Friday, September 07, 2001

Greetings from J-List September 7, 2001

Greetings from Japan, where wet umbrellas need condoms...

It's interesting, the things you learn about the human brain when you learn a second language. For example, when I was learning Japanese, I found that my brain was not able to "parse" Japanese that I didn't understand when it was spoken at me. In fact, my brain didn't even register that I'd been spoken to at times -- effectively, the Japanese words that were spoken to me registered as so much static to my brain. Interestingly, embarrassing myself by not knowing a certain word in a certain situation often serve as a "memory hook" that will help you remember the word in the future. I remember hitchhiking to Aomori Prefe(famous for apples and Japanese "enka" singers). I was trying to buy a flashlight, but I didn't know cture, at the top of the main island of Honshu the word, to my great frustration. I know it now -- kaichuu dentou -- and that frustration probably helped me greatly.

When the brain encounters a language it can't understand, sometimes it tries to "fit" the words into existing "holes" and understand it that way. I remember watching Macross 1984 for the first time, back in the heady mid-1980's, when there was no English anime to be had for love or money. I heard "Minmei-san" during the course of the movie, but my brain interpreted it as "Minmei song" because that's what it was ready to accept as comprehensible. When my nephew Chris came to Japan and rode around in our Mazda Bongo Friendee, he kept calling it "Bongo Frenzy," because there were no synapses for the odd word "friendee" in his brain.

Big changes are coming for the small liquor shop which my wife's parents run. The shop has been in business for nearly 50 years, but sadly, it's become quite dirty and run-down in past years. In the past, "mom and pop" liquor stores were protected by Japanese liquor licensing laws, which prevented large chains from selling alcohol. But in the "new Japan" with its economic turmoils and new challenges, the government is allowing convenience stores and supermarkets to sell liquor too, which makes things even harder for our little liquor shop. To improve things, we're going to reform the interior of the store, replacing all glass, shelves, and fixtures and adding a specialty coffee bar. It's going to be hard work, and very expensive, but on the plus side: borrowing the money is practically free, about 1.6%.

We're pleased with how well the Himeya titles have been selling . To help you decide which games you want, we've updated the descriptions to some of the Himeya titles with links to compressed demo movies that you can download. To see the links, choose the Himeya Soft link under Hentai/Bishoujo games, and the games will links will all appear at the top of the page.

For this weekend's update, we've got some excellent items for you, including:

  • First, a great update of Japanese adult magazines, including the brand new Dela Beppin (featuring both Mai Hagiwara and Anna Ohura), the new Cho! Very good!! (great for kogal fans), and the very erotic new Do-Up!
  • For photobook fans, we've got the lovely hardcover photobook of Mako Tanaka, a former Mini-Suka Police member, as well as fresh stock of Bauko Eichi's dynamite "B" photobook and Juri Kayama's waitress fetish photobook
  • We have some excellent doujinshi for you, both new "one shots" obtained at the summer's Comic Market as well as ten copies of the red-hot "God's Hermit Play"
  • For erotic manga fans, we've got many new titles posted, including new works by Tsukasa Comics, Wani Comics and more, as well as "Thief of Love," a dynamite comic by Mujin Comics
  • We have some new issues of b-Boy Zips, the high-quality yaoi comic compilation for fans of Japan's unique homosexual comic themes
  • For DVD fans, we've got two new titles for you: first, a super erotic performance from Koharu Tohno, the pure and lovely "puchi AV idol," and for fans of the Soft on Demand "Deep's" label, a super compilation DVD featuring all their productions from the first half of 2001
  • Also for DVD lovers, we've got fresh stock of many cool titles that had been sold out
  • For adult video collectors, we've got a super performance by Kaori Shimizu, the erotic and stylish AV idol
  • We've got another cool item for card collectors -- a cool trading card series based on the popular manga Futari H
  • For fans of our unique Japanese snacks, we've got fresh stock of the delicious Hi-Chew candies, including cola, green apple, and a new flavor, grape. Also, a restock of the delicious Japanese Tomato Pretzles (you have to taste them to believe them)
  • On our Wacky Things (cute) page we've got fresh stock of Hello Kitty picture holders and pretty printed chopsticks
  • For fans of Japanese notebooks and other study items, we've got some cool new notebooks in stock, with funny and bizarre English printed on them, as well as fresh stock of the Pokemon kanji practice notebooks and Japanese traditional report-writing paper
  • On the Wacky Stickers and Signs page, we've got limited stock of some cool items: the "it is forbidden to urinate here" wooden signs, and the "I am H" (watashi wa H) wacky Japanese headbands
  • Finally, on the main "Wacky Things from Japan" page, we've got a bunch of new items for you, including a super new Japanese banto box, delicious individual packets of soy sauce to go with your bento boxed lunch, limited stock of cute sushi erasers (maguro, tamago and uni), a great way to clean your ears in Japanese style, and more!

