Wednesday, December 20, 2000

Greetings from J-List December 20, 2000

Greetings from Japan, a country where, in the words of a wise friend of mine, You know no one is horcking in your food."

Well, the Japanese recession is officially over, with the third quarter of growth reported by the Japanese government. It wasn't much growth -- 0.2% -- but it's something. Still, a new report stating that Japan could lose its position as the world's third largest economy by the year 2015 to China is causing consternation here. Japan has great pride in being the #3 economy, after the U.S. and European Union, and is concerned about future competition from the rapidly growing China and India. Still, after doing business in Japan for four years and seeing the inefficient, black underbelly of Japan's distribution system, and how quickly it withers at the slightest outside competition (e.g. Toys R Us), I can say that Japan has a lot to be afraid of. A lot has changed over the past few years

Thursday, the J-List crew is taking the afternoon off and heading for Ikaho, a nearby city that's known for its onsen (hot springs). We try to take our annual onsen trip in the autumn, but got around to it later than usual this year. At the onsen, we'll take long baths, eat Japanese style food while wearing yukata (cotton kimonos) and sitting on tatami, take more baths, drink, and eat Haagen Daaz ice cream from a vending machine late at night, then wake up in the morning with hangovers and curse the hotel for only serving green tea

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

  • First, new magazines, including the new Dela Beppin (alert fans of Kawai Azusa and the delicious Kumano Pooh-ko) and Peach Water (great bikini and swimsuit sexual fetish)
  • We have several excellent new photobooks, including Aoki Eri's Progression and Sakurai Fuka's Missing -- both excellent for fans of Japanese high school uniforms
  • For leg fetish fans, a new item -- volume 3 of the excellent Rich Daughter's Legs series
  • We've got some excellent new adult manga posted to the manga
  • For our manga and dojinshi fans, we've got several new items added to the "Bargain Basement" page -- over-stocked and close-out manga and dojinshi, starting from just $5
  • The hottest Japanese AV idol of 2000 is shaping up to be the dynamite Ohura Anna, the incredibly gorgeous and busty AV queen -- see her latest AV video offering on the New releases page!
  • Soft on Demand has turned five years old, and to commemorate their stellar rise -- they've achieved sales of $55 million in that short time -- they've released a fantastic 2-video (and 2-DVD, for the DVD version) with 240 minutes (!) of the best performances in their history. A fantastic selection of AV idol (Miura Aika, many more), theme videos (tekoki, cosplay, and more), this is a wonderful item for Japan AV fans!
  • For anime fans, we've got the new issue of Megami Magazine, an incredible anime and game-girl focused magazine that gives you tons of great stuff, including two large posters, 14 pin-up posters, and more
  • We've got more wacky shining stickers with Japanese messages on them, on the Japanese signs and stickers page
  • We have fresh stock of our popular Japanese T-shirts, including more of the popular "Looking for a Japanese girlfriend" (red circle) version
  • For our Japanese snack fans, we've got fresh stock of many popular items, including Mouse Pocky (delicious!), Kuro-Ame traditional candy, sake candy (with real sake in it!), and Lotte's "Green Gum" and "Black Black"
  • Speaking of Lotte, we've also posted an all-new flavor -- Lotte's "La France" (pear) flavored fruit gum
  • For those (like me) who hate the cold of winter, we've got a new version of Japanese hot pocket (kairo), specially designed to go in your shoes and warm your feet for hours
  • Finally, a super cool item -- Japanese sushi erasers! These delicious erasers closely resemble Japanese sushi, with individually molded rubber pieces for extra realism. So good, we could eat them -- see these wacky items on the Wacky Things from Japan page.

Remember that J-List has the world's only Wacky Japanese T-shirts, funny T-shirts with bizarre messages in Japanese on them. The #1 selling T-shirt we offer is far and away the red circle version of "Looking for a Japanese girlfriend, followed closely by Hen na gaijin" ("I'm a strange foreigner"). "Philosophy of Hentai" and the basic "Watashi wa H" ("I'm H" or "I'm a pervert"). Guaranteed to get strange looks and laughs from Japanese, and in the experience of at least one J-List customer, even more!

