Trends in Japan

The author, who calls himself Yoshi, created a website providing content for mobile phones in May 2000 with an investment of just ¥100,000 ($909.09 at ¥110 to the dollar). Using a promotional campaign that consisted of passing out business cards to about 2,000 high-school girls in front of Tokyo’s Shibuya Station (the center of Tokyo youth culture), Yoshi released The Story of Ayu, the first installment in the longer novel.

News of the novel spread by word of mouth, and within three years the site had received a total of 20 million hits.

The potential of “mobile-phone novels” has captured the attention of major publishers, which have begun creating their own websites to provide content for mobile-phone users.