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Amazon to launch Japanese-language Kindle

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© 2012 AFP

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Awesome news! Have been waiting for the Kindle Fire to come to Japan for about a year now! Woohoo!

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Yup, Kindle app now supports Nihongo on your iPhone & iPad. Have a Kindle I ordered from the US for a year or so - awesome. Perfect for reading on the train - light and compact. Hear about a book - bingo, be reading it minutes later. The e-ink models are the way to go, easy on the eyes and you can read in bright sunlight.

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I wish normal tablet PCs have an 'e-book mode' that saves battery.

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its about time.

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NeoJamalOct. 25, 2012 - 12:18PM JST

I wish normal tablet PCs have an 'e-book mode' that saves battery.

No screen good enough, since PixelQi never finished their e-ink after half a decade of waiting. You have either e-ink OR fast moving color screens, can't do both at a reasonable cost.

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I hate Kindle. It's a false desire. I mean who wouldn't rather have a book? The desire is Amazon's obnoxious advertising to sell its gizmo. Get this: if you 'return' too many works Amazon will ban you and that expensive Kindle will be rendered useless. You'll have to buy another. Don't take my word for it: do your research online. It's all there.

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shiofukiOct. 25, 2012 - 01:09PM JST

I hate Kindle. It's a false desire. I mean who wouldn't rather have a book?

I'de rather have a physical book, but if it's gonna cost me $50 a book (I read expensive stuff) or $10 for an ebook, I'll gladly take the ebook... Or just visit a library

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I use my iPad for reading books works very well.

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I mean who wouldn't rather have a book?

Personally, I would rather have a book ... but since e-books take way less space, I'm strating to reconsider. I have been buying paperbacks from Amazon and bookstores here in Japan (those who do sell english books) since 2001, and let me tell you, I'm fast running out of space for all of those books.

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If all you're buying are paperbacks, I'd recommend going with the Kindle, or at least the Kindle app on iPad (I have both, but once I got an iPad, my Kindle has seen very little use...). And apparently with the new Kindle app for Japan, you can synch all your purchases, from both Amazon U.S. and Japan (assuming you are registered with both.).

At this point I buy books in print form only if I need them for business or reference (it's really hard to flip through an e-book like you would a dictionary or other reference), or if they're special books that I particularly want to keep in hardback (certain nonfiction, biographies, collections, special editions, etc.).

Of course if you're interested in all of Amazon's other proprietary digital content, you'll probably want the Fire, but rights restrictions will severely limit what U.S. content you can access if you live in Japan.

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shiofuki 1:09pm wrote:

Get this: if you 'return' too many works Amazon will ban you

I imagine they'd do that much sooner if you were returning too many books made of paper. if you find yourself having to return books all the time, then the problem is not with Amazon, it's with you. You are either a shyster, or shouldn't be in control of a credit card.

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Meguroman, have you put a j book in your kinlde?

I ordered one from the US in Sept, found out the next day they would "soon" be released in jpn. The US one is still unopened, in case I want to return it for a j one. However, I think if you have only one, only j or only US, you will be able to buy from only the US amazon store, or only the j amazon. Any bks bought from j amazon won't go into a US amazon kindle,

anyone know if this surmization is true? I got unclear answers from Amazon jpn.

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I've been an avid reader for decades and had my doubts about ebook readers, specially after trying one of the first generation out yrs ago. It was garbage. I gave it another go early this year and it's just amazing how far they've come. It's not as nice as an actual book, sure, but it's very easy on the eyes, cheaper even in the short run, much better for the environment (yes, I care about it, sorry), and the battery lasts ages. I haven't bought an actual book since then, and my ebook reader has over 100 titles now. Won't even say the brand because I'm guessing they're all competitive. Best gadget I ever bought.

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For those of us with poor eyesight, Kindles are a godsend. I can crank up the font size and have much better contrast than with paper books. I can even read without my contacts.

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Lowly, early reports are that you will be able to consolidate your Kindle e-book purchases across both Japan and U.S. stores and access them from the Kindle app for iOS and Android as well. The only caveat if you wish to access both Japanese and English-language content is that you're probably best off buying your Kindle from Japan, since there's no guarantee that Japanese-language content will display properly on the U.S. Kindle.

