Friday, January 07, 2000

Greetings from J-List October 7, 2000

Good evening from a shook-up Japan. The big news this evening is the earthquake in Tottori Prefecture, in western Japan, an area usually known for very little Earthquake activity. The quake was 7.3 in magnitude, and shook up the prefecture good, knocking products off shelves and collapsing many buildings. The streets filled water from burst pipes, and many roads were blocked by landslides and fallen rocks. The quake was supposedly felt in Tokyo, but none of us noticed it at all in Gunma, right in the center of the main land of Honshu (and about 100 km from Tokyo). Tottori is incidentally the least populated prefecture, the Wyoming of Japan more or less, and it's home to Japan's only desert

Kaori has plans to lost her virginity -- her Yoshinoya virginity, that is. There's a category of traditional fast food in Japan called "gyu-don, or beef bowl, basically a bowl of rice with steamed beef on top (it's really good with raw egg, too). Yoshinoya is a popular chain of beef bowl restaurants -- they even have stores in the U.S. If you go to Yoshinoya you'll no doubt see lots of truck drivers and male freeters" (men who work part-time jobs) -- but no women. There's some unwritten social rule that says women can't go into beef bowl restaurants in Japan, and as a result, Kaori never tasted this great food. She's tired of the men at J-List talking about how good gyu-don is though, and is going to go eat it next week.

We've got some nice new items in time for the weekend, including:

  • First, great new magazines, including the new issues of Dela Beppin and Bejeans -- these are super issues of these magazines for you this month
  • On the Magazines -> Backissues, we have more "one shot" mags, including some older issues of Dela Beppin, Beppin School and the original Beppin
  • For photobook fans, we've got some very special items in stock for you, including all three of the dynamite Tennyo nude photobooks, and Kusanagi Jun's extremely popular "Memorial Last Nude" (see the Photobooks pages)
  • Also for photobook collectors, Nomoto Miho's excellent "Taboo" hardcover photobook
  • We have several new manga items for you, including a dynamite new erotic work "Caressing" by Peace Comics (Manga -> New releases) and new issues of Comic Jumbo (Magazines -> Hentai)
  • For our video fans, a treat: not one, but two lovely videos featuring Kano Mizuho/Kusanagi Jun videos, Fairy Meeting and St. Lady Molester. See Videos -> Classics for the ones we have in stock, or Special order videos -> Bestsellers if we sell out.
  • Also for AV video fans, some cool items in stock on the "Theme Videos" page that could only come from Japan
  • For fans of Indies videos, we've got stock of MPEG Indies, a great 2-Video CD + color magazine item that gives a great amount of bang for the buck -- see this on the CD ROMS & MPEG page
  • For bondage fans, we've got the last copies of the "Best of Immoral Angel" series, a VCD compilation of bondage AV, on DVD -> Discount items
  • If you like Japanese professional wrestling, we've got a treat for you -- eight past issues from Gong, a popular wrestling magazine from circa 1980
  • Customers are buying the konnyaku fruit we posted during the week, so we've added a new flavor: lychee, the delicious fruit from Thailand
  • The Japanese have a great custom of writing messages on beautifully printed paper-covered cardboard, called "shikishi." We now have lovely "Hello Kitty" shikishi, on the "Wacky Things from Japan page.
  • Finally, also on the WTFJ page, more stock of some very popular items that had sold out before, including Japanese oil absorbing sheets, vocabulary study cards (use them to learn Japanese!) and the always popular Hello Kitty disposable chopsticks.

Remember that in addition to offering regular revolving subscriptions to a variety of Japan's really cool anime, JPOP, manga and hentai magazines, we carry stock of many of these magazines. You can find stock of anime and JPOP magazines under the "JPOP & Idols" sub-category, and hentai magazines like E-Login and PC Angel on Magazines -> Hentai.

Greetings from J-List January 7, 2000

Happy Friday, from Japan, where drivers practice "safety driving."

It's said that Japan is 25 years behind the U.S. in terms of social development and awareness. Looking at Japan's recent enactment of a law require that babies ride in infant carseats (or "baby-chairs" as they're called here), it's kind of true. Japan is one of the few countries that actively cares about the opinions of its foreign population, and much of the progress in Japan, from Bullet Trains to freeways to laws banning photography of minors and health warnings on cigarette packages is brought about directly because Japanese want to impress foreigners who come here, and avoid bad impressions from negative areas.

