Led On Line
Presentazione - About us
Novita' - What's new
Lededizioni Home Page Ricerca - Search
Catalogo - Catalogue
Per contattarci - Contacts
Per gli Autori - For the Authors
Statistiche - Statistics
Cookie Policy
Privacy Policy

Electronic Art: Modern Short Fiction Transmedia Storytelling in Japan

Evelina Saponjic Jovanovic


Digital modern fiction in Japan is a relatively new concept in literary waters, having its roots firmly placed in the 21st century. In the course over the last two decades, this branch of literary fiction has developed into a widespread sensation. The trendy “mobile phone novels” or keitai shousetsu differ from the traditional printed literary fiction because of several factors. Among these, we can take into account the writers, the audience, the form, the structure and the particular syntax, as well as the means and place of distribution. The writers are young authors whose mobile phone novels often lure to readers of the same age. Their uploaded novels into virtual platforms confirms the shapeshifting ways in which messages are sent from the addresser to the addressee in this virtual and technological era. These novels are created in such a way that they be intriguing due to the fact that creators and recipients are involved. It is interesting to point out that there is a certain phenomenon of mirror imagery between addressers and addressees since the keitai shousetsu readers tend to the same age and gender as the writers. Statistically speaking, the 86% of high schoolers, the 75% of middle schoolers and the 23% of grade schoolers, read mobile phone novels. This paper argues that keitai shousetsu can be seen as transmedia structures because they can involve a larger complex storyland which is shared and distributed on different media platforms.


keitai shousetsu, mobile phone novels, storytelling, traditional literature, transmedia

Full Text:



Ash, Katie. 2008. "A Novel Idea Crafted on a Cellphone". Education Week: Digital Directions. https://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2008/04/03/04cellphone_web. h01.html

Butler, Robert Olen. 2005. From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction. New York: Grove Press.

Calvetti, Paolo. 2015. "Keitai shousetsu: Mobile Phone Novels. Is It True that New Technologies Are Changing the Japanese Language?". In Contemporary Japan: Challenges for a World Economic Power in Transition, edited by Paolo Calvetti and Marcella Mariotti, 203-219. Venezia: Ca' Foscari.

Farrar, Laura. 2009. Cell Phone Stories Writing New Chapter in Print Publishing. CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/02/25/japan.mobilenovels/index.html

Fiormonte, Domenico. 2003. Scrittura e filologia nell'era digitale. Torino: Bollati Boringhieri.

Freedman, Alisa, and Toby Slade, eds. 2018. Introducing Japanese Popular Culture. New York: Routledge.


Galbraith, Patrick W. 2011. "Cell Phone Novels Come of Age". Japan Today. http://www.japantoday.com/category/entertainment-arts/view/cell-phone-novels-come-of-age

Giovagnoli, Max. 2011. Transmedia Storytelling: Imagery, Shapes and Techniques. Lulu.com.

Goodyear, Dana, 2008. "Letters from Japan: I Novels". New Yorker 22 (December): 22-29. http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2008/12/22/081222fa_fact_goodyear

Jenkins, Henry. 2006. Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide. New York: New York University Press.

Jenkins, Henry. 2007. "Transmedia Storytelling 101". Post in Weblog, March 21, 2007. http://henryjenkins.org/blog/2007/03/transmedia_storytelling_101.html

Jenkins, Henry. 2010. "Transmedia Storytelling and Entertainment: An Annotated Syllabus". Continuum 24 (6): 943-958.


Marx, W. David. 2007. "Koizora: Empathy and Anonymous Creation". Clast. http://clast.diamondagency.jp/en/?p=88

Nishimura, Yukiko. 2007. "Denshi komyunikeshon no poraitonesu-inporatonesu". In Kotoba no komyunikeshon: Taijin kankei no retorrikku, edited by Okamoto Shin'Ichiro, 81-96. Tokyo: Nakanishiya Shuppan.

Onishi, Norimitsu. 2008. "Thumbs Race as Japan's Best Sellers Go Cellular". The New York Times, January 20, 2008. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/20/world/asia/20japan.html?page

Scolari, Carlos. 2014. "Transmedia Storytelling: New Ways of Communicating in the Digital Age. In Anuario AC/E de cultura digital: The Use of New Technologies in the Performing Arts, 68-79. Madrid: Acción Cultural Española.

Scott, Jess C. 2010. Eyeleash: A Blog Novel. Smashwords.com. http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/2864

Sorenson, Jaime, and David Pollack. 2009. "Mobile Novels: A Mobel Media". Modern Japanese Culture 13 (February). http://www.scribd.com/doc/38445123/Keitai-Shosetsu-Mobile-Novels-A-novel-media

West, Mark D. 2011. Lovesick Japan: Sex * Marriage * Romance * Law. New York: Cornell University Press.


Wilson, Kathleen. S. 2010. Blovels, Twovels and Cell Phone Novels: Bridges to Literature or Roads to Nowhere. MFA Thesis. https://www.academia.edu/40458897/BLOVELS_TWOVELS_AND_CELL_PHONE_NOVELS_Bridges_to_Literature_or_Roads_to_Nowhere

Yoshida, Satovi. 2008. Keitai shousetsu ga ukeru riyu. Tokyo: Mycom Schinho.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2019-007-sapo

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

© 2001 LED Edizioni Universitarie di Lettere Economia Diritto