New tech traditions emerging from Japan's ancient capital

New tech traditions emerging from Japan's ancient capital
Employees of website developer Murashiki meet with clients at the company's office in a renovated house in Kita-Kamakura.

YOKOHAMA - Japan's ancient capital of Kamakura, some 50km southwest of Tokyo, is a history-drenched city where 23 million tourists a year go for a glimpse of a bygone era. It is also a promising new technology hub thanks to a growing confederacy of IT startups that have set up operations there.

Perhaps inevitably, this cluster of companies has been dubbed "Kamacon Valley," a nod to the far more established high-tech haven in California.

"New journey"

At the heart of this group is Japanese Internet company Kayac, which went public late last year on the Tokyo Stock Exchange's Mothers market for startups.

The company's Dec. 25 listing ceremony at the TSE was a festive affair. To select which employees would attend, the company, which has given itself the playful moniker "Omoshiro Houjin," or "fun-loving company," rolled dice.

At a news conference later that day, an enthusiastic Daisuke Yanasawa, the company's CEO, said, "Our company has just embarked on a new journey."

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