Wednesday, February 07, 2001

Greetings from J-List February 7, 2001

Hello again from Japan!

Starting April 2002, Japanese kids will all start learning English conversation in elementary school, several years earlier than the current system (where kids start learning in junior high and high school). It's a good attempt by the Japanese Ministry of Education to change a system that clearly does not produce competent speakers of English, but unfortunately, it will not succeed for several reasons, including the basic fact that Japanese teachers are often not competent in English themselves, and in any event, Japanese students and teachers are content to conduct English class 99% in Japanese, without actually producing English at any time.

Actually, there seems to be a real shortage of American teachers of ESL in Japan, at least in the region where we are. It might be due to the booming U.S. economy in past years, but virtually all English teachers we've seen are from Australia and New Zealand and Canada -- countries which benefit from the Working Holiday system that isn't available in the U.S. (If you're interested in learning about teaching ESL in Japan, see my personal homepage.)

Perhaps in preparation for the coming changes, there's a new character on my daughter's favorite anime show, Ojamajo Doremi, the long-running "pretty girl witch" anime which features four young "witch students" who are studying to be real witches. Now the four girls are joined by a fifth, a Japanese girl who just came back from several years in America named Morocco (she's got blonde hair and blue eyes, yet she's Japanese). The interesting thing about Morocco is that she speaks only English, which gives the kids watching a chance to try to understand what she's saying, without subtitles.

For this evening's list of newly added items, we've got some excellent and wacky things for you, including:

  • First, a great new issue of Urecco, the best-selling magazine at J-List, with many lovely Japanese angels
  • Several back-in-stock photobooks, for our Japanese photobook fans
  • For erotic manga fans, a great selection of several all-new manga items, including twisted and bizarre works, as well as manga that focus on love and romantic sex
  • For fans of Japanese erotic artbooks, we've got three great artbooks for Dokyusei, Dokyusei 2 and Kakyusei, on the hentai artbooks page
  • We have two excellent videos by Soft on Demand: Hirosue Nao's Idol Semen (for fans of Japanese sperm fetishism) and a fantastic "ass fetish" video with 90 minutes of inventive and creative AV filming
  • A dynamite item for DVD fans -- Alice Japan 2001, a *240 minute* collection of AV footage featuring some of Japan's most talented idols, including Miura Aika, Aida Momo, Kano Mizuho, and many more -- four hours of great AV footage!
  • For our dojinshi fans, a special treat -- stock of the fabulous erotic dojinshi Nuki-Lum (Make Lum Come), a dynamite 120 page erotic dojinshi with fantastic erotic Lum artwork, and color pages, too
  • Also on the dojinshi page, some excellent CD-R collections of hentai CG from the past Comic Market, including some incredibly fantastic works
  • For fans of J-List's interesting and wacky Japanese signs, we've got fresh stock of the popular "Do not urinate here" reflective stickers (the torii version)
  • New and updated items on the Wacky Things from Japan page include Take-fumi (a bumpy board that massages your feet as you stand on it), a traditional Japanese tissue box cover, and the only cooking chopsticks you'll ever need!

I've updated my personal homepage at http://www.peterpayne.net/ with a movie of this year's School Show, at my children's preschool. They put on quite a show, from performing Annie to singing We Are the World in Japanese to a great Japanese drum performance. Click on "Pictures from Japan" and then "School Show 2001" (requires Quicktime 4).

Monday, February 05, 2001

Greetings from J-List February 5, 2001

Greetings from Japan, where it really is more fun to stand in the "Japanese only" line at Narita Airport immigration...

Well, that was fast -- one day, I'm enjoying the various good things that the States has to offer, from Starbucks to Submarina and good Thai food, and the next, I'm back in Japan. Of course it's nice to be back, but part of me wishes I could have stayed longer and enjoyed the warm San Diego weather a little longer.

