Friday, January 05, 2001

Greetings from J-List January 5, 2001

Hello, and TGIF from your friend in Japan, J-List!

The other night, my wife and I found an interesting TV show where a panel of politicians and writers debated until dawn what Japan needed to do to survive and prosper in the 21st century. The panel included many Japanese-fluent foreigners from the U.S., Canada and several other countries, who offered their own interesting viewpoints. Japan is a country with a lot of problems, from an economy lacking energy and "genki" to growing social problems, and they think quite deeply about what can be done about it.

One of the biggest problems Japan faces is a total lack of inflation -- amazingly, a package of boil-in-bag curry costs only a little more today than it did 30 years ago! Aside from very moderate train fare increases, and one telephone rate increase, I can't think of a single product that costs more today than it did when i came to Japan in 1992. This lack of price growth is one of the key reasons why Japan's economy can't get any real forward motion and start growing again.

The Internet is a wonderful convenience for everyone, but even more when you're an expat living in Japan. While Japan has a lot of comforts of home, from Pringles to Kellogg's cereals to Ally McBiel (albeit in Japanese), I don't know what I'd do without Outpost.com and Amazon.com to supply me with books, U.S.-release DVDs and more. Saturday night is my designated DVD-watching night, since we have to set up the VCR to tape Kamen Rider Kuga and Ojamajo Doremi (my kids' favorite shows) on Sunday morning.

For this weekend's update, we've got some great items prepared for you. They include:

  • First, a great big 2001 calendar update, with items that had been held on reserve now made available on the site -- there are over a dozen idol, anime and JPOP calendars newly posted to the calendars pages
  • We have some great new magazine issues for you, including the dynamite new Beppin School, a cool issue of Namper (for fans of "nampa" or picking up Japanese girls and taking them to hotels), and another cool Idol Digging Magazine
  • We've got several great new photobook items in, including the truly excellent Fukuda Miho 1st Photobook, one of the most beautiful glossy photobooks I've seen
  • Also for photobook fans, fresh stock of several out of stock items, including Takamatsu Ai's very pretty "Cosmos"
  • We've got a bunch of excellent new erotic manga posted, including the excellent From the Bucho with Love by artist Distance (see Manga -> New releases), as well as fresh stock of some very popular manga that had been out of stock (on Manga -> Classics)
  • For fans of SOD's ever-cool erotic videos, we've got vol. 2 of the "Insert vibrator into the hole of panty" video series, featuring the patented Love Gun
  • If you love Japanese AV DVD, check out AV 2000, an excellent 120 minute collection of super erotic themes and cosplay performances
  • For those who join Tomo and myself in loving the beautiful and angelic Aoi Minori, see her excellent Best Collection DVD "Hidden Treasure" (on the Region code 2 DVD page)
  • For anime fans, check out the latest issue of AX, a super character-centric anime magazine that comes with a great CD ROM for Mac or PC
  • For fans of delicious Japanese snacks, see one of my favorite snacks, Choco Flake Bits on our snacks pages
  • On our Wacky Headbands and Signs page, see several new items, including an authentic Japanese "emergency exit" sign, and another of our popular Japanese wooden signs with funny messages on them
  • We've got a major restock of several sold out items on our Wacky Things from Japan page, including Japanese notebooks, traditional writing paper, and our handy J-E and E-J dictionaries (just $5)
  • Finally, a cool item for anyone interested in learning or brushing up on hiragana and katakana -- children's workbooks, on the Wacky Things page!

Remember that J-List offers current newsstand issues of a wide variety of magazines from Japan, from anime magazines to JPOP to hentai. Check out these items on the "reserve subscription" pages!

Wednesday, January 03, 2001

Greetings from J-List October 3, 2001

Hello again from the land of the Rising Gundam!

Almost all Japanese with a high school education study English for six years, three in Junior High School and three in High School -- if you ever want to have some fun, ask a Japanese how many years they've studied English, and watch them count up the years one by one, even though you'd think they knew the number off the tops of their heads. Despite all these years of study, the Japanese don't usually attain competency at English. To combat this, the Ministry of Education has declared that English conversation will be taught, starting in the 3rd grade, to try to increase fluency in English. I wish the Japanese educators well, but I know that as long as Japan refuses to study the examples of countries like Canada and Belgium that have successful bilingualism programs, future efforts will continue to be disappointing.

