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2channel (

For other websites called 2ch, refer to the 2ch article.

2channel (2ちゃんねる, Nichanneru), also known as 2ch, was a popular Japanese bulletin board that was established by Hiroyuki Nishimura on May 30, 1999.1) As of February 19, 2014, the website has been seized by Jim Watkins2)3) where it remains under NTTEC's management.

In response to legal action taken by Nishimura, 2channel abruptly moved and became 5channel (5ちゃんねる, Gochanneru) on September 30, 2016.4) As a result, people may use 2ch and 5ch interchangeably, but it's evident that times have changed since then.


The website does house 1,000+ boards,5) but a lot of these are slow or inactive. Most of the activity occurs on fast-paced “live” boards or historically significant “news” boards, often isolated on a special server to prevent several boards from going down with them. Since it's a text-based website, 2channel houses a lot of discussion, kopipe, links (sometimes without an "h" at the start), spam, and ASCII art if permitted.

Historically, the website had massive influence on Japanese internet culture, but its relevance has currently waned in the age of social networking, especially after the 2013 leak. Furthermore, keep in mind that the community isn't necessarially friendly, smart, or mature since anonymity is the website's main feature, so don't assume that everyone views it in a positive light.



“It's a supplement to Amezou. I wanted to make the boards that Amezou didn't have.”
– Hiroyuki Nishimura6)

On May 30, 1999, Nishimura set up an unofficial supplementary website to Amezou at “” and dubbed it, 2channel.7) Due to Amezou's growing instability, 2channel ended up becoming a place to discuss topics like the Toshiba Claimer case.8) Eventually, someone attempted to reveal Nishimura's face, so he ended up publicly disclosing that he owned a company known as “Tokyo Access GSK”.9)

Moving on, the capcode and sage features were added, then Amezou vanished to close 1999. For the new millennium, 2channel receives publicity from the Nishitetu Bus Hijacking in May 2000,10) then an Ayashii World splinter began to attack 2channel in August 200011) and this minor conflict would birth the derogatory nickname of “tantubo” (痰壺, lit. “spittoon”), immortalized as the “jar” on the front page.12)

Shortly after, Kazuhiko Nishi's experiment failed. For the following year, the 1,000 post limit would finally be introduced on March 29, 2001, tripcodes were added in August, then 2channel was allegedly in danger of shutting down and closed several boards on August 25, 2001. As a result, Shitaraba was severed, Futaba Channel was made, then the “danger” allegedly13) went away because a fix was found.14)


In 2003, 2channel began storing IP addresses as people kept posting illicit threats and slander, beginning its user-facing anonymity. As /news/ was considered to be the heart of 2channel, it was often used as a testing ground and one of the experiments led to the creation of /news4vip/ on June 18, 2004.15) Despite the original experiment being deemed a failure,16) this new chaotic board skyrocketed.

On May 18, 2005, the “Free Use Mark” (自由利用マーク, Jiyū Riyō Māku)17) started being used, which may have inadvertently spawned thread-reposting summary blogs. While /news4vip/ soared, some argued that summary blogs were a gateway for newcomers and suggested they profited off of other people's posts, so it eventually resulted in the creation of /poverty/ in late 2007 though it wasn't really that big then.18)19)


“That's why I had numerous overseas business trips about the transfer of 2channel.”
– Hiroyuki Nishimura20)

Nishimura announced that the Singapore-based “Packet Monster” was granted ownership on January 2, 2009,21)22) but would not disclose why.23) Setting this aside, 2channel saw a large-scale DDoS attack from South Korea on March 1, 2010 which damaged several NTTEC servers,24)25) then /livejupiter/ was flooded by users revolting against /livebase/'s stricter board settings on May 13, 2010.

In 2012, a lawyer named Takahiro Karasawa becomes a laughingstock on /livejupiter/ and, while this seems insignificant, he ends up having a bigger role later on. Then on April 26, 2012, it was finally revealed that “Packet Monster” was a dummy corporation,26)27) so Nishimura placed 2channel with Watkins' company,28) dealing with fines for negligence29)30) and a tax audit before “Packet Monster” shut down.31)32)

2ch Viewer Leak and NTTEC Takeover

“I have secured the 2ch servers. The previous management was not able to generate enough income to pay the bills for the expenses of running 2ch.”
– Jim Watkins33)
“After the leaking, they wanted to make 2ch pass again. But I couldn't trust them so that I declined. And, they were almost bankrupt. So, Jim stole domain and systems.”
– Hiroyuki Nishimura34)

As a recap, NTTEC maintained 2channel's servers, provided the “2ch Viewer” () service,35)36)37) and now owned the domain.38) When the “2ch Viewer” was hacked on August 23, 2013,39) this led to personal info, post histories, and stored credentials being leaked.40)41) The company issued an apology42)43) but wanted to restore the service. Nishimura refused,44) placing Watkins' company at risk.