Another area Japan lags behind the U.S. are movies. The biggest hit movies with big stars in them are often released here at the same time as in the States, but most movies show up here 6-12 months later. The Blair Witch Project is currently playing in Japanese theaters, although I've already got the DVD from the States. By far the most powerful player in Japan's movie industry is Toda Natsuko, the #1 translator of movies. Having her name in credits at the end of a movie is a status symbol for film studios, and her schedule personally decides what and when Japan see at the movies. Audiences go out of their way to see films she's translated, although my gaijin friends and I were enjoying nit-picking through her translation for Star Wars: Episode 1 during the summer.

There's a nice update for J-List, just in time for the weekend. First and foremost, there's a big selection of collections of CG artwork on CD ROM, published by budding CG artists at the Comic Market -- see these on the dojinshi page. There are a half dozen or so new hentai manga on the manga page, including some nice new items for large-breast fans. We've also added several lovely new photobooks, both on our normal photobook page (new items go on page 1 as always), but also on the new fetish/S&M photobooks page. Fans of S&M and the various hard-to-find Japanese sexual fetishes should check out these new items. Finally, there's a big update of in-stock Japanese adult videos, courtesy of Kaori. Lovely new titles by Komuro Yuri, Shiina Mai

I've updated MyJapan.Net, my personal homepage, with an interview with Fubuki Akira, and more. Also, we've updated CM-Watch, where you can download Japan's best TV commercials. Feedback is always appreciated!

Well, that's our update. Have a great weekend, and see you on the web!

Wednesday, January 05, 2000

Greetings from J-List January 5, 2000

Hello from Japan, home of squid pizza, octopus balls and green tea flavored ice cream. The year 2000 is five days old, and rocket packs and flying cars haven't suddenly materialized, allowing us to jet to the moon and back. As a card-carrying fan of Arthur C. Clarke's SF stories, I have to admit that it's kind of disappointing to me...

One sign that my wife and I weren't in our 20's anymore is when we started getting most of our entertainment from NHK, the network of four channels run by the Japanese government. One day we realized that the most interesting shows to us weren't anime or young idols singing on Hey Hey Music Champ, but the excellent content of NHK. The other day we watched a very interesting documentary on "kikoku shijo, or Japanese kids who have lived abroad for many years, then returned to experience culture shock in their own home country. Ally McBiel (which I watch in Japanese) and Beverly Hills 90210 (which my wife watches in English) are shown on NHK, too. Foreigners living in Japan complain about the 2000 yen they have to pay the NHK man who comes collecting every month, but it's good to have something that's worth watching.

Unfortunately, Masako-sama, the princess expected to bear Japan's future Emperor, has suffered a miscarriage, making all the silly festivities about her pregnancy by the Japanese media somewhat empty. It's a sad way to start off the year. In happier news, however, the man who robbed our liquor store back in November was caught by the Japanese police, trying to break into another area house. It turns out he was a younger man than we'd thought, only 27 years old member of a street gang. My mother in law is especially glad to hear that the man was caught.

We've got some nice items for you this evening. First, there's a large update of manga, including some really nice new adult wide" manga items -- a half dozen or more. (The "Isane ~Break Out~" cover picture has also been corrected, thanks to those to let us know that we had the wrong picture posted.) We've added a large number of very nice new in-stock adult videos, including offerings from some of Japan's most popular AV gals. New videos have been added to the special order video page, as well. There are some gorgeous illustration books on the anime page, too. We're closing out our current stock of collectible cards, including both our Bejean & Crystal Card series as well as our anime and idol cards, so check out the cards & puzzles page.

Finally, we've slashed our remaining stock of 2000 calendars yet again, and to help them go, we've taken pictures of the insides of many of the calendars -- so please check out the 40+ calendars we've got left before the ones you want are gone.

Tuesday, January 04, 2000

Greetings from J-List October 4, 2000

Hello again from your friend in Japan, J-List.

Japanese love to take English words and play with them. In addition to such "wasei-eigo" (made-in-Japan English) words as "nighter" (a night game of baseball) and "skinship" (the loving touch of a mother and her baby), there are many fun words that are combined from English and Japanese. "Otome-tic" is made from "otome" (woman) and "tic" (the back syllable in "romantic, which turns a noun into an adjective), and describes a woman who is trying a little too hard to act demure and cute. When singer Amuro Namie became the shining star of Japan around 1995, causing a generation of young Japanese girls to imitate her, they were labeled Amulers." If you meet a person with oily skin, know that they are called "aburagish" in Japanese -- from "aburagi" (oil) and "ish" (meaning of or about). And the category of up-skirt fetish materials from Japan has been dubbed "chirarism, from chira" (a quick glimpse) and "ism."

