Facebook in Japan

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    According to NTV, facebook is finally starting to get recognized by Japanese people, thanks to the film “Social Network.”

    In Japan, Facebook seems to have been known and used by only those who came back from studying or working overseas.

    Among Social Networking Services (SNS), mixi is most popular in Japan.
    While around 5 hundred million people in the world use Facebook, Facebook users in Japan are 10% of mixi users.

    The big difference between Facebook and mixi is using one’s real name to register.

    As a Japanese person, I understand how other Japanese feel insecure and uneasy about revealing their real names online. That’s our web culture. Most of the SNS users prefer using nicknames in Japan to protect privacy. I’ve been skeptical about whether Japanese people like to use facebook.

    Twitter, on the other hand, is more casual. It does not always recommend registrations with real name. I can easily imagine it was easily accepted by the Japanese and it was adjustable to Japanese internet culture.

    It was a surprise to me that Facebook was not even known by most of the Japanese yet.

    It’s possible Japanese companies and business owners like to make use of Facebook from now on, but when it comes to individuals, I still doubt that. Taking advantage of anonymousness by nickname, some people could be really nasty and repeat mental abuse online. This has threatened us and so everyone started to feel scared and undefended about revealing real name, face, voice or anything online that could specify identity in a real life. I think it’s like a vicious circle. As for me, even if I write a blog in English, I am Japanese after all. My comfort zone was protected by using a nickname.

    What do you think about this difference?


    Contributor Bio: Kirin is a Japanese woman spending her life so far somewhere around Tokyo. She now works from home and is also spreading Japanese kawaii culture and etc. through her popular blog, Tokyo Kawaii,etc.

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