Saturday, January 15, 2000

Greetings from J-List January 15, 2000

Hello again, from the wild, woolly land of Japan, where you really can dry your body off of with one of those little towels after getting out of the hot springs.

My wife and I continue to enjoy "Ally, My Love" in Japanese on NHK on Sunday nights. It leads to some interesting discussions on the differences between Japan and America. In Japan, for example, there is no jury system at all -- if you're brought before a court, your fate is determined by either one or three judges, who sit in a triangle shape like Cylons. I shudder to think that potentially hardened, cynical judges would be judging my fate (it might account for the 99%+ conviction rate in Japanese courts), but Chiharu said she'd prefer being judged by experienced judges to the randomness of a jury of people who weren't experts in law at all.

As the new year progresses, various statistics about the 1999 are becoming available. The number of people who died in 1999 in car accidents was 9005, a very low number and partially the result of a program by the Japanese police to keep the number below 10, 000. Gunma Prefecture, where we live, has the highest per-capita number of automobiles, but we avoided the honor of having the highest number of traffic deaths last year. The winner was Hokkaido, where 532 people were killed in car crashes.

Tonight's update is filled with interesting, diverse items. First, we've got a volley of "one shot" magazines, posted at the top of magazine page 2. These are single issues we've gotten in at J-List, some dating back to 14 years ago! Next, for fans of our new high-end S&M/fetish photobook page, we've got several new items, including a very nice "Traditional Bondage in Japan" photobook item that looks very nice. There are new magazines as well, including the new issue of Milky Dolls, and many back-in-stock photobooks

J-List sells unique snack treats from Japan, including everything from the original Pocky to Wata-Pachi (cola-flavored cotton candy with pop rocks in them), Wata-Gum (a similar concept, cotton candy that turns to gum in your mouth), as well as some really unique Pokemon snack items, which of course come with collectible stickers, toys and other items inside them. We've lowered the prices on some of our cases, so check out what we've got.

Remember, if you try to access the J-List secure order page and get an error from your browser saying that the secure certificate has expired, it's just the Y2K Browser Bug. Upgrade to a newer version of Netscape or Internet Explorer to fix the error. (For Mac users, the IE fix is at http://www.microsoft.com/mac/download/en/other_EN.asp).

Thursday, January 13, 2000

Greetings from J-List January 13, 2000

Good evening from Japan, where we've had our first snowfall of the season! Being from San Diego, I'm a big fan of snow, and can't see any other reason to have winter. Unfortunately, the Kanto Plain (where Tokyo is, and where we are) is not known for its snow, and already the fluffy, white flakes have started turning to rain.

Fans of the Japanese band Morning Musume are saddened to hear that Ishiguro Aya, one of the prettiest and most interesting members of the 7-member pop band, is leaving, possibly to marry her boyfriend, the drummer from from "visual rock" group Luna Sea. We're bummed, too -- she was one of the cutest.

The newest boom to hit Tokyo this year is called "Stick Board, and it's basically a lightweight skateboard with a retractable handle that you can use to cruise around town with, darting around pedestrians. Seen in places like Harajuku and Shibuya, where young people gather, they're very convenient. Unfortunately, when something gets popular in Japan, it gets *really* popular, and stores can't keep them in stock (so I can't find one for myself, rats).

We've got a really great update for you tonight, with many new items that should be really popular. First, we've got in a wonderful two-part chikan" (pervert on a train) CD ROM series, with over 600 megs per disc of interesting train hentai. Then, for fans of J-List's magazines, we've got the ever-popular new issue of Gal's Shower as well as some other nice new additions to our magazine pages. There are new additions to the S&M photobooks page, including an interesting dominatrix item and a gouka-bon format photobook featuring 58 of your favorite Japanese AV idols (including girls who have retired). On the manga front, there are two excellent new dojinshi anthologies on manga page 2 (but only 5 copies of each), as well as some other excellent adult wide manga. There are several nice new photobook items, including both all-new items as well as more copies of popular items that had sold out (Sawaguchi Rina's popular photobook "Incentive" for example). There's a large volley of all-new JPOP singles on the JPOP page, including some very cool recent CDs

We've also added more items to our popular Reserve Subscription pages, which allow you to get popular Japanese magazines sent you to automatically every month, when they're still on the newsstands here. Uta Bon is a wonderful magazine for JPOP fans, which gives you lyrics and sheet music for hundreds of popular songs in Japan, by the hottest bands. And for ladies, we've added the most popular "Lady Comic, Labien, an erotic comic read by housewives and married women in Japan. We're very happy with the response to our magazine service.

