I recently came across a few articles about cell phones in Japan, so I thought I would share them.
The first article that I found was about a phone that features a dedicated button that loads a “private, customizable, animated altar on the phone's screen. The idea is to allow Buddhists to
perform their dedications conveniently on-the-go.
You can simulate incense
burning, purification rites and play music to help
you meditate wherever you happen to be.”
Odin 99 'Buddha Phone'
Phones are also now being used to help track attendance at one Japanese University. According to the article, “about 550 students and staff members in the School of Social Informatics at Tokyo-based university Aoyama Gakuin received the iPhone 3G for free earlier this month as part of their study materials. The gadget will work as a study tool for students, but as it also comes with GPS, which the university plans to use to check student attendance." The article also talks about truancy being a big problem, as students will often fake attendence by having friends answer roll call for them.
Japanese University uses Iphone to keep tab of students
And now for a slightly more disturbing article on the psychological dependency that Japanese elementary students are developing with their cellphones. The study, based on a national survey, cites that "25 percent of the elementary school students and 26 percent of the junior high students said they feel very anxious when they do not get e-mail replies, according to the PTA group.” Parents are also concerned about students accessing inappropriate content and 38% of Junior High students report that they have secret "e-mail friends" that their parents are unaware of.
Children growing more dependent on cellphones
And here’s an interesting article about taking phones on overseas trips, in case anyone was interested in trying to take their phone with them to Japan.