Friday, April 07, 2000

Greetings from J-List April 7, 2000

Greetings from Japan, where people really do boy while they talk on the telephone (I catch myself doing it once a day).

The Japanese language has a great many kotowaza or old proverbs, recounting the wisdom of past generations. There are kotowaza dictionaries and "one a day" calendars that offer a different old proverb daily, and studying these is fun for me, because Japanese are surprised when you know something this archaic. One of my favorite kotowaza is "ningen banji saiou-ga-uma" which means "All things are like Saiou's horse." This refers to an old story about a man named Saiou whose horse broke his leg -- making everyone say how unfortunate he was. Because he had no horse, though, he didn't have to go off to battle to be killed, so this was a good thing. The moral of the story is, when something good or bad happens, no one can say for sure if it is truly a good or bad thing in the end.

I've been enjoying my AirPort, the wireless networking system from Apple and Lucent Technologies. I'd long wanted to network the J-List office is about 500 meters and our house (the liquor store), but until now, the technology hasn't been available. Now I can do email and surf on my Powerbook from my living room, while enjoying my current favorite beer, Asahi Super Malt, with those delicious "persimmon seed" spicy rice crackers. Technology is so wonderful -- where will we all be in five years?

Tonight's update is a very special one, because we're able to announce our latest great addition to J-List -- unique Japanese anime & sexy costumes! The newly rechristened T-Shirts & Costumes page now features high-quality costumes, including the often-requested high school "sailor suit" uniforms, a super-sexy Race Queen vinyl uniform (modeled after Suzuki Fumika's own!), a classic Chun Li "China dress, a stern nurse, and one of the coolest, a slim and sexy Avex girl" costume. These are high-quality machine-sewn items made by Costume World Japan, a fine maker of excellent costumes, that will bring you years of enjoyment and fun. Since Japanese sizes can be quite different from those outside of Japan, we've posted the recommended measurements (bust, waist

(Yes, that is Kaori, by the way, modeling these lovely costumes for us and on the new costumes page. Isn't she lovely?)

We've got lots of other cool items, including:

  • A hot new photobook by the lovely Kanazawa Bunko, on the photobooks page
  • A great treat -- fresh stock of the incredibly popular Crystal Card nude AV cards (1999 vol. 2)
  • Lower prices on Video CDs, gouka-bon books, and all of our Pokemon & Digimon cards and stickers
  • Fresh stock of many popular items, including the Princess Mononoke soft vinyl figures, the popular Mini-Suka Police keychains, and more!

Announcing the April Anime Toys & Puzzle Sale! To help keep our stock room from being overrun, we're announcing a big sale! Buy two or more puzzle or anime toy items (including anime figures, models, phone straps, dolls, clocks, and so on) on the Anime & Toys or the Cards & Puzzles pages, and get 20% off the total for those items! It's a great excuse to pick up that cool Gatchaman or Captain Harlock puzzle, that very special Hello Kitty clock, or that wonderful "Dancing Baby" phone strap for the "Ally" fan in your office... The sale will run until the end of April

Wednesday, April 05, 2000

Greetings from J-List April 5, 2000

Happy Wednesday from Japan, where foreigners are somehow compelled to refer to the country of George Washington as "the States" and by no other name.

Japanese society and relationships can be a pretty ordered business sometimes, determined by "in groups" and the concept of "uchi" (inside my group) and "soto" (outside the group). In Japan, for example, most people have a group of friends throughout elementary and junior high school, but separate when it comes time to go to high school -- high school isn't part of the compulsory education in Japan, and people usually go to a school that fits their scholastic level or goals rather the one nearest their house. One result of this is that an adult will often have one group of "junior high school friends" and another group of "high school friends, without any crossing over between the two groups. When one group of friends goes, say, for karaoke, they are relaxed and casual, and this is reflected in their language -- the most informal language is used among friends. However, if an unrelated group were to be mixed -- say, a high school friend were to mix in with the group of junior high school friends -- the result can be barriers of politeness that are damned hard for a Westerner to grasp. One thing you learn early on when living in Japan is, don't mix your groups: if you've got friends from two different areas of your life, don't invite them to a social event without knowing the potential risks.

