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I admire Japanese technology and their innovation. They always seem to be one step ahead of everyone else. But why isn't their software industry just as developed? Why aren't there any Japanese operating systems, high-end game engines, 3D digital content creation applications? I would like to see their take on these and I think it could bring alot of innovation.

Btw I mentioned 3D software because the animation industry is strong there as well, but they are using North American software for this.

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closed as not constructive by Walter, mattnz, gnat, thorsten müller, ChrisF Dec 6 '12 at 10:00

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Read this answer, at the bottom: "In general, the Japanese have no faith in software. They'd rather have more hardware than more software. Given a choice between buying an iPhone or buying a generic phone and an iPod, they'll usually choose the latter, even if it takes more pocket space and costs a lot more." –  Robert Harvey Dec 6 '12 at 0:34
Thanks I am glad I am not the only one who thought about this, and not labelled racist :) –  Joan Venge Dec 6 '12 at 0:36
...but isn't that the same Canadian/American software that was formerly developed to beat the japanese on the animation battlefield? (the perception is they have/had this ludicrous mass of fast-drawing animators willing to work crazy-hours for peanuts, and it posed a serious threat to the american animation business, until it got 3D) –  ZJR Dec 6 '12 at 0:41
search for 'Luminous Engine' - square enix's pride. There's also the Ruby programming language. –  YS. Dec 6 '12 at 3:15
In the Michael Crichton novel "Rising sun", the writer says that the Japanese believes on improving the product, bit by bit till it is perfect, unlike americans who tend to make big jumps. –  Manoj R Dec 6 '12 at 9:26

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Not to perpetuate a stereotype, but all stereotypes are based on a certain level of reality. Please do no be offended.

The Japanese are all about following processes. Processes that are "set in stone" and simply followed. It is ingrained in their culture from practicing kata in their martial arts all the way down to simple things such as the way they drink tea. They also care about the execution of the process. They don't have an "I just work here" attitude.

Hardware is made in a factory following a "conveyor belt" process. Of course the design takes creative thought, but the manufacturing part is simply following the steps set in stone. Somewhat automated.

Software creation is very different. There is no manufacturing step. You are creating something new. There is no pre-defined set of steps that can be automated and produce working custom software. Ironically the Japanese have attempted to define a process to create software, but they don't realize the difference between processes that would directly "design" something new and processes that produce an output non-creatively.

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Toyota manufacturing system is far from "made in stone", often referred as kanban it's very dynamic. –  Dainius Dec 6 '12 at 6:22
@Dainius : Which, ironically is also the name of a method of software development –  James P. Wright Dec 6 '12 at 15:00
There's a chapter in "Guns Germs and Steel" about how Japanese factories work. I don't think it shares your conclusions. –  user16764 Dec 6 '12 at 15:27
It's not that ironically. –  Dainius Dec 6 '12 at 15:38

Really? I don't know what kind of software you are looking for but japanese game developers are among the best in the world.The reason that you don't see many game engines from japanese developers is because they don't outsource their engine and use it internally.Final Fantasy 13 is one of the best looking games in this generation and it is made using the crystal engine which is propriety engine of square enix. The game was massively popular selling in excess of 5 million units.

Then there is MT framework owned by capcom on which some hugely popular titles like DMC4 and lost planet.Japanese gamers are mostly fond of handheld gaming devices and there are numerous developers that have developed succesful games on handheld consoles like psp and ninteno ds. Monster Hunter by capcom,God eater by namco bandai,YS by falcom,The world ends with you, dissidia.

So yeah japanese software developers are good.

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-1 in regards to the assertion about animation. You appear to be confusing a question about animation and 3D software with one about preference in animation style. We're not talking about the end product here, but the software used to create it. –  KChaloux Dec 6 '12 at 13:43

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