Thursday, August 23, 2001

Greetings from J-List August 23, 2001

Hello again from Japan, the home of words like "virgin road" and "shutter chance."

Part of the Japanese sense of "joshiki" (unifying common sense) can be understood through the word "chanto." Meaning "properly," the Japanese use this word to grant a higher status to "the way things should be." When I went to pick up my daughter from her preschool, I watched the teacher showing the kids a "kami-shibai" (a story told to kids using sheets of cardboard with pictures on them) about the proper way to brush your teeth, the proper way to greet others, and so on. The word "chanto" was thrown around a lot. Of course teaching kids is one thing, but it's interesting to note that the concept of there being "one" correct way to do things is quite important to the Japanese. Almost without fail, those who don't follow that one path -- young people who drop out of school and play guitar in front of the train station for money, couples who live together without getting married -- are seen in a negative light.

One of the challenges for me as an American, living in rural Japan, comes from having no native speakers of English around me. It's amazing how much having other native speaks affects your own speaking. If I lived in New Zealand (as I in fact did for a year when I was a child), I'd naturally pick up a Kiwi accent. If I moved to India, I'd start talking like Apu from the Quik-E-Mart. Because there isn't much use for a gaijin who talks with a Japanese accent, or who goes around saying things like "Almost people in America drive a car," I have to constantly check my English to make sure it doesn't erode too badly. Another challenge: swearing. In Japan, English swear words carrying none of the shock or negative implications that they do in an English-speaking country. Thus, it's quite easy for foreigners living in Japan to lose the subtle mental checks and balances that govern the use of swear words, if they're not god damned careful.

Kaori's taking the day off today, to go to the new Disney Sea theme park that opened near Tokyo Disneyland (which isn't actually in Tokyo). Actually, it's not really open yet -- Kaori received a special invitation to go to the park before its official opening. She's been sending us digital images from her portable phone (which has a digital camera built into it). It looks like fun, but I detest all theme parks in Japan: the density of people in this country (320 per square mile, vs. 26 for the U.S.) guarantees that any day at a Disneyland-type theme park will be eaten up by waiting in lines.

Well, our air conditioning is back on -- yaay! If you want to see the charred motherboard that game out of our air conditioning unit, it's at http://www.jlist.com/b9/aircon.jpg .

For this afternoon's update, we've got another nice bunch of items for you, including:

  • Some very nice erotic magazine for you, including some amateur magazines for fans of authentic Japanese girls on the street
  • For leg fetish fans, see the new Mini-Suka Deluxe, the very nice deluxe magazine for fans of silky, leggy Japanese ladies
  • For fans of sailor uniforms, we've got the very cool Buru Mani, a Waffle Special issue featuring 14 sweet gals
  • for photobook lovers, we've got many nice new items, including Garo Aida's Strawberry Diaries photobook vol. 3 with Honami Seki, a superb new photobook of the elfin Minori Aoi, Emi Kitani's lovely hardcover swimsuit photobook, and more
  • We have positively wonderful all-new and back-in-stock manga for you, including the dynamite Explosive Breast Newscaster Anzai-san, fresh stock of Midnight plus two, as well as several more
  • Since it's doujinshi season around here, we have fresh books for you, all brand-new items from the past Comic Market
  • Also for fans of Japan's unique doujin-world, we've got some excellent CD-ROM compilations of "doujin-soft." These are CG collections put out by circles, who do computer graphics work instead of publishing book-format doujinshi comics. The quality of the CG is very high and very unique. Stock is limited, so check the doujinshi page fast...
  • If you love DVD, we've got two new titles for you. First, see pure girls doing erotic things for the first time in a very erotic new DVD release from Glay'z. Then, see the cat fight of the century as three martial arts gals must fight each other. Whoever loses must endure...
  • For lovers of unique Japanese snacks and food, we've got the delicious Tsubu Tsubu Strawberry Pocky, with bits of real strawberry inside, and one of my personal favorites, Tomato Pretz, a delicious tomato/salad flavored pretzel treat
  • Also on the Japanese snack and food page, we've got fresh stock of a dynamite item for the summer, Japanese barley tea (mugi cha), a giant value pack of 50 mugi cha tea bags for just $5
  • If you love Japan's sexy Race Queens, we've got a very nice photobook on the photobook and idol pages, capturing the beauty of the lovely Team Autobacs RQ's
  • For fans of the very cute Gremlins toys by Jun Planning, we've got two different lovable incarnations of Gizmo, available only from Japan
  • We have some new items on the Wacky Things from Japan "cute things" page, including little fragrant tags that smell sweet and have funny messages on them -- use them as air fresheners or as super-cute tags for gifts
  • For fans of ukiyoe, we've got fresh stock of the surprisingly popular ukiyoe stickers, two different sets featuring ukiyoe reproductions by Utamaro, Hokusai and Sharaku
  • Finally, other bizarre and wacky things from Japan include a real Japanese kendama (ball and string toy), a deluxe onigiri maker (makes rice balls in the shape of hearts, stars and bears), a very cute way to separate sushi from other foods, and more!

We've updated the J-List glossary of terms again, with some suggestions from readers. We hope it's helpful! Also, Yasu will be in Tokyo tomorrow, so we've updated the week's "top 5" lists a day early.

