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Old 07-23-2012, 10:28 AM   #1
Tanuki
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can I buy Japanese eBooks outside Japan?

Hello Comunity

I'm planing to buy a Kobo Touch for my Japanese Wife. We are living in Switzerland. Now, I was wondering if I would buy a Kobo here and put on the Japanese Firmware, is it possible to buy Japanese eBooks in Switzerland (or anywhere in Europe) or is this some how restricted?

Thanks in advance for your answers
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Old 07-23-2012, 01:54 PM   #2
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Take a look at this thread:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=184118

There are georestrictions which may or may not be gotten around of by using a VPN with Japan IP address and registration to kobo/Rakuten using a Japanese address with the VPN. Hopefully if someone tries it out (already having the VPN) they can confirm whether or not it works...
I would try but cannot read/understand Japanese on the Rakuten Kobo site.
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Old 07-25-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
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Thanks for your answer, I will try with VPN. Unfortunately there is no KOBO available at the moment so I have to wait till end of July. I'll post my experience after I received it.
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Old 07-25-2012, 07:24 AM   #4
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I think you can check on other sites, together with Kobo. For example Aozora (should be free: http://www.aozora.gr.jp/ )

From Italy (same here, Japanese wife), I can see these: http://www.kobobooks.com/search/sear...s=&g=both&l=ja

And you can visit
http://dl.rakuten.co.jp/book/
http://pdabook.jp/pdabook/
http://direct.ips.co.jp/book/impressjapan.cfm
http://www.shosai.ne.jp/
http://www.netoff.co.jp/index.jsp book off を知ってますか? eh eh eh
http://ebook.digitalink.ne.jp/
http://www.papy.co.jp/
http://books.bitway.ne.jp/meng/cp.php?req=top&site=book
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Old 07-27-2012, 12:25 AM   #5
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Same here

Hi there, I picked up a KT hoping to do the same thing in Canada.

Using a JP IP address via Tor, I managed create an account on rakuten.kobobooks.com. I can click on free books to add to a library, but didn't see any way of manually downloading them using the browser.

When I run the Kobo Desktop App, it knows I'm not in Japan and will only accept the regular kobo account.. so I can't figure out how to get the japanese account associated with the device. Setting the language in Kobo Desktop and on the KT to Japanese didn't change anything.

The "log out" function on the device is also a bit annoying, in that it resets the entire device, and reenables all the facebook garbage.

Using Calibre, I was able to setup a few japanese newspapers to download. I had to create a /fonts/ directory on the device, and copy over a few japanese fonts from windows, then set the font manually for it to view properly.

In contrast, my account with Amazon.co.jp will let me order physical books, ship to JP address, then have someone ship overseas. They don't care that I'm using a non-JP credit card. (We do have a JP card, but it doesn't appear to help in this case)
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:09 AM   #6
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Downloading from rakuten.kobosetup.com site, I got Desktop 3.0.2, where kobosetup.com gave me 3.0.1. Calibre doesn't seem to like the new one. Still can't use my jp account with either.
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Old 07-27-2012, 01:30 AM   #7
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If you can consider going Sony, not Kobo, then I can advise the following. A Sony PRS-T1 with the Japanese firmware can be used to buy and read Japanese ebooks overseas, at least here in New Zealand, but you need a Japanese credit card.

We installed the Japanese Sony Reader Software on English Windows 7 and used that to authenicate the ereader. Then my wife is able to buy nihongo ebooks from the Sony store in Japan, BUT only using a Japanese credit card. Once purchased we had no problems downloading the ebooks on the ereader in New Zealand.

Sony offer no guarantees or advice for any of this though. Their info says that the Sony Reader software for Windows requires Japanese Windows; but we have had no problems with it on English Windows 7.

Last edited by rjcroy; 07-27-2012 at 01:32 AM.
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Old 07-27-2012, 02:11 AM   #8
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this forum is really alive, thanks for all your comments. My wife still has a Japanese Credit Card so the Sony Reader could be an option. On the other hand she really likes the Kobo Touch.