On February 10, 2014, Watkins decided to seize 2channel, citing slander and unpaid bills.45) He predictably restored the service as “Ronin” (浪人), then pleased conspiracists46)47) with a reprinting ban, removing the “Free Use Mark”. Meanwhile, Nishimura would attack “” from the inside,48)49) before creating “” to leech posts and strain their servers.50)51) During the chaos, Open2channel rose as an alternative.


In response to the server strain, the API storage method was changed, but this was controversial since the dedicated browser developers were now forced to de-anonymize themselves to access the new API,52) resulting in the migration to Twitter, Mastodon, Reddit,53) etc. Out of nowhere, Nishimura suddenly becomes 4chan's new administrator,54)55)56) announcing legal action against Watkins.57)58)

Court Rulings

“I have talked with [Karasawa], and we have exchanged letters. He is competent.”
– Jim Watkins59)

The legal feud between Nishimura and Watkins has been difficult to cast judgment on as both parties have obfuscated information. Despite having a part in the 2013 leak, Watkins partnered with Karasawa60) who blames Nishimura for the Koushinists61) and the leak.62) Due to the arrangement, Karasawa's firm would fight Nishimura's lawsuits for Watkins, notably preventing video evidence of the case from being leaked.63)

Prior to this, WIPO denied Nishimura's claims in 2013,64) forcing his case to go to court. As a precaution, Watkins rebranded 2channel to 5channel (5ちゃんねる) at “” on September 30, 2016 and grants ownership to “Loki Technology, Inc.”,65)66) which he also owns,67) then quickly files a “5channel” trademark68) in response to Nishimura's trademark on “2channel”.

Eventually, Tokyo District Court reviewed “Heisei 29(2017) №3428” (平成29年(ワ)第3428号) and found Watkins guilty, demanding his prosecution and repaying Nishimura on June 22, 2018,69)70) but Tokyo High Court overturned this decision on April 25, 2019.71)72)73) This hasn't necessarily stopped Hiroyuki from fighting on, filing more cases, so it's hard to declare either party a “winner” except the lawyers.74)


After a few years, 2channel began stagnating with anonymity on the decline,75) on top of the management's highly questionable decisions (e.g. vague and unclear restrictions). They did ban Statesian IPs for about a year,76)77) then silently lifted it after they unveiled added restrictions to non-Japanese IPs to sell more passes. On October 25, 2020, it was reported that 2channel sells data.78)79)

Late 2022 - /livejupiter/ migration to /livegalileo/.

Following the 2015 API drama, the Jane Style developers “Jane Inc.” dropped support for 2channel, as they launched a 2channel alternative at on July 10, 2023.80) This reportedly comes after disputes about advertising fees, as 2channel hasn't adjusted to Japan's economic condition.81) In response, 2channel would retire “Ronin” since “Jane Inc.” handled processing, replacing it with “UPLIFT” on August 30, 2023.82)

Dedicated browsers

There's a couple of “dedicated browsers” (専用ブラウザ, sen'yō burauza), or “senbura” (専ブラ), designed for 2channel and a number of other bulletin board websites. Its main purpose is to put less stress on the website's CGI scripts,83) so threads are saved locally in case the thread data goes missing. In addition, these programs may also have extra features, comparable to an extension or userscript.

Dedicated Browsers for Desktop

Dedicated Browsers for Mobile

For Smartphone Menu

For Mobile Menu

For Smartphone Browsers

For iOS (iPhone, iPad)


  • Their slogan is “from hacking to tonight's side dish”84) (「ハッキング」から「今晩のおかず」まで).
  • If you refuse to use a dedicated browser to browse old threads but don't want to get blocked, try sifting through off-site archives like “” or “” for old threads.
  • Open2channel users came up with a few nicknames for 2channel like “Old 2channel” (旧2ちゃんねる), “9ch”,85) “Jimchannel” (Jimちゃんねる), “Jimbabwe” (Jimバブエ),86) and “RiCh” (りch).87)