The link that we'd been using in our past few mails to show the latest items at J-List was broken, thanks to the mailing list "converting" part of the URL for us. This probably caused most of the newly posted products to not display. To view all the new and updated items at J-List, please access http://www.jlist.com/ directly and find the "find new products updated in the last 3 days" submit button. Sorry for any confusion.

Wednesday, September 05, 2001

Greetings from J-List September 5, 2001

Hi from your friends in Japan, at J-List!

Have you ever wondered who's on Japanese money? Well, we'll tell you. The Japanese 1000 yen note features the famous 19th Century novelist Souseki Natsumi, who wrote such famous books as "I am a Cat" and "Kokoro." As part of the Japanese education system, the first sentence of famous novels is memorized by students, and nearly all of his novels are famous. The 5000 yen note sports Inazo Nitobe, one of the "forefathers" of modern Japan, and among the first Japanese to become fluent in English (he was a student of Professor Clark, an American who started Sapporo University, and left the famous words "Boys, be ambitious"). He toured Europe and the U.S. to observe elements that were desirable in the "new" Japan. The 10,000 note, pretty much the "basic" unit of currency in Japan (roughly equal to $100 in value), features Yukichi Fukuzawa, another modernizer in the Meiji Period, and founder of Keio University. The old 1000 note, which went out of circulation about 15 years ago (but you still see them sometimes) was Hirofumi Itoh, the first Prime Minister of Japan (but he was assassinated, in the tradition of Meiji-era Japanese politicians).

Driving in Japan can be different from what you might be used to. First, while many people prefer to drive with their lights on during the day in the U.S. for extra safety, is never done here, and if you leave your lights on while you drive, it causes other drivers to stop you and tell you that your lights are on. While honking a horn at another driver can cause road rage in the U.S., here a short "beep" is the universal way of saying thanks and good-bye as you pull away. Most drivers turn off their car's headlights at intersections (leaving the parking lights on), as a courtesy to drivers who might be blinded by their lights on the other side of the intersection. In Tokyo, where drivers drive with consideration for others (unlike Gunma, where we live), a two-second flashing of the hazard lights is the correct way to say "thank you" when another driver gives you the right of way. In Japan, traffic lights have a 3 second delay, before the next drivers are allowed to go. By unwritten rule, Japanese drivers universally make use of this time to speed their car through the intersection, despite the red light, since they know they've got several seconds before the other cars will be moving.

We've got a quite a lot of interest in the Japanese hanko stamps. We should point out that only Japanese last names (e.g. Sekiguchi, Yamada, Fujita) are available. If you have a Japanese last name, or just want to have an "honorary" Japanese name and a hanko stamp, let us know and we'll get one for you.

We've updated our region 2 DVD page with links for Mac users who want to view region 2 DVDs on their computers, including several hacks and a useful program that resets the number of times you can change your DVD region setting.

