Friday, February 23, 2001

Greetings from J-List February 23, 2001

Hello again from Japan, where wet umbrellas need condoms...

Today was a balmy and beautiful day, more suited for May than for February. We weren't complaining, and gladly wore short-sleeved T-shirts to enjoy the warmth. Wearing a short-sleeved shirt too early is one of the Japanese "unwritten rules" though -- short sleeves are worn in the summer and early autumn, between June 1 and November 1 (yes, they even have official starting and endings dates, basically, the official dates that high school students change from the winter uniforms to their summer uniforms). To wear "summer clothes" in February in Japan is asking for amazed remarks from all Japanese you encounter. In a similarly inflexible seasonal tradition, in Japan you never go into the ocean after September 1st -- it just isn't done. When you ask why, Japanese vaguely say that it's dangerous (presumably far more than August 31st), but it's clear that they've never deeply considered the reason.

The Americanization of Japan has taken a giant step forward recently, with the impending introduction of "MyLine." This is ostensibly a system allowing you to choose which long distance company you want to use, but is really one big "confusopoly" designed to confuse consumers for the betterment of Japanese phone companies. Japan's monopolistic NTT, newly formed KDDI, and several other companies are competing to be Japan's choice for long distance with cute and amusing TV commercials, but they're all very low on specifics, preferring to be vague about what their rates really are. NTT's ads boast that "NTT has just lowered their rates by 50%." What rates were lowered? What were they before, and what are they now? What is "50%" measured against?

For the weekend's special update, we've got a bunch of cool items from Japan for you, including:

  • First, several great new adult magazines from Japan, including the great new issues of Dela Beppin and Gokuh, as well as several other specialty magazine items
  • We've got some cool backissues of older magazines, including some popular older issues of leg fetish magazines like Panst Freak (see magazine pages 1 and 2 for these items)
  • For hentai fans, we have not one, but two cool issues of PC Angel, the #1 selling hentai magazine at J-List
  • For photobook fans, check out several all-new hardcover photobooks, including Konno Saori and Asagi Sumire's "Best Friend" lesbian-play pictorial
  • Also for photobook fans, fresh stock of several older and classic items, back on the list
  • For Japan's hentai manga fans, we've got another major update, with more than a half-dozen all-new works from Fujimi, AV Comics, Hit and Tsukasa
  • Yaoi fans, there are some very nice "boys charisma" books on the yaoi manga page, all of which feature fantastic artwork and characters
  • For Japan's underground artwork fans, we've got some nice single-issue postings of dojinshi, as well as some more popular dojiin-soft CD-ROMs (including more of the very cool CG Box series)
  • We've got an unopened copy of Dokyusei 2, the popular 2-CD ROM PC bishojo game
  • Another very svelte example of Japan's erotic "V-cinema," AV with very artistic and cinematic production values, is My Sister is a Female Teacher -- this fantastic DVD (region 2) was originally shot to film for a cool look
  • Fans of our Japanese snacks pages should check out our latest offerings -- grape and strawberry marshmallows, fresh stock of the popular Mousse Pocky (both white and dark), and just a few boxes of Winter Limited Edition Pocky
  • We've got some nice items on our Japanese signs & stickers page, including an enigmatic sticker that says "I love you" and fresh stock of our most popular wooden sign ever
  • The new issue of JJ, a beautiful Japanese fashion magazine that's filled with great products (and interesting Japanese ads)
  • For anime fans, a PVC figure based on Kamikaze Robber Janus
  • Restocked items on our Wacky Things from Japan page include more Hello Kitty chopsticks, several of our popular Japanese notebooks, the handy (and very cheap!) English-Japanese mini-dictionary, and bamboo cooking chopsticks
  • Finally, we have a ton of all-new Wacky Things from Japan for you, including new Japanese notebooks (including the perfect diary notebook), a "Fumi Fumi" board for massaging your your abused feet, the world's smallest backpack, a silly "party ticket" with English like "Don't you enjoy our party? Let's enjoy together!" on it, the perfect way to organize your computer's unsightly wires, and more. All very wacky!

We got a lot of positive feedback from Paypal users. We're glad to be of service, since Paypal is a pretty good system (partally because you don't need a credit card to use it -- which is convenient for people who want to write "virtual checks" from their checking account). We also accept Billpoint, and can probably work with any other system out there (for example, many international customers find Western Union's money-sending services convenient). Please email us with any questions or comments.

Tuesday, February 20, 2001

Greetings from J-List February 20, 2001

Hello from the world's #1 producer of vending machines, Japan.

We now live next to the mayor! Over the last three weeks, the city of Isesaki has been in "election mode," with people choosing sides among the five canditates for mayor. Yanai Ichio, the president of the construction company that's right next to our liquor shop (they built our house, actually), made an unsuccessful bid to be Isesaki's mayor in the last election. This time, with the support of those annoying loudspeaker trucks that drive around asking you to vote for their candidate, he actually got elected. We're happy to live next door to the new mayor, but we're even happier to have life return to normal in our house, now that the election is over.

