Zen again (and what a place for it!) A friend asked me to pick up a copy of the Manga version of Math Girls, so we went to Bunkyo-do, a large bookstore in Tokyo. (It was remarkably packed with shoppers, and had lovely displays.) And lo and behold, the folks from Kobo/Rakuten were there demoing the new Kobo Touch with Japanese language support (aka EPUB 3). Here's what it looks like:
I haven't seen the Kobo Touch in the US, but I assume it's pretty similar: nice touch screen, customary padded back, Twitter and FB sharing, ability to select, highlight, and annotate, and in this version, look up words in a Japanese dictionary (although only in the flowing examples, not the manga, which still has static text). Most important: excellent support for vertical Japanese text.
I have a lot of notes I want to share about the IDPF EPUB 3 conference on Wednesday, but one of the interesting points was how the need for Japanese (and other non-Roman) language support may push more ebook publishers and retailers to move to EPUB 3. Rakuten/Kobo, for example, announced that all of its Japanese ebooks will be in EPUB 3 format.
Oh yeah, and it comes in four colors. (And costs 7990 yen, about $99.)