Sunday, September 6, 2009

Takatsu: Plugging Away on an Alphanumeric Keypad.

19 year old university student and aspiring novelist with big dreams of pioneering authentic Japanese style cellphone novels in North America, and to spark a new wave in the publishing industry.

Secondhand Memories, Top Semi-finalist of Textnovel Contest by Takatsu

First of all, it is an honour to be a contributing writer for this blog. I admire all my fellow textnovelists, who are all such superb writers. Thanks to Caitlyn for inviting me to join this group blog. I am truly excited for this project, and look forward to contribute my perspectives on writing, that would be hopefully interesting. =)

Here's a little self-introduction to start things off.

Going by the name of Takatsu or more affectionately, taka-chan, I prefer to wield a mobile phone, instead of pen and paper. I tend to say that I refuse to write in conventional means. No rules, no timeframe, no plans, no drafts, and no goals except to enjoy the process. I write for the sake of writing, for the love of my characters, and letting the story write itself.

In this world, our thumbs race across the small surface of mobile phone keypads like the heart-pounding typing across a computer keyboard. Catch us anywhere on the subway, the bus, in a coffee shop, in the lecture hall, in bed, diligently, artfully and delicately weaving a story out of the fabric of our imagination - on our trusty cellphone screens.

Yes, I am one of those "cellphone novelists", currently working on two of my most heartfelt stories, Secondhand Memories and Wish Upon A Call. And don't try to ask me for my real name, most Japanese cellphone novelists like to remain all so mysterious. And if you do by chance know my real name, well, shhhhh!

In the world of cellphone novels in Japan, the one-worder Japanese pen names, such as Rin, Yoshi, or Mei, are common household terms, on par with bestselling pop culture authors like J.K.Rowling, and more recently, Stephenie Meyer. In fact, top 10 of published bestselling novels in Japan are that of cell phone novels. Most of which have been made into a giant revenue generating kingdom of published hardcover collectibles, tv dramas, films and anime.

Stemming from the high-tech and intricate Japanese mobile or "keitai" culture, cellphone novels became a new genre, when Yoshi first began to email out his chapters from his cellphone, six years ago, to readers that followed his bestselling novel, Deep Love.

Later, cellphone novels evolved to become featured and hosted on websites and mobile sites like Maho I-land that are often funded by publishing companies.

Known for its dramatic and emotional storylines, cellphone novels are serial ongoing novels written in short captivating chapters, packed with simple but delicate language and imagery, that attracted not only the attention of youth culture who never before read or wrote, but also the attention of the Japanese publishing and media industry.

Then came an influx of new aspiring novelists who write their stories on cellphones. The rest is history.

So here I am emerging into the scene from a background of writing fanfiction and multitudes of stories I started and never finished. Since I was 10, writing has become inseperable, though life sometimes got in the way.

Enter Secondhand Memories which is my current project, and also the first true cellphone novel to be written on textnovel, a story in which I hope to start and pioneer Japanese style cellphone novels, in all of its glory in North America, and spark a new and hot wave in the publishing industry. A young adult and romance novel, written in short chapter segments of around 50-100 words, I hope to bring the quality and attractiveness of writing in this new kind of publishing format for your reading pleasure.

I started the novel just based off of a song I listened to, which played a music video through my mind's eye. Since then, it was my first time publicizing any of my work, fatefully choosing In the beginning, I was sure there would be no response, and it was truly just for fun.

Surprisingly, without promoting the novel in any way, it became widely popular with readers from all across the globe. In the beginning, when the Textnovel Team chose both my stories as Editor's Choices I emailed the founder of the site wondering why on earth my writing was chosen, because I didn't believe I had anything special. Eventually, reviews and votes swarmed the story and brought it up to the most popular lists on textnovel.

On, Secondhand Memories and Wish Upon A Call have now become top semi-finalists of textnovel contest 2009, and through these experiences, I hope to make a name for cellphone novels.

Seeing the potential for such novel formats, I would like to ask for your support in my writing projects as well as the climb to gain recognition for cellphone novels in North America.

I dream big, and I would look forward to the day when we see youth of all nations writing and reading novels, once again immersed in the publishing industry, whether it be on their cellphone screens or flipping through the pages of a book.

Will the Japanese cellphone novel phenomenon spread across the world? Time will tell.

I look forward to blogging and seeing more of you here!

Please do head on over to to check out Secondhand Memories, to read and follow the story as it develops, one chapter at a time!


Three Reviews for Takatsu and Secondhand Memories:

"Amazing how well you implement the first-person point of view. I've always had a private desire for first-person novels. Hackneyed and cliche, some have said, but there's just something about good writers and first person novels. You are definitely in one of them. Your voice really comes through. Some people will disagree and say, "Well of course. He's writing in first person. It's suppose to engage you in such a way." But I would have to say that not all first-person novels come through as clean as yours does. Simply amazing." - DiogenesMarx,

"Konban wa Takasu san I really liked the story. I believe you reached your goal of the feeling of love and innocence. In places I felt there was a haiku quality of the description. Very well done. A really enjoyable mood from it. I have been to Japan many times and have wondered what was happening in the lives of teenagers I have seen riding on the trains. Of all the things I like to do, just riding on the train - empty or full, I like to do it. Domo arigato for the great mono ga ta ri. ." - ghostcar,

"Takatsu-san has sensibility for words and for captiving stories you can't wait for the next chapter. :)." - hengbok,

Takatsu's Links:



Links for Secondhand Memories (shortened links):





WORDPRESS: (chapters aren't updated as frequently here)


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