Friday, February 16, 2001

Greetings from J-List February 16, 2001

Greetings from Japan on a very cold Friday evening.

The collision between a U.S. nuclear sub and the fishing boat Ehime Maru in the waters around Hawaii this week has caused a firestorm of U.S.-Japanese relations, and all the news shows are focusing on the reasons for the accident. It's especially chilling because my wife and son were in Hawaii just two weeks ago, and took a sumbarine excursion in those same waters. It looks likely that the collision may help bring down Prime Minister Mori's cabinet -- Mori played golf right after hearing about the tragedy, which brought about many calls for his resignation in the Japanese Diet. Tokyo's stock exchange rose at the rumors that he might quit, showing how little support he enjoys in Japan.

It's often said that Japan is behind the West by about 20 years, socially. The Japanese just passed their first child seat law in 1999, so it's easy to see examples of this -- Lord knows the Japanese are behind the U.S. and Europe in every aspect of the Internet except the number of ISDN terminals installed. For movies and TV from the U.S., there's a delay, too. Disney's Dinosaur opened right before Christmas here in Japan, and tonight, the episode of "Ally My Love" (Ally McBiel) where Billy dies is being shown on Japanese television.My wife, who enjoys 90210 because it helps her keep her California English skills sharp, enjoys weekly episodes on Japanese TV that were shown in the U.S. two years ago.

As you can see from the J-List main page, the J-List "top 5 sellers" of several categories of things we carry at J-List. We'll update it at the end of each week, so you can see what the most popular items at J-List are.

For this weekend's update, we've got some very special items for you, including:

  • First, some great new magazines from Japan, including the excellent Haaay Gachinko Musume and a previously posted issue of the excellent DVD & Video CD Soft Catalog (with nearly an hour of great sampler footage)
  • For fans of rare Japanese magazines, we've got several excellent older magazines posted at the top of magazine page 2 (including some rare issues of Panst Dream)
  • Fresh stock of two of our most popular photobooks, Cosplay Cuties and Kawai Jun's Mirage
  • A super hardcover photobook, zawa Rika and Hosho Nana's erotic "Futari" photobook
  • For collectible card and Race Queen lovers, a very high-quality card series -- see the idol or photobooks pages for this set
  • We have several excellent erotic manga posted to the site, by AV Comics, Tenma Comics and Colorful Comics
  • For dojinshi fans, a treat -- stock of three great erotic dojinshi in the "Panst Line" series
  • For fans of the popular G-Taste art book and DVD series, two full sets of the very cool "real figures," figures based on the G-Taste lovely female characters
  • If you love DVD, please check out two offerings in the "Pure" series by Video Bank, featuring amateur Tokyo girls who talk about their private sexual lives and then have sex
  • For fans of SOD's excellent erotic videos, a new lesbian offering -- Les Hospital Special, featuring an all-female cast headed by the lovely Sakaguchi Kana
  • We've lowered the price of our popular "three pack" of any three hentai game titles to just $70. Now you can order any three $24.95 games and get them for $70, shipping to the US/Canada included!
  • A nice item for Japan's pretty swimsuit idol fans, the excellent idol DVD Kobayashi Mika (age 16), like all of SOD's idol videos, zoned for "all" regions, and inexplicably, subtitled in Mandarin, Cantonese and Korean
  • For fans of our Japanese snacks and food page: authentic miso soup! These individual packets of miso soup are handy and make delicious miso soup -- just add hot water. With seaweed or asari (small clams)
  • Restocked items on our popular Wacky Things from Japan page include more of our popular $5 dictionaries, new high-quality Japanese notebooks, and more children's workbooks to help you learn hiragana and katakana
  • We've added some restocked sizes to our popular Funny Japanese T-shirts -- check them out. J-List carries over a dozen funny Japanese T-shirts, all made and printed in the USA, with slogans like "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" and "Hen na gaijin" (strange foreigner) in Japanese
  • Finally, some cool things from Japan we are happy to bring you include a handy Japanese 'cutter knife,' a cool hair catcher for your bath or shower, and something I am amazed by, Mizutori Elephant, a fantastic humidity remover that must be experienced to be believed.