That's all. Enjoy the new update!

Wednesday, January 12, 2000

Greetings from J-List October 12, 2000

Good evening from your friends at J-List!

The Japanese are awfully good at memorizing facts and dates by making handy phrases. To memorize the months of the year that have less than 31 days in them, they use "nishi muku samurai" ("the west-facing samurai") -- ni = 2, shi = 4, mu = 6, ku = 9, and samurai is written with the Chinese numbers for 10 and 1, hence the 11th month. Want to remember the start of the Kamakura Era? Just memorize "ii kuni o tukuro" ("let's make a great nation"), which contains the year -- 1192. There's even a way way to memorize the periodic table of elements using a method like this, although it defeated me pretty quickly.

Japanese singer Kahala Tomomi is still trying to make a go of her "American debut, trying to find a band she can join as a singer. I hope she does well, but it's hard to see her getting a record contract without some backing. Meanwhile, another Japanese singer is trying to make it in the US. Kobayashi Yukie, a talented singer picked out of 4000 competitors to become the star-child of star producer Tetstuya Komuro, has released her first single in the U.S., using the stage name Nikki Monroe. Her career is followed each week on the hit TV show Asayan, the show that made Morning Musume what they are today. See her homepage at http://www.nikkimonroe.com (Flash-enabled).

For this evening's update, we've got some excellent new items for you, including:

  • First, some excellent new magazines, including the new Urecco (Kusanagi Jun alert!), a new issue of Amateur Girl's Data, and more
  • For photobook fans, Pure, a snapshot of the wonderful youthful idol Yagi Mika
  • For let fetish fans, we've got more stock of several sold-out books, including Bizarre Legs, Slit Skirt, and The Nama-ashi (pictures of sexy women with bare legs)
  • The new DVD & Video CD Soft Catalog is in. This is a magazine with two Video CDs, filled with quickie" sampler AV (including underwater fetish)
  • If you love lovely Japan AV videos, we've got a bunch of new titles in stock, including Asato Yuka, Suginami Ami, and Tomosaki Rin in "My younger sister's panties" -- see Japan AV Videos -> New releases
  • Also for video fans, a super 90-minute tekoki & lewdness video from Kanazawa Bunko and SOD -- see the SOD in-stock video page, or the special order page if our stock runs out
  • For our adult manga customers, we have several back-in-stock classics, including I can't keep quiet ~ Koe ga dechau, stock of manga by the very popular Ranchiki, and more -- see the Manga new releases and best-sellers pages
  • For our T-shirt fans, fresh stock of previously sold-out sizes of shirt F ("Beware perverts in the area") and shirt K (the popular black & white version of "Looking for a Japanese girlfriend")
  • For idol video fans, a really special new items: the wonderful 50 minute idol video of the captivating Sakai Wakana -- see the Idols page
  • If you've ever loved the excellent show Kamen Rider (Masked Rider), we've got several complete sets of the "Dash Rider" bike & figure toys
  • We have several copies of Goods Press in stock, for those who love to follow what's popular in Japan -- see then on Anime -> Anime & JPOP magazines
  • Finally, just when you thought J-List had run out of handy things to sell on our Wacky Things from Japan page, we've got -- cooking chopsticks. These extra-long bamboo chopsticks are extremely useful for a variety of cooking tasks, not just when preparing Asian food. Check them out now!

Friday is "Thai day" at J-List, as we celebrate our fourth anniversary with various Thai curries (not very Japanese of us, we know...).

Monday, January 10, 2000

Greetings from J-List January 10, 2000

Hello from Japan, a very cold and windy place right now. Today is a holiday in Japan, so I'm all alone in the J-List World Headquarters...

The Japanese economy continues to limp along, despite showing some signs of recovery. Ford, always the most successful U.S. automaker at selling cars in the Japanese market due to their partial ownership of Mazda, began offering $2000 back cash if you buy one of their cars -- a new concept for the Japanese car economy, which is very different from the U.S.

No car marker is in the news more than Nissan, as it tries to bounce back from years of poor management and red ink. Just as America tired to emulate Japan and Japanese business practices back in the 80's (think Saturn), not Nissan is trying to learn to adapt Western business and management in order to survive. After their merger with French car maker Renault, company president Carlos Gon (spelling?) has become sort of a "pop business idol, appearing on Japanese in interviews as well as Nissan's car commercials. To help improve car sales here, Nissan is renovating all of its showrooms, renaming them Nissan Red Stage" and "Nissan Blue Stage" (we have yet to figure out what the difference between them is). In Japan, car companies control the entire customer experience, including car showroom, and Nissan had allowed their showroom network to become run-down and uninteresting. They're fighting back now with the slogan "Nissan Renaissance."

