Our Japanese copy of the Beatles five CD Japan Box arrived in the post this morning and so we thought we’d upload an “unboxing” series of photos and show you the contents in some detail.
This has been devised and issued in Japan as part of that country’s activities to mark the Beatles 50th anniversary celebrations this year.
The box set, which will also be issued in the UK and the US, comes in a re-sealable, clear plastic outer. Inside this is a red, yellow and blue paper insert which wraps around the box from part-way at the front and completely covers the rear: On the outside of the box is a circular sticker attached to the clear plastic cover. Not sure what it says – so if anyone can read Japanese please let us know: We think that the sticker has something to do with a small paper insert which is included inside the box (see more on this below).
Here’s the rear of the box with the wrap-around paper insert still in place:
Once you take the box set from it’s plastic cover this is what it looks like, front and rear:
The Japanese are obviously very good at doing high quality glossy cardboard. This set has a really luxurious lustre to it. The sides of the box look like this:
Like previous Beatle CD box sets released in this style (The Beatles In Mono and The US Albums) there’s a slide-out inner draw which holds the contents:
Each of the five CDs comes in it’s own protective clear plastic, re-sealable outer sleeve. There’s a thick booklet included in the box as well as a small, clear plastic sachet containing mini replicas of five Japanese OBI strips. These would have been attached to the original LPs back in the day and are an indicator that Universal Music in Japan have gone to great lengths to accurately recreate the original album artwork:
The 96-page booklet looks like this:Continuing on the design elements established with The Beatles in Mono and The US Albums box sets, each CD comes packaged just like the original 1960’s Japanese LP sleeves for these albums. This attention to detail extends to the external tabs on the rear of the covers, right through to what’s inside as well:
Inside there are authentic paper inner sleeves – exactly as they would have been for the vinyl editions. Meet the Beatles, for example, has a plain white paper sleeve:
There are also the original paper inserts with the lyrics for each song. And the original Odeon Records labels are printed on the CD:
This sort of detail is continued throughout each of the five CDs:
The Beatles No.5 cover loses the external rear tabs and just has a photograph of the band on the rear cover with no song titles:
Inside there’s a printed paper inner sleeve with advertising for other artists who would have been on the Japanese Odeon label at the time, as well as the paper insert with lyrics, etc:
Help! comes in a gatefold sleeve. Here’s the front cover:Here is the rear:And here’s the inside of the gatefold:
Help! also gets a printed paper inner sleeve with advertising, plus the insert with lyrics:It also gets a colour photo of the band as an additional insert:
One mystery object included with the box set is this thin paper postcard. We can’t read Japanese, but it looks like you can fill out your details on the other side, attach a postage stamp and send it off to receive an additional CD single. Possibly “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, the first Japanese single from 1964? If anyone can assist with translating this please do!
All-in-all this box is beautifully done, and it sits nicely alongside The Beatles in Mono and The US Albums box sets as it is exactly the same proportions and style.