RIR6 (◆RIR6uHX9bE) created this site (according to my own original research) on 3 March 2003 (however the earliest post I can find is 8 March; I'm probably not looking hard enough and there are other catches to this date, see below). We called him RIR6, but his real name is Taichirou Kosugi and I assume he's still alive and living in Tokyo. He was a sixteen year-old high-school student at the time (according to all rumors and perhaps his own personal statements). For whatever reason, the name RIR7 also appears regularly in regards to the few brief histories of world2ch.

I'm still seeking a motivation for his creation of the site. I may have to do some translating.

At first, the site didn't even have a domain which is a source of much confusion. It was hosted at (long dead, don't bother) and after about 26 April 2003, it was right and proper at Very little western attention was paid until after April 2003, so I'm guessing this is right. There's a lovely moon language thread here that seems to be the development of the site from their side of the Pacific. To put it in some context, was a “free” hosting site kind of like geocities and “newswatch” was RIR6's username.

That thread above is actually pretty great now that I've taken the time to read through it some more. In it we get the translation effort including debate over Anonymous vs. No Name vs. Nameless. They also settle on some of the more famous choices such as “Please wait for a while until it changes a screen.” Hah, and even they are a bit baffled by golgomois.

I am still a bit unclear about whether or not there was a move to another hosting company. RIR6 talked of “getting a server”, but then again a lot of things were talked about. It did at some point move to which is just another free web hosting company. I'm sure they had hosting plans, but I don't think it was on a dedicated server. It didn't really need one and besides that was expensive back in the day.


I'd bet that this wiki already has more content in term of overall number of words than world2ch ever had (which really speaks more of me than of w2ch). Discussions were always lean, let's put it that way and very rarely serious. It has the same problem 4-ch has today: too may awkward fucks standing around unwilling to put forward a topic. You'd think with years of being jerks behind the veil of semi-anonymous Internet, we could have done better. At the time though, most English-speakers were using sleek user-centric forums. If you want to, I guess you'd say the 2-ch model is content-centric. Americans want glory, not content… I don't really recall any great threads aside from Golgomois and the 4chan drama. I found myself responding to stuff just out of sympathy. There were good topics, but no one willing to talk. Another problem it had were the numerous unused boards (and the fact that they had cryptic half-Japanese names didn't help).

Besides, it was just too difficult to translate the culture and striving to be 2ch only drove more people away. No one wanted to experiment with creating text art when vbulletin just adds a smiley for you, for instance m(.

As for things that people might actually remember, the Yoshinoya thing was kind of funny. It was sort of like the Japanese version of BENTO BOX (look it up; do you expect me to do everything?). I'd claim credit for other things, but nearly everything else was copied over from 2chan. Suzuran, in particular came directly over with no stop in between.

My take on it, from the SA thread somewhere in w2ch…

I make a hobby and occasionally a living by being a digital archaeologist. I recover data that was otherwise lost. This whole 2ch business is more of digital anthropology. It's like I was wandering in some jungle of network cabling and there in the middle of it found a strange and totally alien tribe whose culture I can't begin to comprehend. That's why I'm here. Well, actually, here is more like the tourist version of 2ch. It's like a tacky roadside attraction complete with aluminum teepees where those passing through can just sort of fake living in the culture they've only seen at a distance…

The importance of w2ch is that this is the first place where many of the early users got their feet wet. Concepts such as ”sage”, ”age”, ”janitor”, ”trip code”, and many others were effectively unheard of before this little site was open to us in the West. There were hints of the culture before, particularly of the amazing AA coming out of the site and clearly all the content from 2chan, but participation wasn't allowed. It was a spectator sport without w2ch.

The image board

The image board was working on 1 June 2003. JUNE, bitches. I can't believe RIR6 got talked into it. Oh wait, he would do nearly anything we asked him too no matter how bad of an idea. Poor guy. I'm surprised we couldn't talk him into hosting a bittorrent tracker and a collection of passworded rar files.

There were two image boards, one for general usage and one for guro. If you really need to know this for your own specific OCD, the theme was the pinkish on tan that 2chan has. There were no themes and themes are blasphemy.


As compared to shit you see on /b/ every day, the guro board was quite tame. People were still freaking out over the whole lotus seed thing. Those pictures do make you a little itchy, but they don't quite kill your soul. Much like 2chan's guro boards, the main content was drawn anime-style guro rather than actual pictures of Chinese motorcycle accidents.


A better list with actual descriptions can be found on Shii's site.

Lest there be any confusion, it is important to note that moot had nothing to do with world2ch. He posted there on 2-3 October 2003 and only in response to the shitstorm caused by the foundation of 4chan.