Over the years, we've gotten a lot of kind feedback from readers on our updates mailing list, for which we thank you very kindly -- we love Japan and aim in all things to be a bridge of popular culture between Japan and the rest of the world. We've also had repeated requests to post the past updates in some form, which we're happy to announce we've done. A new section has been added to my Homepage, at http://www.peterpayne.net/ with all list updates from J-List since mid-1997 (317 individual updates -- wow!). The site is searchable, so if you want to know about Japan's Tanabata festival, search for "tanabata" and something will probably pop up.

Is there interest in J-List offering a service to help those outside of Japan bid on auctions on Yahoo Japan? Please give us your thoughts on this issue if you have any.

Thursday, February 15, 2001

Greetings from J-List February 15, 2001

Greetings from Japan, the home of Mazda's popular car, the Bongo Friendy.

Well, Time Ranger has come to an end. In the last episode, the five time fighters took a trip in Time Robo over the past 20 years of sentai shows, since they are time travelers and all that. It was cool, seeing each year's five-team fighting show -- Go Ranger (the first one, which was shown in 1975), Changeman, Car Ranger, Mega Ranger, Gingaman, Go Go Five. The new sentai show is called Gau Ranger ("gau" being a sound in Japanese like "growl"), which will use animal motifs. I noticed that Time Ranger's footage had already started in the U.S. with Power Rangers Time Force.

We've had to say "sayonara" to our Nissan March. In Japan, there's a special car check-up and tax called sha-ken that car owners must pay every two years, which sets you back about $1400 each time. It's a cleverly disguised government-sponsored system to encourage people to buy new cars sooner than they would, and discourages keeping older cars. Since we got our Saturn, we haven't used the March much at all, so rather than pay the tax, we're going to scrap the car. Unfortunately, there are no economic ways of using the car, as the sha-ken tax exceeds the value of the car. In the U.S., when you scrap a car, you get a few hundred dollars out of it, at least. Here in Japan, the owner of the car must pay $200 to have the car taken away.

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

  • First, a killer new magazine & video CD combo -- a new issue of Club Indies, with 70 minutes of sample footage that's really bizarre and cool, very different from the "pro" workd of AV
  • For hentai fans, a very special issue of Fantasienne is posted, with a cool sampler CD-ROM and large poster inside -- see the hentai magazine page
  • We have several very nice new photobooks, including Kawashima Azumi's lovely Flowing Out" and more copies of the popular Yoshino Minami's very lovely "Haru" photobook
  • For our erotic manga fans, another large update of all-new books, including some shocking fetish manga
  • For dojinshi fans, a treat -- not one, not two, but three new Okachimentaiko erotic dojinshi, including their all-ero tribute to Gundam, and a book dedicated exclusively to game girls
  • Fresh stock of several hentai art books on our hentai art books page
  • For DVD fans who buy region 2 discs, two very cool items from SOD -- one, a very high-quality erotic V-cinema creation by Tohjiro and Asaoka Mirei, and an educational DVD (?) on how to do anal sex
  • For hentai DVD fans, two new items -- Elf's popular Wordsworth erotic fantasy anime, vol. 2 and 3
  • For fans of the lovely Morishita Kurumi, a super item -- a dual-VHS featuring the surface (omote) and secret self (ura) of Kurumi, in a super idol video + AV video dual set, shot on location in Saipan
  • For anime fans, some really cool older issues of Animage, including some very rare and cool ones, on the anime toys page
  • Also on our anime & toys page, the much-requested Zeta Gundam fully posable toy from Bandai
  • On our Japanese snacks & food page, a treat -- three flavors of "furikake," which is tasty, dried food you sprinkle over white rice, which includes ingredients like tiny bits of dried scrambled egg, sesame, dried leafy vegetables, and pieces of salmon. Loved by children and adults in Japan, furikake is a great healthy food for you.
  • On our Wacky Japanese signs & stickers page, several cool new items, including more of the "Looking for a beautiful woman" sticker, and sticker for all "safety drivers"
  • Restocked items on our popular Wacky Things page include more Hello Kitty toilet paper (for those who really love or really hate Kitty-chan), more authentic Japanese loose socks and Socks Glue to go with them, and more excellent Japanese correction pens
  • Finally, we've got several nice new items on the Wacky Things page as well -- funky Japanese 'days of the week' magnets, a fashionable Japanese knit bag (all the rage this winter), and a deluxe long wooden shoehorn for fans of these useful items.

Okay, please go check out the website now!