Japan is a very seasonal place, and they seem to like it that way. The beginning of April marks Sakura viewing season, the brief time to enjoy the cherry blossoms here; after that is the month-long rainy season; then summer, with its special festivals, and so on. March marks "construction season" in Japan, and we're in the middle of it now. For budgetary reasons that are unknown to me, all Japanese companies that receive contracts from the government must use excess money in their budgets or lose it when the fiscal year starts April 1. As a result, everywhere you go in Japan around March, you're confronted with endless traffic jams due to the perpetual construction: widening a road here, repairing a pipe there. They seem to rip up a road, fix a pipe, then rip up the same road for some other purpose a month later, but it's hard to be sure.
Japanese is a linguistically impoverished language -- there are only 5 vowels, all paired into syllables with consonants (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, etc.). This is where the thick accent Japanese speakers of English sometimes have comes from. One of the vowel lines -- the "ta" line -- is missing a useful syllables, the sound "ti" (sounding like "tea") as well as the linguistically related "di" sound (sounding like "dee"). Without a way to express these sounds in Japanese, foreign words like "Disneyland" and "party" could not be correctly represented, and subsequently entered the Japanese language as "Desneyland" and "parteh," which sound strange to the English ear. A "patch" was introduced at some time in the last few decades, a way to write "ti" and "di" in katakana, but unfortunately for a generation of older Japanese, they learned a slew of foreign loan words with odd pronunciations. Now, pronouncing words like "panty"as "panteh" or the letter T as "teh" (rhyming with "way") instead of how they sound in English is the mark of an old fogey here (although, as a foreigner, it's kind of fun to do it on purpose sometimes)
Gin Kanie, one of two twins born in 1892, has died, at the age of 108. "Gin-san" joins her sister, "Kin-san," who passed away last year. Kin-san and Gin-san became what can only be described as pop idols in the 1990's, appearing in TV commercials as they came to represent Japan's aging society.
For the special weekend update, we've got a special list of excellent items from Japan for you, including:
- First, some excellent new Japanese magazines for you, including the killer new Beppin School, OK, and several more (please note that we only have 10 issues of Beppin School this month, far less than our normal number)
- Beautiful Japanese photobooks, including hardcover photobooks by former Race Queen Munemasa Miki and the lovely Yanagi Ayla, as well as more stock of some of our very popular sold out items
- If you love the look of Japan's erotic "kogals," check out the new issue of the deluxe Cho Mach! on the photobooks page
- For leg fans, we've got fresh stock of several of our popular past leg fetish items
- For fans of past issues of Japanese magazines, we've got several sets of older magazines (see the top of magazine page 2, until they sell out)
- For manga lovers, we have some very nice all-new erotic manga volumes, including new manga by AV Comics, Plaza Comics, and more -- including a really excellent new offering from dojinshi artist Tachibana Seven
- Also for manga fans, fresh stock of several sold-out items, including Mini Skirt Hakusho, Sex Crime, Jungle beat, Kamyla, and more -- see these items on both the Manga (new items) page and the Manga (best-sellers) page
- For Japanese video fans, we've got not one, but two new videos in the popular "Zenra" (Stark Nakedness Sports Series) video lineup: all nude winter sports, and erotic "body measurement" (measuring the width in millimeters of various erotic parts of the body) at a Japanese hot spring
- Also very cool, Oto Kakeru San, an exploration of the eroticism of the "wetty and nasty" sounds of sex
- Fresh items on the Japanese snacks & food page include a great new Japanese tea, delicious dried, shreaded "katsuo" fish (sorry, not sure what this is called in English, but it's good ^_^), and more stock of the sold-out Choco Flake Bitz
- We've got some great anime stickers on the anime page, including Doramon "facial stickers" (but you can stick them anywhere) and nifty self-laminating Hello Kitty name stickers that seal themselves with a protective coating to protect the label
- We have fresh stock of our Japanese headbands including "Ichiban" and "Goukaku" ("I will pass this test"), great for students
- Finally, all-new items on our Wacky Things from japan page include a Japanese "karuishi" stone and brush to rub rough, dead skin from your feet, a deluxe "cutter knife" for many handy jobs around the home of office, and the ultimate "tissue holder," which allows you to screw a box of tissue into the wall for convenient access.
We continue to experience some strangeness with our email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org addresses. If you sent mail to J-List, or replied to an email from us, and didn't get a reply in a timely manner, please contact us immediately. Thanks!