See also

 / ( ゚〟д〟゚ )y─┛~~
(_ ノγ U  ∩_∩)   THANK YOU 2ch     ┌───────┐
  α___J _J         and          (|●        ● |
  / ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄\  GOOD-BYE 2ch WORLD! /.| ┌▽▽▽▽┐ |
 /     ●  ●                   ( ┤ |      |  |
 |Y  Y       \ またどこかで会おうね  \.  └△△△△┘   \
 | |   |       ▼ |                  | \あ\      |\ \
 | \/        _人| ∧∧∩゛    ∧_∧     |     \り\     | (_)
 |       _/)/)/( ゚Д゚)/     (´∀` )   __ n    \が\.  |
 \    / 〔/\〕 U  / ∩∩ (    )o/  \ ヽ    \と\ |
  | | | c(*・_・)  |  |ヽ(´ー`)ノ_|  |  | (__丿    |.  /\ \う | (-_-)
  (__)_) UUUU /∪∪ (___)(_(__) ⊆_    ヽ_┘  └──┘(∩∩)
2) , 33) , 45)
"I have secured the 2ch servers." (February 19, 2014). Pink Channel /erobbs/.
"#2ch" [Archive] (September 30, 2017). Twitter.
To be specific, there's 900+ boards on 2channel and 100+ adult-themed boards hosted on Pink Channel.
"2ch打倒の切り札" (July 28, 1999). Amezou.
"あやしいわーるどの歴史" (October 28, 2006). History of Ayashii World.
At the time, the Amezou users joked, “Does the administrator Hiroyuki sell jars?” (管理人のひろゆきは壷でも売っているのか?). This is a reference to the Unification Church's “spiritual sales” of goods at unusually high prices in Japan, an issue that has amassed over ¥123.7 billion in financial damages since 1987.
"Futaba channel at wikipedia translation" (October 26, 2012). Blogspot.
The “Free Use Mark” (自由利用マーク, Jiyū Riyō Māku) is a Japanese free content license that was created by the Agency for Cultural Affairs in 2003. It wasn't really well-known. Eventually, they abandoned and discouraged use of this in favor of the Creative Commons license in 2013.
"【news】ニュース速報運用情報73【ν】" (December 28, 2007). 2channel /operate/.
"新板をねだるスレ@運用情報◆33" (December 28, 2007). 2channel /operate/.
"2ch譲渡" (January 2, 2009). Open SNS.
"Cops Charge 2ch Founder Hiroyuki with Drug Dealing" (December 20, 2012). Sankaku Complex.
"2ちゃんねるビューア・FAQ" (January 20, 2013). 2channel Viewer.
"Order 2ch Viewer" (March 17, 2002). 2channel Viewer.
"2ch Hacked" (August 27, 2013). Sankaku Complex.
"unkr問題". 【2chデータTor流出関係】情報集約スレッド●Wiki.
"FULL CIRCLE" (September 21, 2015). 4chan.
The connection between Jim Watkins and Takahiro Karasawa is supported by the fact that Karasawa's firm has represented NTTEC in 2015, Fredrick Brennan has seen them meet countless times, and Yoshihiro Nakao (FOX★ / 亀仙人★) has even joked about it on /editorialplus/.
An anonymous tip from a person who attended the court case noted that Takahiro Karasawa asked the court to collect everyone's phones, preventing video evidence of the case from being leaked, and NTTEC has censored the law firm's name in a press report. Additionally, a news article from The Goldwater, a far-right conspiratorial news outlet founded by Jim Watkins, omits Karasawa's ties to Jim.
"#2ch" (September 30, 2017). @xerxeswatkins on Twitter.
"THE MANILA TIMES | FEBRUARY 11, 2019" [p. 28] (February 10, 2019). Issuu.
If you access too many pages or threads on 2channel in a short amount of time, which puts strain on the website's CGI scripts, you may get automatically blocked for about two hours.
“Okazu” (お菜(おかず)) is a Japanese double entendre that normally means “side dish”, but it can also mean “jack-off material”, “jerk-off material”, or “masturbation material”.
“9ch” is a number pun, meaning “Old 2channel” (旧2ちゃんねる, Kyū Nichanneru).
“Jimbabwe” (Jimバブエ) is a combination of “Jim” and “Zimbabwe”, mainly referencing Robert Mugabe's conflicting 30 year presidency that escalated into a 2017 coup d'état and left Zimbabwe split.
Around July 13, 2019, the /newsplus/ board tried to prohibit threads about South Korea, so users started referring to South Korea as the “Ri Area” (り地域, Ri Chiiki) instead.
2channel.txt · Last modified: 2024-05-27 06:13:18 by namelessrumia