The new version of the iPad went on sale Friday in Japan, and buyers were lined up early outside the store, including Ryo Takahashi, who brought along a placard and a samurai wig.
"The hype around the iPad in Tokyo highlights what has become a sobering reality for a country once considered the technological trend-setter," the New York Times blogged two years ago when the iPad was introduced. "Japan now frequently looks overseas for innovation."
But camping out for the iPad is also a sign of a return to normalcy in Japan a year after it suffered a devastating earthquake and tsunami: Apple delayed releasing the iPad 2 last year as a gesture of respect for the country as it recovered from the disaster.
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Photo: Ryo Takahashi wearing a samurai wig browses the Internet as he and others wait in line to buy a new iPad outside an Apple Store in Tokyo on Thursday. Credit: Shizuo Kambayashi / Associated Press