For tonight's update, we've got some very nice new items for you. First of all, there is a slew of back-in-stock magazines and photobooks, including some items by the popular Miura Aika. There are some great new manga posted, including a rare and out of print Sailor Moon parody anthology, and others. We've updated the popular Gouka Book page with some new high-end fetish photobooks, too. We've taken another good whack at all prices of all calendars -- Slayers Try and Turn A Gundam are down to $16, Hello Kitty to $12 -- to help get our existing stock out the door. Finally, there's another dozen or so of the winter Comic Market's all-new dojinshi up, although they'll go fast as always. Please stop by and see the newly posted items!

The world was largely safe from Y2K disturbances, but not complete: there's a Y2K browser bug that makes some secure pages give an error when viewed with some Unix browsers and Internet Explorer 4.5 for Mac. The fix is to ignore the "certificate has expired" errors, or use Netscape until IE5 is out for Mac. We apologize for any confusion.

Sunday, January 09, 2000

Greetings from J-List October 9, 2000

Greetings from Japan, the country where you pronounce the word "election" very carefully.

The Japanese love to compete internationally, since a lot of their validation as a nation comes from getting the respect of foreigners (this is arguably why the Shinkansen was built, so foreigners would oo and ah when they came for the 1968 Olympics in Tokyo). The interesting TV show TV Champion followed several Japanese "oo-gui" (big eaters) through some hairy and gross competitions in which they tried to eat more sushi, bananas, or Chinese dumplings than their rivals. The winner got to come to New York City, in an international big eating competition against some of the biggest eaters America could muster. In a surprise turnaround, the Japanese oo-gui competitor (who wasn't even fat) defeated his larger American rivals. It was all the more meaningful as the competition took place on the Fourth of July.

Calendar pre-orders are off to a great start this year, and it's always interesting to see which will be the top sellers. Anime calendars are leading the race this year, with Evangelion and Oh My Goddess in a tie for the top spot, followed by Gundam Wing, Totoro, Sailor Moon and Ruro ni Kenshin. The lovely ladies and nude calendars are also selling well, with Onsen Nudes (lovely women in Japanese hot springs) in first place, followed by Kanazawa Bunko, race queen Suzuki Fumika, the busty Satoh Eriko and the lovely Mini-Skirt Police idol Asakura Megumi. Other calendars that are selling well are the Morita Haruyo illustrations (simply beautiful)

Newly added to the site this evening, new T-shirts! Yes, we have three more of our excellent wacky Japanese T-shirts, with very cool slogans for people who want to show their love of Japan to everyone. We have both wacky slogans ("Hentai gaijin" would fit into this category) as well as cool kanji that look good ("daikoku-bashira, the great black pillar" that holds up the household, now on its very own T-shirt), and a Japanese version of the famous Vulcan slogan. Check them out on the T-shirt page.

In addition to the new shirts, we have a bunch of great products, including:

  • We have several excellent new magazines, including the very nice Best Video, Video Boy, and Suppin Evolution
  • For our those interested in our unique photobooks from Japan, we have fresh stock of the Miura Aika 1999 Photobook (the best-selling photobook in J-List's history), as well as both volumes of Miyazawa Nude (but they will go fast)
  • For indies fans, we've got a new issue of MPEG Indies, a cool magazine and dual-VCD sampler magazine that's a great value
  • We have more original Japanese bishojo games from JAST and Trush on Hentai game & CD ROM -> CD ROM & MPEG
  • On Manga -> New releases, we've got some excellent new adult wide manga from Japan, from Hot Milk, Tsukasa and AV Comics
  • For video fans, two nice new long-playing videos from Kuki and Big Mogal, including a new edition of the excellent "Tokimeki Invitation" series
  • Also for video lovers, a brand new "study of men's penis with innocent girls" directed by Sugawara Chie (on the SOD Main Page, or the Special Order page if we run out of stock)
  • For DVD lovers, the second edition of the "Image Club Super" series, a 120 minute DVD featuring excellent "image club" (costume play and acting out of sexual fantasies) on the DVD Galleries page
  • On Wacky Things from Japan page has several items, too, including more stock of several of our remarkably popular wooden signs with messages on them, as well as more of our popular wooden and bamboo wind chimes. Very cool!

That all!