Internet Cafes, Japanese style: Local development and transformation of universal business practices．
The 3rd Korea-China-Japan joint conference on Geography:
Cheongju, ROK, 8-11 October, 2008.
Internet Cafes, Japanese style: Local development and transformation of universal business practices
Hrumichi YAMADA, Professor, Tokyo Keizai University
Tokyo Keizai University, 185-8502, Japan
Internet cafes in Japan have developed a unique style, in comparison to their counterparts worldwide, especially in the last decade. Japanese style internet cafes are often referred to as manga cafes for allowing customers access to their large manga (comics) libraries, or as complex cafes in official administrative contexts, describing their multi-facet services.
While Japanese style internet cafes take deep roots in tradition of manga culture, contemporary business practices have been shaped only recently in late 1990s. Universal penetration of the internet brought the term and concept of “internet cafe” into Japan in mid-1900s, shortly after Japan saw the first wave of massive expansion of manga cafes (then, without the internet). Introduction of the internet by manga cafe businesses has resulted in transformation, or deconstruction, of what the term “internet cafe” means in Japanese language.
Some of the factors of those developments are more or less technological, but administrative and social aspects are also crucial in the making of contemporary Japanese style internet cafes.