Over the past few decades, many interesting and exotic foods have made their way from Japan to the rest of the world, including sushi and sashimi, sukiyaki, and more. There's something about the mystique surrounding Japan that makes it fun to eat. One food I've thought could become the next "exotic" food from Japan Japan is konnyaku. Called Devil's Tongue in English, konnyaku is a very firm food that feels at first like gelatin (Jello), but is much more tasty and satisfying to eat. (In block form, it's supposedly popular as a sexual aid, although I haven't figured out how this would work.) It's very low in calories, so it's popular for dieting here in Japan. Konnyaku is eaten in a variety of ways

  • We have more copies of the wonderful hardcover photobook by Fubuki Akira "So Long" (on Photobooks -> page 1)
  • For fans of amateur and married women themes, see the various single issues of Apple Shashinkan, on the back-issues and gouka-bon pages
  • Leg fetish fans will like Romance Punch, a great leg-fetish cosplay (costume play) book, as well as more copies of the very cool "Bizarre Legs"
  • We've got even more all-new adult manga releases, including new books by Hit Comics, AV and Izumi
  • Also, for dojinshi fans, we've got another volley of very nice dojinshi, including some excellent Sentimental Graffiti
  • Remember our "first and last" yaoi sale, which allows you to buy-2-get-1-free on any yaoi comic item. We've added several items to the list now -- boys make exciting drama
  • For Gundam fans, a very cool new video on the "theme videos" page, featuring actual Gundam charters in costumes, in fun parody play
  • Also in the cool parody department, we've got The Clitrix, a totally cool AV parody based on the Matrix, featuring lovely AV stars Izumi and Anna (this disc is a region-2 disc)
  • For fans of Japan's unique adult anime RPGs, we've got limited stock of several popular Japanese games, and at great prices. See them on Hentai game -> CD ROMs
  • We've got the popular soft vinyl girl figures from Sub-Zero back on the site -- including both versions of the popular Japanese high school girl, and the excellent "Santa Girl"! See them on the Wacky Things from Japan page
  • Also wacky but useful, we've got these lovable Hello Kitty "mayonnaise cups, which you can use to store anything from make-up to vitamins to condiments for your lunch to contact lenses
  • Finally, the above-mentioned delicious konnyaku fruit packets, in four tasty flavors. Find these items on the Japanese Snacks page.

The shopping cart was acting up for a few hours during Tuesday night, Japan time. The problem has been fixed -- sorry for any inconvenience. As always, if you ever have a problem with the cart (which we are working on replacing now), feel free to use the secure email form at https://rook.axnet.net/pages/virtual/jlist/orderjlist_secure.html to order (or click the secure email" link on the page).

Sunday, January 02, 2000

Greetings from J-List October 2, 2000

Greetings from Japan!

It's looking like Saturn's foray into Japan hasn't been all that successful. After two years of effort, I still haven't seen more than a handful of Saturns driving around on Japanese roads. Saturn of Shinjuku Station has closed, and Saturn of Maebashi, the nearest dealer, has quietly been turned into a Mazda dealership (although they still handle repairs for Saturns). Saturn is a great car, and I love my SW2 (we bought the first Saturn in Gunma Prefecture), but the Japanese recession has been very tough on car makers, forcing them to really compete on price and value -- for the same price as a Saturn short wagon, you can get a really nice Nissan Liberty or even a Bongo Friendy (one of my favorite Japanese mini-vans, I just love the name so much). I hope things turn around for Saturn in Japan.

October has rolled around, and that means a birthday for J-List. It was four years ago Sunday that Kaori and I started out in our tiny home office, with our networked Macs and our fledgling database, which I was building as we went along. Our scanner was an old Microtek that required three passes to scan a magazine, which Kaori dutifully operated from her Power Mac 7500. We outgrew our tiny stockroom so fast, we had to literally walk on manga and magazines to fill orders. It's been a wild four years so far, and the best is still to come. As the Japanese say each new year to friends, Kore kara mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu, a phrase that's difficult to translate accurately, but it means something like "we thank you in advance for your future help and support." Thanks!

One note about playing region-2 DVDs on computer DVD drive in computers. It's true you can set the region code through software, but be aware that recent DVD ROM drives only allow you to change this setting 5 times -- after that, they're set permanently. If you want to view some of the region-2 discs from Japan but don't have a code-free player, you could do what I do: leave your computer permanently set to region 2, and view region-1 discs on your normal DVD player.

