin speak about her artwork, as well as her connections to Japan, a place that has played a central role in her development. Her work is sometimes so simple that it resembles doodles that ...

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Rage of Bahamut and Japan’s quest for global gamers

One of the biggest Japan-related tech stories from 2012 was the success of Cygames’ social card battle game Rage of Bahamut on DeNA’s Mobage network. Whether or not Japanese social games can succeed in markets abroad is a very interesting question, and Bahamut so far is perhaps the most ...

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How Rakuten’s Global Expansion Began With Baby Steps in Taiwan

An interview that I had with with the CEO of Rakuten Taiwan Yuichi Ejiri, who explains a little about how the Japanese internet giant executed its first venture abroad.

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After European Acquisition, 99Designs CEO Talks About Asia Plans

Earlier this week design marketplace 99designs acquired European rival 12designer for an undisclosed sum. For 99designs, this marks an important step in its expansion in Europe, of course, but what about the company’s plans for Asia? We got in touch with CEO Patrick Llewellyn to find out how 99designs ...

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Chinese Gaming Giant The9 Making Mobile Moves, Thinking More Global

Having already established itself as a powerhouse in the PC online gaming space, Chinese gaming company The9 (NASDAQ:NCTY) is now looking to change with the times and already has a decent foothold in the newer game spaces of mobile, social, and web. Its social gaming platform, The9 Game Zone ...

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Tokyo Game Show: Interview with Taisei Yoshida of GREE

We had a chance to sit down and talk with GREE’s senior vice president of media business development, Taisei Yoshida at the Tokyo Game Show. He elaborated a little more on the company’s rapid rise so far, as well as its lofty aspirations for the future.

Be sure ...

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Craig Mod on Beautiful Books, Bridges and Balance

Writing an article about Craig Mod is quite a challenge, considering how deliberate and careful he is with the content he produces. His homepage stands out from other blogs with beautiful typography, pro-quality photos, and elegant prose composed during retreats into the mountains. Currently a self-employed designer, developer, and publisher ...

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Sekai Camera's new reality

Speaking on the sidelines at the CEATEC technology conference in Chiba on Friday, Takahito Iguchi made a bold statement: "We will make a new environment." Iguchi is the CEO of TonchiDot, the company behind Sekai Camera, a much-hyped program that lets users digitally tag and annotate places in the real ...

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Q&A with Robert Laing, founder of myGengo

With such amazing developments occurring in amateur translation it was only a matter of time before a company capitalized on harnessing large numbers of translators to work via the Web. myGengo is one such company. It is an online translation service here in Japan that provides human translations via its ...

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Interview with Smart.fm CEO, Andrew Smith Lewis

My brain seems to have become far less spongy since I hit the big 3-Oh. Recently, for my Japanese study I found myself relying on whatever new e-learning scheme happens to be most popular among my cleverer friends. I wrote about some of them here before. But since then I ...

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Talking Tudou.com with CEO Gary Wang

The Chinese are by far the best in the world at being numerous. The country has a near-infinite workforce which will naturally drive the economy for years to come. Also, Yao Ming can get voted an All Star starter every year by legions of Chinese fans, whether he's deserving ...

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