I brought back a lot of stuff, from blank CD-Rs to a motorcycle tire for a friend to "anti-constipation chocolate" (chocolate-based laxatives), which are a great gift for Japanese women, if you're ever wondering what to bring one. I tend to push the weight limit whenever I fly, bringing as much as I possibly can -- one reason I fly Korean instead of Delta. Somehow I've managed to bring bicycles from the U.S. to Japan, without paying any extras fees at all -- twice.

Everyone has a little nationalism in them, a love of their own country, and my wife is no different: she wants to see Japan and Japanese excel in the world. One evening, we managed to catch a fabulous opera performance, performed by a troop from China. They did a fantastic job, right down to singing in Italian, and this gave my wife pause. The Japanese are good at many things, but there's no way they could manage to perform an Italian opera in Italian. She said she felt jealousy and inadequacy that Japanese, for all their love of the arts, could not manage the kind of performance we saw.

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

  • First, some excellent new magazines including the new Aishite Ageru (I'll Love You), the exceptional "wet" magazine from Million
  • For collectors and fans of AV actresses of a few years ago, some premium issues, on magazine page 2
  • For bust fetishists, Gal's Dee Super DX Natural Peach-Breast, a deluxe perfect bound photobook-style book with fantastic busty women
  • Fresh stock of some of our best photobook items, including the excellent Photoshot vol. 41 (Aoi Minori fans take note)
  • Another copy of the hard-to-find Santa Fe, the nude photobook of the lovely Miyazawa Rie
  • For manga fans, we've got several all-new volumes posted, as well as a large volley of back-in-stock books -- including one of the most popular manga artists in the history of J-List -- Hit Publishing's own Shiwasu no Okina
  • For dojinshi fans, a fantastic treat -- the excellent erotic Ah My Goddess dojinshi work "I want you to stay with me forever" as well as a great number of all-new books for you
  • For DVD lovers, a super new "killer app" for your DVD player -- SOD's excellent line of idol DVDs! Featuring lovely Japanese idols in swimsuit and other sexy wear, these DVDs are zoned for *all* countries, and are (puzzlingly) subtitled in Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean -- see them on the DVD and idol pages
  • Also very cool for DVD and hentai fans, chapter 3 of the excellent "Fragile Hearts" series from SOD
  • Love Japan's AV videos? We do, too. We've got too many though, so we've posted a bunch of bargain videos to our bargain video page
  • Also for dojinshi fans, fresh stock of several popular Okachimentaiko works, including Buy or Die
  • On our popular Japanese Snacks & Food page, fresh stock of authentic Japanese wasabi
  • Restocked "wacky" items this evening include the Hello Kitty Mayonnaise Cups (but you can put anything in them you want), the surprisingly popular bamboo forks (great for serving guests), our deluxe rice scoop with holder (with anti-stick coating), more Japanese origami paper, and that cool business card holder we had in a few months ago
  • New additions to our Wacky Things from Japan page include a map of Japan (so cool!) and a Japanese map of the world (in Japanese!), and some really cute Hello Kitty picture frames for your desk
  • Finally, we've got fresh stock of our popular and one-of-a-kind Japanese T-shirts with funny slogans, including many of the most popular sizes (that had been sold out for so long). All our T-shirts are printed in the U.S. on Hanes 100% cotton Comfort-T shirts, so you don't need to worry about Japanese sizes or anything. All ship out of San Diego, too, so you can get them quickly. Express yourself with J-List's funny and bizarre Japanese shirts!

I'm happy to see that many people are taking advantage of our pre-order offer of free shipping on all Peach Princess games. But remember that J-List also carries a great number of English-language games and image collections that we think are great, and all are in stock now. We also have the last stock anywhere in the world of Otaku Publishing's titles, Return to Paradise Heights and True Love, which are our of print. We've got a few dozen copies of RTPH, but True Love will probably sell out completely in the next week or so. When they're gone, it will be time to say "so much...for True Love..."

Kaori's been playing with Photoshop, and has come up with some cute images, which we've christened the "official" J-List wallpaper. Check out the files on the About J-List page (down at the bottom).