Tuesday, August 21, 2001

Greetings from J-List August 21, 2001

Greetings on a rainy Tuesday in Japan!

It looks like the Japanese may finally adopt a system that allows married people to have separate last names, a new change for a country in which virtually all married women take their husband's names (or in some cases, when the man goes to live in the woman's house, vice versa). A wife not taking her husband's name unheard of except among famous singers and actors, although Japanese who marry foreigners may opt to become "bessei fuufu" or a married couple that don't have the same last name. My wife and I fall into this category: I am universally called Yanai-san my the mothers at my kids preschool. It causes some confusion, as the city we live in often assumes she's a single mother, and sends social workers around to see if she's doing okay. When she filled out her update card for her high school reunion, she wrote "Payne-Yanai" as her current name -- she didn't want the people she went to high school with to think she had never gotten married. In Japan, when a woman gets divorced, she nearly always takes her maiden name back.

Part of my Unified Theory of Japan is the concept of "joshiki," a word which translates to "common sense" or knowledge that everyone has. The Japanese all seem to have a built-in common sense, ideas about the way things work, and they are very much in harmony with it. It is "joshiki" that all kids will go to school to be taught and brought up as happy citizens of the society, and so there is homeschooling in Japan. It is common sense that babies be born in hospitals, and so there is very little in the way of alternate birthing here. This "all powerful common sense" that the Japanese seem to possess is part of the why Japanese society seems, from the outside at least, over-organized in some ways.

Well, Tokimeki Check in! has been shipping for ten days or so now, and our customers are telling us they really love this game (one customer swears he played it for 24 hours straight). We're glad to hear it, since we think it's one of the best games ever ported to English. We hope you'll check out this very excellent "pretty girl" game.

Speaking of bishoujo games, we're happy to announce that J-List now carries all the popular English-translated bishoujo/hentai games from Himeya Soft. Now you can order their excellent line of classic games from us, and get them quickly from our office in San Diego -- no waiting for the games to come from Japan, and no EMS charges. In addition, we've got excellent low prices on the games. We're also happy announce that Adam the Double Factor, the "sequel" (or side-story) to Eva Burst Error, is available for preorder. We're very happy to have these titles available for you.

We've brought back the CD-ROMs & MPEG category. On this page, you can easily browse all bishoujo CD-ROM games, as well as all video CD & magazine combo items and more. You can also see the same items by clicking on the "view all hentai CD-ROMs" under the hentai/bishoujo game category.

We had a few problems with the site over the past 24 hours, which mainly resulted in some images not showing up. Everything should be back to normal by now, sorry about that.

For today's update, we've got some excellent new items, including:

  • First, we've got some excellent magazines for you, including the brand new Urecco. This issue is a great one, featuring some extremely lovely popular and up-and-coming nude, swimsuit and cosplay models
  • For photobook fans, we've got the lovely Love Sketch, featuring 14 popular nude idols photographed by the talented Koji Yokoyama, as well as fresh stock of the dynamite "Super Photobook Miruku " with Mai Hagiwara
  • If you like long Japanese legs, we have L-Shock, a cool magazine + dual Video CD combo item, with all kinds of leg, panty and stocking fetish material for your enjoyment
  • Doujinshi fans should take note of the update to the doujinshi page we've done, featuring a slew of doujinshi from the recent Comiket. These will go fast, so check them out as soon as you can...
  • We've also got a nice update of some truly excellent erotic manga from some of Japan's top manga studios
  • By request, we've got stock of some of the classic issues of the compilation yaoi manga B-Boy Zips, in stock on the yaoi manga page
  • If you're a fan of the lovely Airi Kago, who looks vaguely like the member of the idol band Morning Musume, Ai Kago, we've got her first-ever AV debut on the video pages
  • A special item for DVD fans who love the lovely Maiyo Yuki, we have her first appearance in an erotic bondage DVD -- see it on the bondage photobook and DVD pages
  • At J-List, one of the best-selling categories of DVD are the "zamen" videos, sperm fetish and tekoki and bukkake. In an incredible new production, Soft on Demand subjects poor Kurumi Morishita to a total of 130 "gokkun and bukkake" (swallowing and facials) in an incredible "masterpiece of immortal"
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, we've got some fresh and unique items for you, including Calbee's popular shrimp-flavored rice crackers, and Pucca, little fish-shaped pretzles with chocolate inside them
  • We've also got a tasty item that's great for babies, Hello Kitty milk-flavored senbei (rice crackers), that are good for little teething mouths. Inexplicably, these baby rice crackers are one of Kaori's favorite foods, even though she's 26...
  • For those who want to learn Japanese, we've got a cool kanji or hiragana/katakana practice notebook, on the new "Notebooks, Study Aids" page under "Wacky Things from Japan"
  • Finally, other Wacky Things we've added today include some excellent Japanese onsen (hot springs) powder for your bath (in peach, mint and aloe), a very nice "akasuri back washer" which removes dead skin cells from your body in the bath, and more!

We're about to run out of stock on some of our popular bishoujo games. If you want to order Nocturnal Illusion, Runaway City, or Light Up!, the time is now, before the last 5 or so units we've got sell out.

J-Mate (http://www.jmate.com) has been updated, with a new interview by the saucy Izumi Morino, as well as reviews of Snow Drop and Viper M1.