I hope to get it next week. For VPN btw I'm using PacketiX.NET (http://www.techgravy.net/packetixnet-free-vpn-service/). Its free but slow. I was able to download a free ebook over the browser, but also I was able to get a free book in the App Market. Because of the VPN connection the whole PC appears to be in Japan. I hope, that when I connect my future Kobo it will sync the books.

I will let you know hopefully next week. Cheers
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Old 07-27-2012, 08:07 AM   #9
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I would be interested in how this issue transpires...

Likewise, I'm in south of Spain w/ a KT, w/o a JP credit card. pining for Japanese language titles to read.

I'm encouraged by reports that expats in Japan are now able to purchase English language titles. I await the day when I can browse Japanese titles using my account linked to a UK debit card here in Spain.
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Old 07-28-2012, 11:39 PM   #10
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I'm in Japan. When I access http://www.kobobooks.com it shows me Japanese titles only on the top page, as if I accessed http://rankuten.kobooks.com. If I browse books through the left-hand menu there, it also shows Japanese titles only.

However, if I enter some English words on the search box, it shows me matching English titles, or for German words it shows German titles. So, I guess you can get listings of Japanese titles if you enter some Japanese words on the search box on http://rakuten.kobobooks.com
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Old 07-30-2012, 02:21 AM   #11
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Hi Alissa

If we search in Europe for Japanese books in the Kobo Market we get only a bit more than 1800. It's definitely not the same selection like you get in Japan.

If I open the site via Japanese VPN connection I see a lot more (same as you do).

For me its a mystery why Japanese eBook should only be sold in Japan. But there are lots of things in Japan which is a mystery to me :-)
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Old 07-31-2012, 08:01 AM   #12
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Some comments in the news. Search AJW for past stories about the e-book market.

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/economy...AJ201207280065


Rakuten president confident about e-book sales

Next Article
Amazon to bust open domestic e-book market with introduction of Japanese Kindle
July 28, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Online shopping mall operator Rakuten Inc. said first week sales of its new electronic book reader stood at 100,000 units, exceeding the company's expectations.

The Kobo Touch model was released July 19.

Books for the e-book reader, launched on the same day, are also selling "four to five times faster than we had expected," the company said July 27.
"We want to have half the e-book market in Japan," said Rakuten Chairman and President Hiroshi Mikitani.
Japan's e-book market is expected to grow to 200 billion yen ($2.53 billion) within a few years.
U.S. online e-book giant Amazon.com Inc. will also enter the market in Japan, according to sources.
Mikitani was confident that his company's e-book business had the edge, saying, "We will win."

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Related Articles


Sales tax may be tacked onto e-books from abroad
June 29, 2012
The Finance Ministry plans to impose a consumption tax on electronic books sold in Japan by foreign companies such as Amazon.com Inc., sources said on June 28.

Sony forced to open e-book service to rivals’ devices
June 13, 2012
Sony Corp. will make its e-book service available on other companies’ smartphones and tablet computers in an effort to compete with Amazon.com Inc.’s popular Kindle service.

Amazon in accord with 40 Japanese publishers on e-book distribution
April 17, 2012
Amazon.com Inc. has struck deals with a number of Japanese publishing houses on terms of e-book distribution of the Japanese version of its Kindle service, sources said.
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Old 08-10-2012, 02:22 AM   #13
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update about shopping ebooks at kobo: It works! I was able via VPN Tunnel to buy eBooks using a Japanese Address with a Swiss Credit Card. You will need a Rakuten Account to buy books btw.
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Old 08-10-2012, 08:19 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanuki View Post
update about shopping ebooks at kobo: It works! I was able via VPN Tunnel to buy eBooks using a Japanese Address with a Swiss Credit Card. You will need a Rakuten Account to buy books btw.
Thanks for reporting back! I figured it would work since I do a version of the same thing to get US books that are georestricted in Canada. Enjoy your books!
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Old 08-14-2012, 07:40 PM   #15
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Fyi -- Seems like more publishers are getting into ebooks. On the Yamanote line this week is an ad from Sunmark publishers that mentions Rakuten Kobo and iPhone -- search their stores for Sunmark.
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