Friday, April 20, 2001

Greetings from J-List April 20, 2001

Hello and greetings from Japan, on this quiet Friday evening.

There are many interesting things you notice about the Japanese when you live in Japan -- all highly subjective, of course. They tend to not eat bread crusts, for one thing, and in fact, Japanese bread is sold in supermarkets without the heels -- which might explain why Japanese women are seemingly all constipated. Japanese people never drink root beer, but most can drink Dr. Pepper. Japanese who try Mexican refried beans usually don't like them, because they're not sweet as Japanese beans are -- but if they live overseas for a year or more, they usually come around. And for some reason, all Japanese girls' shoe sizes seem to be either 23 or 23.5 centimeters.

Money is another interesting issue. Discussing money is quite a delicate thing, and the subject is always wrapped in layers of Japanese politeness and "keigo" (polite language) when it is brought up. It's not always necessary to talk money directly though. As an English teacher, I've accepted jobs without even mentioning money at all -- and when my pay envelope came, I trusted that it would be sufficient. Similarly, I've hired Japanese artists to do work without bringing up payment. In situations like this, of course, there's a lot of trust on both sides, and neither would want to hurt that trust by taking advantage of the situation. It's all part of living in Japan.

We're just a little big happier, thanks to the opening of our very own freeway. The North Kanto Jidoushado is a freeway that branches off of the Kanto Expressway, allowing us to drive quickly to nearby Maebashi and Takasaki, and take the freeway all the way to Tokyo if we want. In Japan, where city driving is far more common then freeway driving, it takes hours to get anywhere -- a big difference from San Diego, I can tell you. Now we have a little more freedom to go places on the weekends in our Bongo Friendee. Of course, Japanese freeways aren't "free" at all -- if they were, people would use them too much, and they'd be clogged with cars all the time. To go to Takasaki the toll is about $6; to go all the way to Tokyo, it's around $30.

The "top 5" for the past week has been updated, too.

For the weekend's update, we've got an extra special update for you, including:

  • First, some killer and rare magazines from Japan, including Cho Very Good!! (kogals doing bad things), Mecha ike! Hot Breast Girls (very nice amateur magazine), and more
  • We have some very nice all-new photobooks for you, including Yanagi Asuka's very sexy hardcover photobook, fresh stock of several popular items, and more!
  • If you like Japanese leg fetish books, we've got fresh stock of several items on the leg & stocking fetish photobook page
  • For fans of Japanese amateur "indies" AV, we have a great new issue of MPEG Indies, featuring two super Video CDs filled with great amateur sex, as well as a full color magazine!
  • In addition to several all-new volumes of excellent erotic manga from Japan, we've posted a very special item: the complete set of Furita ni Omakase, the masterful erotic manga about Sayuri and Jun, two policewomen who always managed to get into some bizarre sexual situations (the manga is on order with the publisher, please order your copies to ensure you can get your set)
  • We have some very nice one-shot erotic dojinshi for you, posted to the dojinshi page -- check these out quickly, before they disappear
  • For fans of busty Japanese AV actresses, we've got a super new video in the "Menu" (lit. "woman's breast") series. This super video features and busty and delicious Kitahara Erika in a great sexual performance for you
  • For fans of the bold, refreshing Soft on Demand, we've got not one, but two new videos in their popular All Nude Challenger series, in which 108 lovely nude Japanese girls participate in wacky and bizarre nude sports to get money -- very cool!
  • Also for Japan AV lovers -- a huge volley of sale and discount items, posted on the Videos (discount) page, all with *free shipping*
  • For erotic DVD fans, we've got a super item -- a new 120 minute sexual performance featuring the hopelessly "kawaii" Hijiri Sayaka, a fresh, lovely Japanese AV performer
  • Lovers of Japan's elegant and sexy Race Queens should check out the DVD and Idol pages, for two wonderful Race Queen DVDs by Pony Canyon
  • We have fresh stock of several of our unique Japanese snack & food items, including sake candy (with real sake!) and Sakura Drops, the delicious hard candy that comes in an old-style tin, and boasts over 100 years of history
  • Also on the snacks & food page, two new flavors of our surprisingly popular Japanese furikake
  • For fans of beautiful things from Japan, we've posted a very cute Hello Kitty puzzle, along with a fantastic deluxe puzzle featuring a gold reproduction of Haruyo Morita's "Oboro-zuki"
  • Finally, we've got fresh stock of some cool things from Japan for you, on our Wacky pages -- including the ultimate way to squeeze all the tooth paste out of your

J-List sells the finest selection of Wacky Things from Japan that we know of -- and it's not hard finding new things to sell, since Japan is such a Wacky place. We have it all -- everything from Japanese notebooks with funny English on them to clamps for your futon to Hello Kitty toilet paper to rice scoops to handy things for your bath and laundry. We enjoy selling some of these things because it allows you to touch a little piece of Japan. Since most of the items on our Wacky Things from Japan pages are extremely affordable -- from $2 -- we hope you'll check out our stock regularly. We also can't help thinking that many of the bizarre things we're able to bring you from Japan would make perfect gifts for the Japanophile in your life ^_^

Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Greetings from J-List April 18, 2001

It's another warm April day in Japan, and outside my window, the grasshoppers are warming up for the summer, still two months ago.