For this middle-of-the-week update, we've got some nice new items for you, including:

  • First, some great new magazines, including the two new issues of video Boy and Best Video, featuring great info on the most lovely AV idols from Japan
  • For fans of kogals, Japan's lovely bad girls, we've got limited stock of the very nice Lip Mate, always a popular magazine at J-List
  • For fans of Japan's unique rape-play erotica, we've got a very nice photobook for you, featuring eleven different lovely nude models
  • For hentai manga fans, we've got another nice update for you, including some excellent new offerings as well as fresh stock of several very popular items that kept going out of stock
  • For doujinshi fans, we've got a very special offering for you -- the super erotic Girl Power, a dynamite 60+ page erotic doujinshi with some of the best busty artwork we've seen
  • For DVD lovers, we've got something very special for you -- a super new erotic offering from Aoi Minori, featuring tons of excellent erotic performance for you, and a special treat -- a "rock scissors paper" game you can play with your DVD controller
  • For collectors of region-2 DVDs, check out the excellent "coupling" title from SOD's I-Entergy label, featuring Hirosue Nao's erotic performance along with the charming Yayoi Yukino's sexual ravaging
  • If you love Japan's Race Queens, see the erotic video by Risa Takahashi, a real former Race Queen, featuring tons of erotic sex by this slender angel
  • If you're a fan of lovely swimsuit idols from Japan, check out the Infinity Idol Cards Collection, with some of Japan's loveliest idols in the series
  • If you're studying Japanese, or any language, check out the very handy Campus Word Books we've got in stock -- they feature a very organized way to write down the original word, pronunciation, and English meaning of vocabulary words
  • Finally, we've got some nifty and convenient things for you, including an all-new Hello Kitty onigiri maker (so you can make perfect triangular rice balls), a superior way to grate and store food, and more!

My comment about the J-Mate site got messed up in the last update. J-List will give a credit of $5-10 for all reviews submitted to the J-Mate page. For more information, mail mailto:reviews@jmate.com . Also, remember that there's a forums site set up on the Peach Princess BBS, so you can discuss the excellent reviews and interviews posted on the J-Mate site. The direct link is http://princess.cybrmall.net/ubbcgi/Ultimate.cgi

We *think* we've got the mailing list formatting problems worked out, and this mailing should work for everyone without any problems with the paragraphs scrolling off to the right endlessly. As always, please let us know how the list is apearing for you. Thanks!

Monday, September 03, 2001

Greetings from J-List September 3, 2001

Hello and Happy September from your friends at J-List!

Because names in Japanese are written in kanji, Chinese characters, they have meanings that are always interesting to foreigners. Western names have meanings, too -- my name, Peter, comes from "rock" in Greek, and "Payne" supposedly comes from the French "pain" (bread), similar to the English last name Baker. (I've probably a French baker in my ancestry.) Many names in Japan are written with the most elementary kanji, and reflect farming ancestries (despite that all Japanese insist their ancestors were samurai). Some characters used in many Japanese last names include:

Yama = Mountain
Ta (or da) = Rice field
Naka = Middle
Matsu = Pine
Uchi (or Nai) = Inside
Kawa (or Gawa) = River

Incidentally, having the kanji for "gold" (Kanai, Kaneko) indicates Korean ancestry (Kim in Korean).

Something else that foreigners living in Japan are always obsessed with is writing their own name in kanji. There are several ways to write Western names in Japanese, mainly by approximating the pronunciation and choosing some characters you like. If your name is George you can choose two characters with the readings of "jo" and "ji" which will come out pretty similar to George. I wanted to write my name in kanji, but there are no characters that are read "pe" or "pi," so I broke the rules, and put a circle next to the kanji I wanted to use (which is only done for hiragana). I accidentally registered that bizarre, 6-character name as my official name in Japan, too, so that now, when mail comes from the City Office, it's addressed to - which is read "Piitaa Pein." My wife groans every time she has to explain why her American husband has such a bizarre officially-registered name...

