You've been in Japan too long when you make a sharp distinction between English and English conversation. This is one of the amusing "You've been in Japan to long when..." jokes (which I maintain on my personal homepage, http://www.myjapan.net), and it's part of the reason why Japan's approach to language learning has been largely unsuccessful. To the Japanese, English is an important subject that is studied in high school in preparation to enter college, and is comprised of grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and listening skills (as the Japanese always say, hearing) -- but it's never or used for communication, either written or spoken. English is always taught in Japanese by Japanese teachers. A completely different animal
The Japanese domestic auto industry is starting to look up. Nissan's new president, Mr. Gohsn (who is so cute he should be called "Gohsn-chan"), has announced a profit of $1.6 billion for the company, as his restructuring efforts begin to bear fruit. The first car designed as a result of the marriage of Nissan and Renault is the Bluebird Sylphy, and my mother-i- law liked it so much she bought one, replacing her aging Nissan Sunny. Other car makers are expecting sales to increase, among them GM, who is looking for ways to promote their popular cars (Saturn and Chevy Blazer) in Japan. Korea's Hyundai is also looking to get into the Japanese market, too, perhaps looking to capitalize on the cooperative atmosphere brought about by the co-hosting of the 2002 World Cup between the two countries
For this evening's update, we've got a lot of great new items, including:
- First, calendars! Although preorders for calendars have closed, we've got some limited stock of our popular anime, JPOP and other 2001 calendars posted to the various calendar pages
- We have new magazines for our AV magazine fans, including new issues of the excellent Video Boy, Best Video, and Suppin Evolution
- We have some really excellent photobooks in stock, on the Japanese photobooks pages, including great items by Hayama Kohime and Kohda Hitomi
- Also sure to be of interest is the new Waffle Super Collection vol. 2, featuring 15 of Japan's most lovely ladies
- It seems we can't keep our popular leg fetish photobook items in stock, since they're so popular. Leg and stocking fetish fans will love the new Mini-Suka Deluxe, which is truly a super item for leg fans
- We've got a first for fans of Kawashima Azumi -- a DVD photobook, a collection of 250+ unreleased photos of the lovely Azumi-chan in a format you can enjoy through any DVD player
- Also very cool, the new "Masterpiece of Soft on Demand" which presents 120 minutes of samples from their excellent products -- over 50 video titles covered in this great video!
- For our erotic manga fans, a great new volley of items, both all-new manga items, as well as some very manga items that had sold out -- see both the new releases and the best-sellers manga pages
- For fans of dojin-soft, the excellent fan-created computer CG and games, we have yet another excellent bunch of items, on the dojinshi page
- We have fresh stock of our of our most popular shirts, the white circle version of our "Looking for a Japanese girlfriend" wacky Japanese T-shirt
- Gundam fans, check out the really cool "anime strap" items we've added to the Anime Toys page -- Char Aznable and Amuro Rei figurines with mechs that you can attach to your camera, keys or portable phone
- For all those times when you never have enough chopsticks, we've got fresh stock of several different sets, including the high-quality balsa sticks that are so enjoyable to eat with -- see the Wacky Things from Japan for these
- Also on our Wacky Things page, cute metal "character plates" which you can hang in your room to add a touch of silly Japanese "kawaii"
- Finally, after a huge delay, we've got fresh stock of our most popular Japanese headband (hachimaki), Watashi wa H which means "I'm a pervert!" Just the ticket for livening up that party or Anime convention!
Today is my mother-in-law's birthday, and that means a big plate of sushi from our favorite sushi chain, Flower House, where four adults can eat themselves into a sushi coma for around $40. Have a nice weekend!