As usual, we've got another great slew of cool items from Japan for you this evening, including:

  • First, we've got excellent new magazines, including the new Milkiss and Cho Very Good!! issues, for your beautiful magazine life
  • We've got several premium and cool back-issues of Japanese magazines on the backissues page, including a nice issue of the extremely "natsukashii" Beppin (Magazines -> back issues)
  • For leg fans, we've got a great new leg fetish books, Slit skirt, with excellent photos of sexy high-heeled women with skirts that go all the way up (Photobooks -> leg fetish)
  • Also for photobook fans, more stock of Yamauchi Mihoko's "Brilliant, Hirai Rio's first photobook, and a new item, Asaoka Ayane's lovely Manual" busty photobook (Photobooks -> page 1)
  • For SM fans, see Yoshii Miki's excellent "SM Photo Memories" photobook, on the S&M photobook page
  • For our erotic manga fans, we've got another very nice volley of new books, including manga by IC Comics, Hit Comics and Fujimi -- also, several "back in stock" titles, on the manga "classics" page
  • If you like adult dojinshi, find the dozen or so new items posted to the dojinshi page -- including several excellent new Ah My Goddess adult books
  • To go with our yaoi sale (see below) there are 20+ new yaoi dojinshi posted to the yaoi page. See these excellent and compelling male/male works, now!
  • For our SOD fans, we've got a great new item -- women raping men, a fantasy from the mind of female AV director Sugawara Chie
  • For DVD fans, a very special item -- Costume Play Perfection, a super DVD (code-free) featuring erotic anime and game cosplay fun. Featured are Evangelion characters, Chun Li and Sakura from Street Fighter, Sakura from Sakura Wars, Gundam Wing uniforms, and more!
  • On our Wacky Things from Japan page, we've got several cool items: a Japanese "sign pen" (specially made for signing things so they'll show up boldly on the paper) and a smaller size of our popular Japanese mugi-cha (barley) tea bags
  • Finally -- we've got ika! You've heard me mention the dried, shredded ika (squid) that is popular in Japan, and now you can get it from J-List. The soft squid is enjoyed with sake or beer, and is a deliciously unique treat from Japan. Find this item on the snacks page!

Announcing the first and last J-List Yaoi sale! We've got a large number of excellent yaoi manga and dojinshi, and we'd like you to buy them from us. To help you, we're going to offer buy-2-get-1-free off of any yaoi dojinshi manga/dojinshi items.

Greetings from J-List January 2, 2000

Happy New Year from all of us at J-List! We crossed into the New Year with our old Japanese standbys, the Kouhaku TV show, eating soba noodles, and trying to keep the kids up. After the New Year, fireworks went off all around us, even out in the country as we are. We then enjoyed the countdown each hour, as each time zone was covered in-depth on Japanese TV. Paris and New York were two of the most spectacular.

The last minutes of 1999 also saw the return of Chuyan and Hitomi, from their around-the-world-in-80-days tour. Relying on an Iridium pager that allowed them to receive email from around the world, they managed to get from San Francisco back to Tokyo in just 80 days. Since we received a lot of feedback about their journey, we captured their glorious return in a Quicktime movie. See the movie, as well as a report on New Year's in Japan, at http://www.myjapan.net/peter/denpa80.html . Disclaimer: the movie is too small for the English subtitles to be readable -- sorry about that. Quicktime 4 is required to view the movie.

We're coming out swinging in the New Year with a very nice update for everyone. First and foremost, volley 2 of the Winter Comic Market's new dojinshi is posted, and they are very nice indeed. Unfortunately, there is only one copy of most of the books, so you should hurry and check out the dojinshi page ASAP. For fans of Japan's unequaled erotic manga, we've got Isane ~Break Out~ posted to the hentai manga page. There are new magazines posted, including the great new Gal's Dee, and not one but *two* issues of Photoshot on the photobooks page.

We've also got an entirely new page: high-end S&M and fetish books, known as gouka-bon in Japanese which cater fans of unique genres of eroticism. These fabulous & rare books represent a sub-category of highly specialized Japanese pornography for distinguished fans who desire extremely hard core S&M and other fetish themes. See our first offering on the Fetish/S&M Photobooks page, up now!
Because we currently lack a good distributor to allow us to get lot of great JPOP titles for the JPOP music page, we've decided to continue the buy-4-get-1-free special until further notice, as our way of thanking JPOP fans for their support and interested in our JPOP offerings. We'll get a better source of JPOP soon!

Finally, a slight change regarding our "reserve subscriptions" which make it possible for J-List readers to get current issues of Japanese magazines sent to them as they're available on the newsstands here. Previously, we'd asked that you use a credit card for these revolving subscriptions, so we can charge and send each issue easily when it comes in. We'd still appreciate it if you could use a credit card for the order; however, if it's inconvenient for you to pay with a credit card, check/money order is fine. We'll set aside your issues and send out an automatic email as the magazines come in.

Thanks for being on the list, and "Kotoshi mo yoroshiku!"