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Old 12-26-2010, 06:15 AM   #1
Butchi
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Japanes fonts ( Kanji kana)

Hi,
My wife (Japanese) orders a lot of books from Japan for which the shipping cost are almost the same as the price of the books itself. We live in Europe and i do not speak any Japanese. So the idea is to buy a eReader.

So far i was not able to find information on which eReaders are able to display the Japanese fonts (Kanji, Katakana, including right to left and top to bottom) and be able to handle the most popular eBook formats (ePub, Lit, HTML, PDF etc).
Can anybody give some information on this or share their experience?

Also it would be nice if i had some eBooks with Japanese fonts so i could try out things in shops overhere. But so far i was not able to download some sample/test Japanese eBooks.
Does anybody have a link to a Japanese (free) eBook (in several formats)?

I considered to order a eReader from Japan (Sony PRS 650) but i found that this is not smart (price too high including shipping and no warranty). Also i found out that you can not order books from the sony eBook store on the internet because you can only pay with a creditcard issued in Japan on the Sony site.
So my last question is does anybody know a Japanese on-line eBook store where you can buy books with a creditcard (or paypal)? (Note Amazon.co.jp apparently does not sell eBooks!!)
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:30 AM   #2
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I'm afraid this will be hard for you. The formats used in Europe do not recognise Japanese characters. Japanese ebooks are sold in a different format, so even if you find a store which sells books, they'll probably be incompatible with your ebook reader. What you technically could do would be buying the reader from Japan, since it supports the Japanese ebook format, and buy the books from stores through a VPN. Nevertheless, that option is expensive, as you have mentioned.

You'll find more information about the state of Japanese ebooks in another thread of this forum. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91438
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:49 AM   #3
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Did you surf upon [pirate site] ? They have perhaps Japanese ePub Books listings.

Last edited by pdurrant; 10-25-2011 at 03:14 PM. Reason: Deleted link to a pirate ebook site
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Old 12-26-2010, 09:17 AM   #4
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Though I am not Japanese, I read a lot of Japanese books. There is Amazon Japan from which I used to buy books. Fortunately, the second-hand Japanese book shop chain Book-Off opened a shop in Paris a few years ago and I can go and browse there.
For reading Japanese on an ebook reader I use a Bookeen Cybook Gen3. I download out-of-copyright free books from the Aozora Bunko site in html, convert them in MobiPocket Creator and read them on the Cybook.
Here is the link to Aozora Bunko: http://www.aozora.gr.jp/
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:27 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Logseman View Post
...and buy the books from stores through a VPN. Nevertheless, that option is expensive, as you have mentioned.

You'll find more information about the state of Japanese ebooks in another thread of this forum. http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=91438
Thanks Logsman for the response.
I did consider to use a VPN. But i do not know a Japanese VPN/Proxy (do you?) and the problem with the Sony ebook site is not that you can not download but that you can not pay with a creditcard that is not issued in Japan (according to the Sony customer service, and i have not tried it).

Based on the thread you gave i did manage to download a book from www.ebookjapan.jp and display it on the PC. Too bad it needs a dedicated (ebookjapan) reader. But this reader is also available for Android. So maybe i will buy a android tablet in place of a ebook reader.
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:37 PM   #6
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Did you surf upon [pirate site] ? They have perhaps Japanese ePub Books listings.
Thank Lavomat for your reaction.
The referenced site is more for publishing ebooks.
However i found one book written in Japanese and it was free. So i can use it to test readers.
It displayed OK in my Calibre program on the PC.

Last edited by pdurrant; 10-25-2011 at 03:12 PM. Reason: Deleted links to a pirate ebook site
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Old 12-27-2010, 02:45 PM   #7
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Thanks Polyglot27
I do not see too many Bookeen Cybooks in shops in my country. Maybe it is not that popular over here.

For sure the next time we are in Paris we will spent some time in the Book-off. Thanks for that information. And i will check out the aozora site.
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Old 12-27-2010, 03:51 PM   #8
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There is a thread around this page which compares different readers in their treatment of the Hebrew language, which goes right to left like Japanese. It can be a starting point for you if you want to compare different reading solutions.
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Old 12-28-2010, 03:12 AM   #9
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Japanese does not usually go right to left like Hebrew - it goes top to bottom, then right to left. Rotate it 90 degrees counterclockwise and you get the left to right, top to bottom we're used to here. This is used as a secondary writing order in Japanese. More info at sci.lang.japan FAQ.
Naturally this means yet another rendering mode needed, and I don't know who supports it.

Last edited by LoneTech; 12-28-2010 at 03:17 AM. Reason: Should've read my own link. RTL does occur.
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Old 12-29-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Butchi View Post
Thanks Polyglot27
I do not see too many Bookeen Cybooks in shops in my country. Maybe it is not that popular over here.

For sure the next time we are in Paris we will spent some time in the Book-off. Thanks for that information. And i will check out the aozora site.
Hi Butchi, the MobiPocket format can also be read on PCs and on PDAs running Windows Mobile software. One other very good ebook reader for this format is the BeBook Neo.
If you use a PC, here is the site for free software.
http://www.mobipocket.com/en/Downloa...ailsReader.asp

BookOff has three shops in Paris. The main one is near Opera and they have a shop selling second-hand French and English books across the road from the Japanese shop so you can browse there while your wife takes her time in the Japanese shop. Here is the BookOff link.
http://www.bookoff.co.jp/en/index.html
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