Japanese study English, but there's always a subtle conflict that no one acknowledges: do they study American English or British English? The Japanese have always had great respect for England, and have patterned much of their government after England's. Still, the Japanese tend to study American spelling ("color" not "colour") and pronunciation, as a general rule. The problem is, it's not a fixed rule -- British English is sometimes used in schools, just enough to confuse the poor kids. When my wife was in Junior High school, she took part in a pronunciation contest. She practiced and practiced the text she was supposed to read, but unfortunately, the teacher who helped her with the material had learned British English, and the two accents confused her terribly.

The Japanese love to see their own being recognized around the world, so they were pleased to see Prime Minister Koizumi standing beside President Bush. The Prime Minister pledged his support for the war on terrorism, and he's also doing what he can to amend the Japanese constitution (which America wrote), which expressly forbids Japanese military activities outside of Japanese coastal waters, to allow Japan to do more to help.

When we made our first "Looking for a Japanese girlfriend" wacky Japanese T-shirt two years ago, we had no idea what a cult we were creating. It turns out that there are a lot of people who would like to meet Japanese girls in the world, since our shirts sold beyond our wildest expectations. The new version of our shirt sports a great new design, with the words "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" laid out around the Japanese "red spot." We've got two different colors, white and black.

For our first update after returning to Japan, we've got some nice new items for you, including:

  • First, we've got some excellent new magazines for you, including the wonderful new Gokuh and Dela Beppin, as well as some great kogal mags and more
  • For fans of magazines that give you more, we've got Underground DVD, featuring a magazine with tons of excellent material and a 2 hour DVD, too
  • We've restocked many popular photobooks, which had sold out before, including the Costume Top Models leg fetish photobook,
  • We've got fresh stock of Yellows 3.0 China and Yellows Angels, the popular photobooks which document the nude beauty of women, by photographer Akira Gomi
  • For fans of the rather bizarre Japanese medical fetish photography, we've got a new issue of Karte Club for you on the high-end bondage photobook page
  • Of course we've got an excellent update of Japanese wide manga for you, including some erotic comics by Shikage Nagi, the artist for the popular Snow Drop and Little My Maid bishoujo games from Peach Princess
  • If you love the fantastic artwork of Yui Toshiki, we've got fresh stock of his hot seller, Yui Shop vol. 1, one of the best-selling erotic art books we've ever carried
  • For doujinshi fans, we've got several new titles for you, including fresh stock of some great books with kemono (animal) and romantic boy-meets-girl sexual themes, as well as fresh stock of Kenix "game girl" doujinshi titles
  • We were very impressed with the sales of "First Cock Suckin' and Finger Shakin' Contest," a competition of fellatio and tekoki (hand job) by eight women, produced by SOD. The second video in the series is here, with eight new lovely women doing more of the same!
  • For lovers of SOD's bold Idol Shower series, we've got another excellent "coupling" title, featuring two complete productions on one disc
  • For those who love sweet Japanese AV idols with small, lithe bodies, we recommend the excellent No Cut! DVD featuring three full productions and 180 minutes of footage, starring Aimi Yoshii
  • For fans of Himeya's popular bishoujo games, we're happy to announce that the long-awaited Adam the Double Factor is in stock and shipping! This great 2-CD game is a sequel (or side-story) to the popular Eve Burst Error, and features super animation and more
  • For anime fans, check out some cool items, including fresh stock of the Giant Robo phone straps (also useful as camera straps or keychains), and limited stock of the very cool soft vinyl "Santa Girl" figure
  • We've got a bunch of new items on our Japanese snack & food pages, including some delicious kimchee soup mix, a delicious deluxe rice cracker, super-tart "ume-boshi" candies and more of the very nice traditional Japanese hard candy
  • We have more of our popular wacky Japanese signs on the Signs & Stickers page, including "No Parking," "Do Not Enter" and the ever-popular "Danger"
  • On our wacky "traditional Japanese" things page, we've got some spiffy new chopsticks, which feature very modern styling and glitter as well as rings that make them easy to hold
  • On our Wacky Things from Japan main page, we've got a host of nifty things, including an all-new map of Tokyo, some super molds for making sushi and onigiri, new handy kitchen items in the cheerful "Kitchen Hanako" series, and more!

Do you wish you could talk to your favorte Japanese AV idols, find out what makes them tick? Well, you can, at J-Mate (http://www.jmate.com), a site where you can read all kinds of cool interviews with Japan's most famous and lovely idols. What makes them want to go into AV? How do they feel about millions seeing them perform? When did they lose their virginity? The latest interview is a very nice snapshot into the daily life of the sweet Mai Hagiwara, featuring her private thoughts and feelings on the choices she's made.

