The Beatles Japan Box – First Pics and Unboxing

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: Japan BoxOn 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: Japan Box frontWe 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: Japan Box rear

Once you take the box set from it’s plastic cover this is what it looks like, front and rear:

Japan Box front2Japan Box rear2

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: Japan Box side1Japan Box side2

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:Japan Box open1Japan Box open2

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:Japan Box OBI strips

The 96-page booklet looks like this:Japan Box BookJapan Box Book2Japan Box Book3Japan Box Book4Continuing 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:Japan Box MTB frontJapan Box MTB rear

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:Japan Box MTB inner 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:Japan Box MTB insertJapan Box MTB CD

This sort of detail is continued throughout each of the five CDs:Japan Box Second Album frontJapan Box Second Album rearJapan Box No2 insertJapan Box AHDN frontJapan Box AHDN rearJapan Box AHDN insertJapan Box No5 front

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:

Japan Box No5 rearInside 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:Japan Box No5 inner sleeveJapan Box No5 inserts

Help! comes in a gatefold sleeve. Here’s the front cover:Japan Box Help frontHere is the rear:Japan Box Help rearAnd here’s the inside of the gatefold:Japan Box Help gatefold

Help! also gets a printed paper inner sleeve with advertising, plus the insert with lyrics:Japan Box Help insertsIt also gets a colour photo of the band as an additional insert:Japan Box Help photo insertJapan Box Help CD

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!   Japan Box insert

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.

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7 thoughts on “The Beatles Japan Box – First Pics and Unboxing

  1. The colour photo insert included with ‘Help!’ is a mini version of the poster that was included with the original 1960s vinyl albums

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  2. Are the lyric sheets corrected? I have an LP copy of Hard Days Night and the lyric sheet has a handful of amusing mistakes. Did they leave them in for authenticity’s sake?

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      • So the line in I’ll Be Back isn’t changed from “I love you so” to “I love you soap”? I got a kick out of that one.

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      • Uh oh. “I love you soap” is still in there!

        Also in “You Can’t Do That” “I’m gonna let you down and leave you flat” reads “I’m gonna let you down and leave you glad”……and “Everybody’s green, ’cause I’m the one who won your love” translate as “Everybody’s greivin’ because I’m the one who won your love”. I should have looked more closely.

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      • I love them! They’re definitely not typos, someone (whose first language probably wasn’t English) clearly misheard them. Well that’s just great that those were left intact.

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  3. Bonus: this is what I found:

    First Press Detail application postcard (valid only in Japan)
    External Bonus B2-size ad poster

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