Well, Universal Studios Osaka is finally a reality, and everyone in Japan is being bombarded with marketing messages from the theme park, trying to get them to go spend their money there. Arnold Schwartzenegger (universally known as "Shuwa-chan" here in Japan) was in Osaka recently to help promote the opening. They did the silly things they do on Japanese TV when foreigners come to visit, gushing about them to no end, and poking fun at them, too -- the gave Arnold a Japanese writing brush and tried to get him to copy some kanji, to see how it turned out. He gave up and wrote "I'll be back" in English.
There are certain grammatical structures that work differently in Japanese than in English. In English, we have two concepts for pointing at objects -- here/there, this/that, etc. But in Japanese, there are "location association" concepts -- here, there, and over there (farther away). Location is expressed with koko (here, where I am), soko (there, where you are) and asoko (over there, where a third person may be). There are little nuances that come out these words. Asoko (over there) is a euphemism for a person's genital area, for times when using a more direct word isn't desirable. Acchi (another word meaning "over there") has some negative meanings as well, and "acchi no hito" (the person from over there) is a euphemism that refers to foreigners -- the people from far outside. Incidentally, listen to Japanese speak, and you might notice a tendency differentiate between "this" as an adjective ("this apple") and "this" as a noun ("I bought this"), using "this one" instead of "this" in the latter case.
We've reorganized some of the J-List pages a little big. First of all, we now have DVD Page 1 and DVD page 2 (with lower-priced items being posted on page 2), as well as a new Soft on Demand code-free DVD page, to celebrate the fact that they're releasing all DVDs as region free now.
For the first update of the week, we've got some nice items for you, including:
- Many new 18+ items
- For fans of Japanese manga, we've got two very interesting items: *bilingual* comics from Japan of Love Hina and Cardcaptor Sakura, in English with Japanese written to the side of the speech balloons -- great for both collectors and students
- New items on our Japanese snacks page include some tasty new flavors of konnyaku jelly -- as well as lower prices on much of our stock of interesting Japanese snack and food items
- We've got new wacky things from Japan for you too, including all-new Japanes maps (a map of Japan and a map of the world, with Japan right in the center), new books to help you learn hiragana and katakana, an authentic Japanese abacus, the ultimate condiment holder for your tabletop, and more of our amazingly popular Hello Kitty chopsticks
Thanks for being a part of J-List!