Greetings from J-List January 3, 2001

Hello, and "akemashite omedeto gozaimasu" (lit. "congratulations on opening the new year") from your friends in Japan at J-List.

2001 arrived in Japan a few hours before the U.S., and everything was as it should be: the soft sound of Japanese bells and hope for the new year, people enduring the cold to do their new year's prayer right after midnight, the calming presence of NHK watching over the nation, keeping us safe. New Years' Day is a day to relax, spend time with family, put your feet in the kotatsu (a kind of low table with a heater inside, which has a blanket over it to keep your legs warm), and of course eat lots of mikans (mandarin oranges).

After the usual happy-new-year TV shows ended on Jan 1, my wife and I found an interesting TV show where a panel of politicians and writers debated what Japan needed to do to survive and prosper in the 21st century. The panel included many Japanese-fluent foreigners from the U.S., Canada and several other countries, who offered their viewpoints to the others. Japan is a country with a lot of problems, from an economy lacking energy and "genki" to growing social problems , and they think quite deeply about what can be done about it.

One of the biggest problems Japan faces is a total lack of inflation -- amazingly, a package of boil-in-bag curry costs only a little more today than it did 30 years ago! Aside from very moderate train fare increases, and one telephone rate increase, I can't think of a single product that costs more today than it did when i came to Japan in 1992. This lack of price growth is one of the key reasons why Japan's economy can't get any real forward motion and start growing again.

For our first update in the new year, we've got some really special items prepared for you, including:

  • First, we're happy to announce that all our JAST USA and Milky House adult anime CD-ROM titles that cost $34.95 have been reduced in price to $24.95 -- a $10 savings for these great uncensored English language hentai games
  • We have excellent new magazines, including new issues of Video Boy, Best Video, and the popular Cho Very Good (kogal sex magazine)
  • We've got a bunch of excellent and all-new photobook items posted to the Photobooks page, including a truly breathtaking item: Sweet Trap, featuring the fantastic nude photography of Japan's five hottest AV actresses
  • For our bondage and S&M photobook fans, see a new issue of the popular Slave Mania
  • We've got even more popular past issues of the excellent Nowon from the early 1990's
  • We've posted another half-dozen all-new adult manga volumes, including some really excellent works by Angel Comics and Do Comics and AV Comics -- many back-in-stock classic issues, too
  • We've lowered prices on our stock of the excellent Viper series erotic parody manga, on the Parody Manga page
  • For Yaoi fans, we've got some new manga for you as well -- see the new items posted now
  • For fans of Japan's excellent adult videos, we've got great new offerings by Morino Izumi, as well as Nakanishi Sayaka's "Mejiri"
  • Also, we've got even more greatly reduced priced adult videos posted to our Videos (discount) page
  • We love Japan's dynamite code-free adult DVDs, so we've got two killer titles in -- Nagase Lum's wonderful "Sexual Excitement" and the slender, stylish Honjoh Sayuri's "Premium"
  • For our newly christened Hentai DVD page, we've got two new items: Soft on Demand's Fragile Hearts (vol. 2) and Kakyusei vol. 2 (the *director's cut*)
  • We've got several JPOP CD singles posted to the Anime & JPOP Magazines page (on the Anime master category)
  • On the Anime & Toys page, an authentic Japanese kendama, and the perfect item for the Cutey Honey fan in you
  • Even lower prices on our remaining stock of calendars
  • For fans of Japanese tea, we've got a delicious new variety, healthy and delicious Genmai-cha, a green tea with toasted unpolished rice in it
  • On the Wacky Things from Japan, another wacky dictionary for those who read or are studying Japanese: a "four character word" dictionary, filled with four-character compound Japanese words similar to our wacky T-shirt messages
  • We've got new wacky Japanese stickers on the Stickers & Headbands page: "No Smorking" (sic) and "I'm Safety Driver"
  • Other cool items on the Wacky Things from Japan page this time include more handy Japanese traditional cloth bags (for carrying just about anything), and an instant trash holder -- a nifty plastic arm that holds a trash bag for you just about anywhere!

We're looking for an experienced webmaster who can help us run and update a new site which will offer interviews with Japanese AV idols and more. Interested persons should submit examples of past or current work and let us know what kind of background they've got. Thanks!