If you ever need to communicate with Japanese people but don't know any Japanese, just remember this word: "Domo." Domo basically means "very" and is found in such phrases as "Domo arigatou gozaimasu" (thank you very much), "Domo sumimasen" (excuse me), and even "Domo otsukaresama deshita" (thank you for working so hard) (said at the end of the day when you leave work). If you can't memorize these words, just remember the word "Domo," since Japanese people use this word all the time, leaving the rest of the words unsaid (since they're picked up from the context anyway). So if you're ever greeting a Japanese person after a long time away, meeting someone for the first time, saying goodbye, etc. you can usually get along with just "Domo."
Well, Obon is almost upon us. Obon ("oh, bone!") is a Japanese Buddhist holiday in which the spirits of the dead come home for a visit, although in reality, it's a summer version of the "Golden Week" holidays, an excuse to take off work and go have some fun. Tokyo becomes a ghost town during Obon week, as millions of people pour into the countryside to enjoy mountains, the beach, or go home for a visit. Like Thanksgiving Weekend in the U.S., it's a time when people return home to their "actual house" (the home of their parents) and spend time with the family. There are many festivals held during Obon week, where Japanese eat watermelon, drink cold beer, and do a special summer dance called "Bon-odori" while wearing yukata (summer cotton kimonos) and happi coats. Of course there are lots of fireworks, too.
Speaking of summer festivals, my kids recently performed Japanese "Taiko" drums at a summer festival. If you want to see pictures, they are at http://www.peterpayne.net/Merchant3/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=PP&Product_Code=TAIKO&Category_Code=PC
Well, we lost one of our video pages. For the past week, the Soft on Demand DVD page was not appearing as an active DVD category, effectively hiding all the SOD DVDs we have. We've fixed it, so you can see all our DVD titles in stock now.
For this mid-week update, we've got some nice items ready for you, including:
- First, some very nice new magazines, including the new Beppin School (always a very popular item), as well as some other nice new items
- For fans of Japanese AV idols, we've got a deluxe item for you: the Best Video AV Idol Perfect Guide, a photobook with video CD, featuring 123 of Japan's most lovely and popular adult video idols
- For photobook fans, we've got an interesting and artistically cool hardcover photobook for you: A trip to BONDAGE in Japan, as well as fresh stock of Garo Aida's very nice "Strawberry Diaries" photobook
- For doujinshi fans, we've got -- more doujinshi, including some nice rare items that we don't usually have access to
- Also for doujin lovers, we've got several very nice CD-ROM offerings of "doujin-soft" (that is, software and CG images made by doujin underground artists) that are very rare and beautiful
- We have some excellent new erotic manga volumes for you, including "Love Game" (romantic tale of love & sex and girls with glasses), a bold manga, "The Ropes that Suck the Juice," and more
- Fans of Soft on Demand's DVD releases should check out the "new" titles, which were not showing up on the site before Monday
- Also for DVD lovers, some new releases: "AV 2001 vol. 1" (a super compilation of some of the best Japanese AV of this year), and Bunko Kanazawa's delightful "The Invitation of Pandora"
- For those with region-free DVD players, be sure to check out the excellent "Beautiful Lady" with 180 minutes of performances by eight very beautiful Japanese women
- We have a nice new adult video release by Atlas on the adult video page, featuring the charming Manatsu Hirose
- It's summer, and in Japan that means mugi-cha, a delicious and refreshing tea made from barley. Never served sweetened, mugi tea is very healthy and promotes weight loss by forcing retained water out of your body. We have fresh stock of our cold-water mugi tea bags, on the Japanese snack & food pages!
- Also on our Japanese snack pages, we have fresh stock of our Japanese sake candy
- We have fresh stock of one of our most popular (and wacky) product categories: Japanese hachimaki (head bands) with messages like "Certain Victory," "I'm looking for a boyfriend" and more
- Finally, new items on our old, reliable Wacky Things from Japan pages. including the ultimate remote control holder, an authentic Japanese traditional wooden cup for drinking sake (or organizing your desk), a recreation of an old Japanese wooden monkey toy, something cute for Hello Kitty fans, and -- just in case you ever needed to pretend to be an angel -- delightful angel wings for any occasion!