In any language, words have slightly different meanings from words in other languages. The Japanese word omoshiroi corresponds to the word "interesting," but it also has a connotation of "funny" (like a joke), which is new if you're used to English. In a similar vein, some Japanese words and concepts just "work" differently in Japanese. One is the word "friend," which is tomodachi in Japanese. In english, the word friend is used quite loosely, and is sometimes applied to someone who isn't a close friend, but it just someone you know or meet sometimes, or even of a person you're romantically involved with. In Japanese, tomodachi would only be used for a fairly close friend that was close in age to you -- it would be almost impossible to have a tomodachi that was much older or much younger than you. Other words are used for other casual relationships, such as shiriai (acquaintance), or if the person is above or below you in a school or organization, words like senpai and kouhai just "fit" better. I've got a friend who's got his own English school, and he's 52 years old. In relationships that are based in Japanese, it would be almost impossible for me to think of him as my friend -- the Japanese word just doesn't work that way.
My six-year-old son Kazuki has teacher a great milestone: he's lost his first tooth. Naturally, I wanted to follow what is done in the States, putting the pillow under my son's pillow so the Tooth Fairy could put money under his pillow. My wife, however, wanted to follow Japanese the way, in which the tooth is thrown onto the roof of your house (if it was a lower tooth), or thrown under the house (if it was an upper tooth). In the end, we compromised and did both. Kazuki wanted the tooth fairy to bring him some American money, until I reminded him that he couldn't buy anything with American money in Japan.
The California energy crisis strikes again! A rolling blackout at our ISP in San Diego caused the J-List site to go down for a few hours on Wednesday. We're hard at work on the new server, which has, among other things, a separate gasoline generator to keep things on even if the lights go out. We hope to have some good news for you soon.
For this evening's update, we've got some nice items prepared for you, including:
- Many new 18+ products for our adult customers
- If you like J-List's wacky food and snack offerings, we've got more for you to try. One is a delicious "dry curry" mix (similar to fried rice, but flavored with delicious curry powder), and for rice lovers, packets of Ochazuke, which is a delicious and wholesome food you eat with rice
- For Play Station 2 fans, we've got limited stock of the current Dengeki Play Station magazine, filled with information on the hottest PS2 games from Japan
- Updated "Wacky" items incude Japanese lacquerware bowls and coaster, new unique items for ladies, and more!
Remember that J-List carries the most unique selection you will ever find of Japanese gum, snacks like Pocky and Pretz, and more. Please browse our site to find our unique products.