If you're ever in Japan, there are some rules you should observe. In many ways, Japan is obsessed with death, and several "faux pais" flow from this. For example, you should never stick chopsticks in your rice straight up ("tachi-bashi"), as this is done as part of a Buddhist funeral ceremony (mothers tell their children "only dead people" can stick their chopsticks in their rice). Similarly, you should never hand a piece of food to someone else with chopsticks, as it violates some taboo that's related to funerals in some way that's beyond gaijin comprehension -- instead, put the piece of food on a place and let the other person take it. Traditionally, you're not supposed to give cups or plates to someone in sets of four, since four in Japanese is "shi" which also means "death." Never give a potted plant to someone in the hospital, as it implies that they'll be in the hospital a long time (hence the need for roots). Other points of politeness are less intense. When going into any house, you take your shoes off, as shoes and feed are considered to be very dirty in Japan (although I've seen Japanese occasionally go quickly past the foyer to get something they forgot, without taking their shoes off).

We did a little spring cleaning last week, and took the opportunity to change the shoji paper on our shoji doors. Shoji are sliding wooden doors with paper glued to them, and they fit very nicely in with Japanese life. They slide sideways, so they don't take up any room cramped Japanese houses, and the traditional use of shoji in Japan brings a healthy Japanese-style to any room, even western-style rooms. The funniest part of re-hanging the shoji is of course ripping the old paper off -- we called on our kids to help us with this, and they go at it with a passion. The shoji paper market is quite large, with many different companies competing to bring the best shoji paper for your shoji doors. Variations include shoji that are hard to tear (they've got cotton fibers in them), shoji you can hang by just running an iron over the paper, and shoji with various interesting patterns woven into the paper.

For anyone who loves beautiful Japanese women, we have a fascinating CG collection on CD-ROM for you -- Skin Conscious vol. 1 & 2. A massive collection of incredibly beautiful hand-painted erotic airbrush images, each of these CD-ROMs is filled with 620+ megabytes of fabulous artwork, with 900 different images in the set, provided at full size for printing out, and with no copy protection. Skin Conscious is being printed right now, but we've posted it for preorders tonight -- order them now and get free shipping! (Skin Conscious is posted on Hentai & Adult Anime --> Hentai CG collections)

In addition to the Skin Conscious collections, we've got the following really cool new items for you:

  • We have several nice new erotic magazines from Japan, including some very nice kogal magazines, and more
  • Something that should sell well is Buru Mani, a lovely deluxe photobook featuring some very pretty girls -- from the publishers of Waffle
  • For photobook lovers, we've got some great new items for you, including several very nice leg-fetish photobook items on the let photobooks page
  • For fans of magazine + video CD magazine combos, a great issue of MPEG Typhoon, with excellent amateur AV on two VCDs
  • Japanese know their fetishes, and one popular fetish is "doctor play." There's a lot of interesting sexual perversion to enjoy in "You can be a gynecologist, too," a magazine + dual Video CD item on the high-end photobooks page
  • One of the most popular color manga/art books in recent months has been Yui Shop 2, a beautifully erotic all-color book by Toshiki Yui -- but we sold out in about 30 minutes. Well, we've not only got more stock of Yui Shop 2, but by massive customer request, we've got Yui Shop 1, too -- both in stock now!
  • We have another update to our manga page, of course, with fresh stock of many titles that had been sold out of backordered
  • We've got *four* new hentai dojinshi, featuring great hentai artwork from Black Cat, Yugioh, and more
  • Yaoi fans, see the elegant Rigel ~ A winter's constellation on the yaoi page
  • For fans of Japan's lovely hentai games, we've got a nice issue of Fantasienne for you, with over 260 pages of great info on Japan's current games
  • For those who appreciate Japan's beauty, we've got several nice photo puzzles posted to the anime page for you to check out
  • If you love Japanese snacks and gum, we've done a major restock, adding fresh stock of several popular items, including Milky Candy (white milk-flavored caramels, they're great), as well as some of our unique Japanese gum, only available from J-List
  • See the ultimate Japanese flag sticker for you car on the Wacky Stickers & Signs page
  • For this evening's "wacky" update, we've got some cool new items, including an all-new version of Japanese "socks glue" (to hold your socks up), an oil sheet for ladies with real gold in it, the ultimate 360 degree swiveling hanger, and more! Check out all the new items!

J-List accepts all major credit cards for orders, via the secure order form on our web site. But we also are happy to another forms of payment, such as Paypal and Billpoint. We get several emails a week from people asking if check or money order payment are okay, and the answer is of course yes -- just make an order and choose "check or money order."

Some have asked about the enlarged images that are still now showing up. We've kept many of the images off the server, to keep the hard drive space problem we've been having from coming back. We're hard at work on a permanent fix, and should have the problems taken care of soon!