TOKYO – Twitter is a hit in Japan, succeeding where other social networking imports like Facebook have foundered as millions “mumble” — the translation of tweet — and give mini-blogging a distinctly Japanese flavor.

The arrival of the Japanese language Twitter service in 2008 tapped into a greater sense of individuality in Japan, especially among young people less accepting of the understatement and conformity the culture is usually associated with, analysts say.

A mobile version of Twitter started last October, further fueling the Twitter boom in a nation where Internet-connecting cell phones have been the rule for years.

These days, seminars teaching the tricks of the tweet, as the micro-blog postings are known, are popping up. Ending Japanese sentences with “nah-woo” — an adaptation of “now” in English — is hip, showing off the speaker’s versatility in pseudo-English Twitter-speak.

A TV show features characters that tweet. A Tokyo bar has screens showing tweets along with World Cup games. Pop idols and a former prime minister are tweeting like crazy.

The proportion of Japanese Internet users who tweet is 16.3 percent and now surpasses Americans’ 9.8 percent. Twitter and Japan’s top social networking site, mixi, have been running neck-and-neck with monthly visitors between 9 million and 10 million but in April Twitter squeaked past mixi, according to Nielsen Online.

In contrast, only 3 percent of Japanese Internet users are on Facebook, according to Nielsen.

Twitter estimates Japanese write nearly 8 million tweets a day.