Densha Otoko

Yuko was telling me about this book a while back. Seems like it’s really the big hit.

The hero is no Tom Hanks and the movie has yet to be made but like the 1998 hit film You’ve Got Mail, a new Japanese bestseller is an old-style romance for the internet age – though with a distinctly Japanese twist.

Ostensibly a true story, “Densha Otoko” – literally, “Train Man” – began as a series of postings on Japan’s most popular internet bulletin board after the protagonist, a young Japanese man, rescued a woman from a pushy drunk on the train.


The format of the book, which strings together emails peppered with slang and emoticons over 364 pages, could well give a headache to readers accustomed to literature as flowing prose.

But the look is familiar to the many young Japanese who spend an increasing number of hours each day chatting via brief text messages on cell phones and computers.

Read the rest of the article here. I saw the book the other day and it’s entirely written like a 2-Channel thread, including all the wacky ASCII art. Really wish I could read it.