Monday, December 18, 2000

Greetings from J-List December 18, 2000

Greetings from Japan, the country where cars have curtains.

One concept related to Japanese politeness is "enryo, which means hesitation." Basically, if a group of Japanese is eating a pizza, it will take some time for one of the members to get around to taking the last slice, because of the tendency for each individual to defer to the others in the group -- until everyone is deferring to everyone else, and the pizza is getting cold. If you watch a group of Japanese people, it's interesting to see how this comes into play. The concept of enryo rears its head when trying to make a decision among a group, too. Say a large group of people is trying to decide on a restaurant to go to. Each member of the group will put out some feelers, trying to nudge the collective opinion of the group in one direction or another. If even one person in the group is inconvenienced by the collective decision, you can be another decision will be made.

The Japanese sometimes take an English word and change its meaning. One example is the word "corner, which means area" in Japanese usage. A smoking area in a train station is known as a "smoking corner." Similarly, a room for breast-feeding babies is called "junyu (giving of milk) corner." But the one I like best is the Japanese word for ATM, or automated teller machine: "cash corner." Words are alive, of course, and their meaning are changing constantly. I do love the spin the Japanese give to English.

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

  • First, excellent new magazines, including the super Gal's Dee (featuring Yamasaki Akari!), and the great new issues of Video Boy and Best Video -- superb magazines that offer snapshots of the entire Japanese AV world in one great issue
  • We've also got some of our popular single shot magazines, as well as more $5 magazines on our discount magazine page (magazine page 3)
  • Photobook fans should check out the excellent new additions, including Inoue Harumi's dynamite "Foxy" photobook, and a hardcover offering from swimsuit idol Katsumura Mika
  • If you love Japan's AV world, check out the new in-stock videos, on Videos (new releases) -- Mitsumoto Ami's "Heart Throb of Woman" and Takemoto Rio's "Wet & Messy"
  • We have more great AV DVDs than anyone else in the world, and we've updated our selection: Yuki Hitomi's Gallery offering from Video Bank, and a super DVD featuring a woman near to my heart, the dynamite Ms. Aida Momo (!)
  • We've got a bunch of fresh adult manga posted, with many previously sold out and popular manga volumes by Hit, Mujin, and more
  • By request, we've added stock of the latest excellent "Crystal Card" collectible AV trading card series --see it on the photobooks page
  • For our yaoi fans, there are two excellent new yaoi manga posted to the yaoi page, including the latest issue of the popular B-Boy Zips
  • We've got a classic for Noripii fans -- Sakai Noriko's "Lovely Times" photobook, photographed in London, on the Idol DVDs and More page
  • For fans of the lovely idol group Morning Musume, we have a lovely item, a "photograph card" that shows the lovely members of Morning Musume in great poses -- and each photo card is only 50 cents!
  • We've got fresh stock of our wacky wooden signs with funny Japanese messages on them
  • On our Wacky Things from Japan page, we've got fresh stock of the extremely handy and useful Japanese Hot Pockets (Kairo), hideously useful little pouches that warm you for up to 24 hours; and fresh stock of our patented Japanese origami paper
  • Finally, a really esoteric New Year's decoration from Japan, Shinto "Kadomatsu" or "gate pine" decorations, little bamboo and straw assemblies that bring a fresh, new feeling of renewal around New Years. A wonderful item -- see it on the Wacky Things page!

Just another plug for calendars! We still have many excellent JPOP, anime, idol and nude calendars in stock, and we'd like your assistance in getting rid of them. L'Arc~en~Ciel, lovely Race Queen Suzuki Fumika, computer generated sexy idol Terai Yuki, Evangelion, the very sexy Asakura Megumi. We've knocked prices down yet again, as we try to get our stock moved out. We thank you for helping us by checking out our excellent oversize, glossy Japanese calendars!