For tonight's update, we've got some really great stuff:

  • For magazine fans, we've got a bunch of new magazines posted, including the new issues of Video Boy, Best Video, Nippon Mini-Suka Club, and more
  • Also on magazine page 1, a treat -- not one, but two great issues of Penthouse Japan, the wonderful Japanese-format erotic magazine featuring all Japanese models
  • Photobooks, including Ouchi Arisa and Iikubo May, on photobooks page 1
  • For manga fans, a fresh posting of all-new erotic wide" manga, with some nice new postings
  • For the Yamato fan in you, we've got two new Yamato die-cast ships, which may be the last -- if rumors we've heard of Mimko going out of business are true
  • Also on the Anime & Toys page, more of the popular Sentimental Grafitti figures available for order, as well as high-quality metal & plastic Gundam toys
  • A long-awaited update to the Special Order video pages, where you can pre-order excellent videos by Kanazawa Bunko, Yoshikawa Minami, and many more
  • For fans of Soft on Demand's truly unique "Indies" style of erotic entertainment, we've got great new titles, including Nagase Lum's hot Cosplay Doll, a new "shiofuki" video, and the classic 1996 Masterpiece of SOD, featuring the nude olympics, performances by several artists who have retired, and one of our favorites -- the "arial sex" (a couple having sex while suspended in mid-hair by cranes, and filmed by a helocopter)
  • Finally, on our fun Japanese snacks page, we've added fresh stock of the super tart "hard gummi" candy, Lemon Shigekix, as well as a great new flavor -- Super Cola!

Well, Chiharu and Kazuki are back from their stay in the States. (See? I did it again.) As is our custom when someone returns home, our Japanese house has been transformed into a shrine celebrating American gastric values -- everything from Pop Tarts to Lucky Charms to tortillas those delicious onion bagels. Well, time to go home and have some Hamburger Helper!

Monday, April 03, 2000

Greetings from J-List April 3, 2000

Hello from Japan, now with 50% more volcanic eruptions than before!

The big news in Japan right now is the sudden hospitalization of Prime Minister Obuchi, who suffered a stroke and has slipped into a coma Monday. Mr. Obuchi has had a rough couple of years as he tried to move the country through rough economic and political waters. Hailing from Gunma Prefecture, not too far from where we are, he's been a good example of Japanese-style leadership -- rather a strong leader, he's been a consensus-builder, something more important to Japan than Clinton-esque Presidential political figures. It's a rough time to lose the head of government, especially with the ongoing eruption of Mt. Usu in Hokkaido.

For Americans, the parliamentary form of government used by Japan (which is modeled after the UK, I believe) can be downright confusing -- kind of like a soccer fan trying to understand the rules of American football. When I was on the plane to come to Japan back in 1992, the Prime Minister had just dissolved the Diet for some reason or another. I was concerned -- if Clinton suddenly dissolved the Congress, there'd be civil war, tanks in the streets of Washington, machine-gun fire. Over the years, I've learned more about the Japanese political process, and even helped out on one political campaign (having a white boy among your staff really turns voters' heads). Despite its differences from the American system, I do like the "grass roots" feel of democracy

For tonight's update, we've got:

  • First, a slew of new in-stock videos, on the in-stock videos page, including Deep Kiss, Miura Aika, Kano Mizuho, and the cat-like Hirosue Nao
  • For fans of the excellent Soft on Demand videos, we've got three new "zamen" (sperm-centric/bukkake) video offerings (see in-stock and special order video pages)
  • Several all-new gouka-bon books on the S&M/Fetish photobook page
  • New DVDs from the excellent new "Gallery" collection, including titles by Wakana Sena, Misaki Mao and Hitomi Ryo -- with multi-angle viewing and a 'secret key' hidden features on the disc
  • Lower prices on tons of manga, magazines and videos
  • Finally, for the fun-loving, funny Japanese hachimaki headbands, with slogans like "Looking for a girlfriend" "I'm 'H'" and more! (see them on the Japanese T-shirt page)

Incidentally, the reference to "not by the hair of my chinny chin-chin" generated a lot of mail, so I thought I'd explain it: in Japanese, chin chin is a child's word for penis, similar to "chinpoko." Therefore the meaning is quite different from the original ^_^