Japanese is a happy, harmonous place, where people seem to have a built-in sense of "joshiki" or common sense. Kids all go to school and study (no homeschooling here), husbands are the "daikoku-bashira," the large black pillars that hold up the family. They is the problem of the Tyrany of the Majority at times, though, which manifests itself in small ways. In Japan, there are almost no vegetarians, and foreigners who want to live vegetarian have trouble "getting along" in Japan as nearly everything here contains something that was made from animals. In Japan, too, most people love milk with 3.7 per cent milk fat or higher -- it's thick and delicious, they say. When I came to Japan,it was very hard to find low fat (1%) milk without searching several stores. Now, low fat is generally available, but non-fat milk (which I prefer) is completely impossible to find. The "majority" just doesn't want it, so no one produces it.

J-List now accepts Paypal for orders. Paypal is a very convenient payment method that lets you register a Paypal ID (your email address) and tie a credit card or checking account to your ID. You can send or receive money using this system -- very convenient for people who want to use "virtual checks" when paying for orders. The checking account option is probably only available through U.S. banks, but the Paypal system in general is international, so it's convenient for many customers worldwide. Of course, J-List always welcome credit card purchases (via our secure online form) and check/money order payments as well.

We're happy to announce that X-Change is at the duplicators, and should be back in a very short time. You can preorder X-Change and get free shipping when it goes out to you. See it on the Bishojo and Hentai page!

For the first J-List update of the week, we've got some cool items for you, including:

  • First, some excellent new magazines, including the new Gal's Dee, a great issue for fans of Ms. Morimura Honey
  • For bargain hunters, some nice bundles of back-issues of magazines on magazine page 2
  • For photobook fans ,we've got some back-in-stock items for you, as well as two classic miniature photobooks of idols from the early 1990's (for fans of these older models)
  • For erotic manga lovers, fresh stock of several popular volumes, along with a very classy 2-volume set by Hit based on a classical Chinese dramatic tale -- but with a super hentai twist
  • For dojinshi lovers, the fabulous *color* erotic parody dojinshi, Burajiru 2, by our friends at Okachimentaiko (includes cool erotic material from Yamato/Star Blazers and Team Rocket)
  • There's a very fresh and interesting video from SOD -- The Kiss Clinic, a 60 minute video featuring only kiss fetish material with men and give lovely kissing gals -- it will change the way you view kissing forever
  • Also for fans of kissing, a super all-female "Lez and Kiss Collection" DVD (region 2) featuring the deep kissing and lesbian play of over 200 Japanese gals
  • For fans of the best-selling The Kageki DVD, another offering -- the super erotic perforamances of three busty AV queens, Ayukawa Ami, Inoue Chihiro and Morikawa Juri -- on this great 2-DVD set. *Subtitled in English!*
  • Anime fans should check out the anime product pages for some cool items, including several classic issues of popular anime magazine from several years ago
  • Also very cool for anime fans, the long-awated Kubrick series Evangelion toys. These are "super deformed" figures of Eva characters and Eva mechs, made in a style similar to the Lego people -- very cool
  • If you love Japanese professional wrestling, see an incredible item, a collection of photos and information on the major "pro-wres" names over the last 26 years, in a beautiful hardcover package (on the photobooks and Wacky Things from Japan pages)
  • Mishimima Yukio was an amazing writer who comitted suicide by comitting Japanese ritual disembowelment (seppuku). We've got a really cool item, the issue of Sunday Mainichi the week after this amazing and shocking event -- see it on the
  • There's a wonderful new collectible card series, Bururun Club II, featuring Japan's lovely swimsuit idols
  • We've made a major update to our popular Japanese snacks and food page, with fresh stock of Japanese teas, Hi-Chu Banana Shake, miso soup packets (didn't think they'd sell out so fast), several delicious flavors of Lotte's Japanese gum, sake candy (with real sake inside!), Shige-Kicks (extremely sour lemon "hard gummi" that must be tasted to be believed), and more
  • We have several new items on our Japanese signs and stickers page, with funny messages in Japanese
  • Fresh stock of our popular "Wacky Things" page include the deluxe bamboo wind chime (which makes a very pleasant sound when the wind blows through it) along with fresh stock of some of our most popular cool Japanese notebooks ("this notebook having horizontal ruled line is the best for arranging sentences")
  • And, we've got our usual new volley of cool things you've never seen before from Japan, including a Japanese proverb dictionary (useful to anyone studying Japanese and wanting to learn some Japanese sayings), some cool Hello Kitty items that only Japan could make, and the ultimate "pressure point presser" massage tool that looks like something out of Star Trek: Deep Space 9.

Thanks for being a part of J-List -- have a great Monday!