FanimeCon 2003 delegation

I attended this con. Yeah it's lame, I know. I do specificaly remember that at least two people formed a sort of delegation that went there as well. Wait a minute, does that mean I've verified a total userbase of at least five people? This may be some kind of record…

They had had little homemade mona hats with the URL stitched on the back, didn't they? I doubt they accomplished much, given the end result.

That happened June 20-22, 2003. Just for future reference.

The end of world2ch

At some point RIR6 broke the hell out of the script (best guess: Feb of 2004). Prior to this, signs of wear started to show through. In particular, double posts were routine (and can still be seen in the wayback machine). Eventually, you could only see the first discussion in any given subject. It went downhill from there and quickly became entirely unusable to the point you could no longer reply without a great deal of effort (I recall I could make it work if I saved and edited the page on my side to fix the mistake; not even worth the effort by that point). It was never repaired or reverted. If I had to venture a guess, I'd assume that RIR6 had to go back to school and forgot about us and his site.

Most of the users had jumped ship by this point anyway, including myself. The image boards continued to work and with no moderation were quickly filled full of disgusting/illegal things. In addition, the image boards also had no upward post limit, so not only was it full of terrible things, it was full of A LOT of them. At a certain point, I had stopped checking on these as they were completely out of control. The hosting company most likely found out about it and pulled the plug. Few people noticed.

It was gone from the servers by late May of 2004. The last hint of RIR6's involvement in world2ch appears to be 1 May 2004 in This archived thread, post 179. In any extant online conversation at all: 7 May 2004 here.

It was succeeded early on by world4ch which merged with 4chan and later by the slightly more accurate (sparsely populated, kind of sad) 4-ch.

According to Shii1)(post: 27 August 2004):

World2ch died a slow and painful death. First RIR7 outlawed Japanese text for no apparent reason, then he inexplicably only let people enable it when they used the email “aa”, which was the worst of both worlds. Next, as the mighty sum of what was no doubt weeks of work, he introduced an entirely useless “language” drop-down menu next to each reply that made the boards confusing and decreased their popularity. Then he somehow broke the script so that nothing seemed to happen when you hit “Reply”– I'm not sure how he managed to do that, but that's what happened– which led to a huge drop in posting, and a lot of double and triple-posts by confused users. Finally, he screwed up the CGI script in some way that he couldn't fix at all; apparently he doesn't like to test out scripts before he uploads them to his website, or even make backups after he hacks together some useless feature. He shut down the boards temporarily and said he was going to fix it, but instead he stopped paying for the server and world2ch was gone forever.

As for why it failed aside from the technical difficulties, that's a bit more complex. RIR6 had sole control over the site and no one else was allowed to help. As a high school student, he certainly didn't have the time to do it alone and certainly not at the hours that his users in the USA/Europe were operating. In addition to that, he had entirely different notions of what the site should be and was confused by the things his foreign users got up to. Clearly, he wanted to discuss serious things (for a high school student) like the news and politics. We, on the other hand, wanted to make shift-JIS dicks and insult one another… It's clear to see why he lost interest in us.

That brings us to the philosophical reasons why it failed on a spiritual level or whatever. As I've brought up before, the 2ch system was completely alien to the West. It was difficult to accept except among those that were already in the know. Basically it was abandoned because it grew unusable, but it was never helped by the users themselves. All-in-all, 4chan killed it more than anything. 4chan brought the format without the hassle of the previous cultural overhead and in the end succeeded where w2ch failed (except for all that money it lost and continues to lose). It was a community that was alive and it was not burdened with forced alien memes. It developed its own domestic culture with only the slightest remnants of the past. Those text boards that followed it did much the same in their own way.

If there is a major legacy, it's that the format (and how to fully exploit it) is now widely recognized and understood in the West. People know that they don't have to register, they don't have to provide an e-mail address, and they can say what they like when presented with the familiar reply form.

Did this actually happen?

I could swear that one of the users of world2ch more or less hijacked the site (with good intentions) and rewrote the help pages and stuff (and obviously suggested increased security). Actually, it had to be easy to hijack because I recall stealing the scripts directly from the site due to permissions being fucked up (I wish to hell I still had them).

According to the moon language thread mentioned in Background above, it seems that world2ch was advertised on SA. Really??


There's some information that has been archived for reference purposes here: (archive). · Last modified: 2015/09/20 11:36 (external edit)
Except where otherwise noted, content on this wiki is licensed under the following license: CC Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported
Recent changes RSS feed Donate Powered by PHP Valid XHTML 1.0 Valid CSS Driven by DokuWiki