Japan has some interesting customs regarding the signing of official documents. For example, when we went to fill out the forms for our Bongo Friendee, we had to make sure we had our dually registered name stamp ("hanko"), which is used in place of a signature as a way of verifying a person's agreement. In order to officially stamp something, you often need a "stamp proof of registration" paper which you get from the local city office. Only stamps that are registered with the city are legally binding. The use of these stamps is somewhat puzzling to foreigners -- what's to stop someone from mugging you and stealing your stamp, then withdrawing all your money from the bank. For reasons that only the Japanese can probably understand, this nearly never happens. As the Japanese economy takes more queues from the outside world, credit cards are becoming carried more and more; since the credit card system uses handwritten signatures as verification, the Japanese are of course familiar with western-style signatures, too. Incidentally, you can now custom order real hanko stamps from J-List with virtually any last name you could want -- see the Wacky Things from Japan page for more info.

We're still trying to make sure the list is working correctly. If you find any lines or paragraphs being cut off in your mailbox, or any other weirdness, please reply to this message so we can get things working for everyone.

For the first update of the month, we've got a very nice selection of excellent items for you, including:

  • First, we've got the excellent new issues of Bejean and Gokuh, two excellent oversized adult magazines from Eichi, featuring some of the best girls Japan has to offer
  • If you love the wonderful Mai Hagiwara, we've got a major restock of all of her previous sold out photobooks: Maichy, Tennyo and I Mai Me
  • Also for photobook fans, the lovely photobook of busty idol Ai Nakayama
  • If you're a fan of amateur sex and kogals, we've got a very nice item: Raw Gachinko Video, with 2+ hours of amateur AV for a very good price
  • For fans of golden showers themes, there's a new photobook featuring very lovely AV idols in very pretty dressing peeing
  • If you love doujinshi, we've got new doujinshi posted for you, both one-shot doujinshi purchased at the summer Comic Market as well as several new books that we have good stock of
  • For our erotic manga fans, we've got a major restock of many of our most popular books, with many of our popular works back in stock -- check them out before they sell out again
  • We've got some great new DVDs in, including Shy Deluxe 2001, featuring eight different popular actresses on one 120 minute DVD, and Sperm Angel 3 & 4, issued by Soft on Demand onto one great "coupling" DVD
  • Also for DVD fans, fresh stock of some great items, including Akira Fubuki's only DVD release, Kaoru Tsunoda's "Twice" and the very nice Stress Actress Collection
  • For overs of "anicos" or anime costume play, the lovely Honey Morimura dresses in a great variety of erotic costumes for you, including Cutey Honey, Cameraman Honey, and Stewardess Honey
  • For fans of the excellent hentai game and anime Shusaku, we've got the Shusaku Animation Version Trading Collection, in stock!
  • On our anime & toys page, we've got fresh stock of the Evangelion Kubrick EVA-02 Production Model, as well as the ne Evangelion Kubrick EVA-00 Prototype with Rei
  • On our Wacky Things "Cute" page, we've got some cute Hello Kitty items from Japan, including Hello Kitty cupcake holders and some very cute Kitty-chan chopsticks
  • We have new Japanese ukiyoe stickers on the Signs and Stickers "Wacky" page, as well as wacky astrological stickers for all piesces out there
  • For our Japanese snack fans, see a popular item, Koala no March, or March of the Koalas, featuring little koala cookies that are filled with chocolate
  • Finally, we have some very nice new "Wacky" things for you, including a device that removes humidity from your closets, the ultimate way to brew a cup or pot of coffee, Japanese style, and a line of very cool organizers for your desk that will hold your pens, mail, remote controls, business cards, and, for those who want to put their stamp on things, the aforementioned Japanese "hanko" stamps, available for custom order through J-List!

The J-Mate site (http://www.jmate.com/) has been updated with a fresh interview with Fuuka Sakurai, as well as several great new reviews. Check out the new offerings at J-Mate. Also: announcing