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Does the J-Kindle have a good, built-in dictionary?

I currently have a US Kindle. Although I do not use its dictionary that often, there are times it is quite handy. Since I am still learning Japanese, a dictionary would be quite useful in this case.

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Correction: According to the FAQ, e-books purchased on Amazon.co.jp will not be accessible from older versions of the Kindle (prior to Paperwhite, etc.) purchased from Amazon.com. E-books previously purchased from Amazon.com will be accessible from Kindle devices purchased on Amazon.co.jp, but you will have to consolidate your U.S. and Japan accounts to do this.

The Japanese-language Kindle app for Android/iOS is not yet available, but is expected sometime by the end of the year.

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The Kindle app for iPhone now has a Japanese/English dictionary function built-in, apparently, but I haven't seen any information about whether one is included in the software for the Japanese Kindle itself...

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Japanese Kindle Paperwhite 3G does NOT connect to 3G globally (as every other Kindle 3G does). It only connects within Japan. Just a head's up... not sure why they're doing this but as I travel with my Kindle I'll be importing mine :o/

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s knight-

thank you for posting, tho I don't know if you will still be looking.

I wonder where you got your info? And what does consolidating mean? I have had varying success w/ 2 mails to Amazon-us and 2 to j-amazon.

My inquiry to j-amazon got me a reply that if I buy a kindle off of j-amazon, that I could read my us-amazon books on it if I registered it (the j amazon kindle) to my US account. Which sounds like I would not be able to order any books from j-amazon and put them on there after that. More vaguely, an inquiry to US amazon got a reply saying4. "If I buy a book on amazon japan, but my kindle is registered to amazon US, will I be able to put the japanese book into my kindle device?"

Yes, you'll be able to.

Which is a little vague, and doesn't mention "consolidation". The US amazon rep I talked to did, however kindly commiserate with me on the "50,000 new j-language books are not (yet?) available on US amazon" by saying "I am eager to know too." A coincidental japanese-english bi-lingual staffer??

They did say US kindles, including regular kindle touch, would be j-language capable...

I am wondering if I should just keep my (still unopened) US kindle for us stuff, and buy a new one for j reading... expensive but simpler.

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Lot of confusion out there; I got my info directly from Amazon's own FAQ pages, so it should be accurate.

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If you buy a lot of Kindle ebooks then make sure to remove the DRM and back them up. Amazon can arbitrarily shut down your account and you will lose all your ebooks.

Removing DRM is very easy to do, just download ebook managing software called Calibre and its plugin DeDRM.

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And apparently with the new Kindle app for Japan, you can synch all your purchases, from both Amazon U.S. and Japan (assuming you are registered with both.).

How do you do this?

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The Kindle app for iPhone now has a Japanese/English dictionary function built-in, apparently, but I haven't seen any information about whether one is included in the software for the Japanese Kindle itself...

Thanks for the reply Stephen. I checked the Amazon.co.jp for Paperwhite and they actually said that it will have a Japanese/Japanese and Japanese/English dictionary. FYI

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kronos-

how about US kindle paperwhite? how about previous kindle touch? I ordered a touch but havre not opened it as I may send it back to get a jpn kindle. my inquiry to US kindle came back "japanese language (and several others like greek etc) will be readable on kindle touch in some file types (my italics). I don't know what that means, or whether my touch will have a j dictionary, or if I can dnld it... I get different replies from the different amazons (us and jp) and even from different customer service reps... Almost think haveing two devices for US and jpn could be the (expensive) way to go...

t anderson-

what is drm? what does removing it do? why is that desirable?

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s knight-

thx

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@ Lowly

I am not sure. Perhaps you would like to send it back and give it yourself some more time to think about it? I agree that it does not make sense to have two devices.

I currently have a US Kindle (not Fire - simple version). I was thinking of buying a Japanese Kindle Paperwhite since I am studying Japanese but I think I will hold back a bit. I got a bit of a different concern about what will happen once I merge my US and Japan accounts. Can I still shop from the US Amazon with US prices or will I be forced to shop with JPY equivalent prices. Or it will have no effect at all? I will search some more.

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