Thursday, September 20, 2001

Greetings from J-List September 20, 2001

Hello again from your friends in Japan!

There's been some concern that some of the terrorists responsible for the World Trade Center attack might have snuck into Japan, and might possibly be trying something. It honestly wouldn't surprise me -- sadly, Japan has a bit of a complex about foreigners, and aside from checking their entry documents carefully when they enter the country and occasionally hassling a gaijin about the ownership of the bicycle he happens to be riding, foreigners living in Japan are not watched very closely. In Japan as a whole, about 1% of the population are foreigners, mostly from Korea, Peru, Brazil, and Pakistan (gaijin from America or Europe are actually quite rare). In Isesaki, where we live, the foreign population is much higher, at 3%. Before the attack, it was quite common to see foreigners walking together, often (in the case of those of Muslim religion) wearing the traditional clothing of their countries. If some unsavory terrorists have managed to get inside Japan, I think it would be rather easy for them to do damage to the country in some way. Considering that almost no police officers here even speak English, getting information on suspects speaking another language would be very difficult.

In Japan, the new rice crop is it. New rice is supposed to taste much better than last year's crop, although I doubt if I could tell the difference. With the new rice, Japanese makers of home electronics are trying to capture consumer's dollars with new high-tech rice cookers. Zojirushi ("Mark of the Elephant") has a new model that uses a special iron pot to distribute heat to the cooking rice more smoothly. Mitsubishi is counting with a model that sends supersonic sound waves into the rice as it cooks, to make better-tasting rice, the company says. The staple of all Japanese people, Japanese eat rice with two or three meals a day. The bes rice comes from Niigata Prefecture, the "rice basket" of Japan, and the best-selling brand of rice is called Koshi-Hikari. After living in Japan for nine years, I eat rice and all other Japanese foods all the time, and couldn't live without them. I've also adapted some of my old favorites: Chef Boy-ar-dee Ravioli is really good on rice -- try it sometime!

We've been working hard to bring you some of Japan's best bishoujo (hentai) games in English for some years. During that time, we've made a lot of games with a lot of genres in it. Still, one of my favorites of all time is Season of the Sakura, a year-long romance simulation game in which you must choose which of 8 girls you want to have fall in love with you. It's extra fun, because all the characters are blatantly stolen from three famous anime shows: Evangelion, Magical Knight Rayearth and St. Tail. Watching Evangelion was great fun -- I got to get all the wacky inside jokes that were put in by the game designers. Now I've just gone done watching the Rayearth anime series, and I get to enjoy a whole new slew of new puns that the game offers. Since this is such a great game, and since we're a bit overstocked, we're lowering the price to by $10. If you haven't played this very enjoyable game, why not give it a try?

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

  • First, we've got some nice new magazines, including the new Cream, for fans of lovely young Japanese women, a new Idol Hakkutsu Magazine with embarrassing and rare shots of Japanese idols, Namper, and more
  • For hentai game fans, we've got some single issues of Bug Bug with lots of screenshots and information on Japan's latest games
  • For fans of magazines that come with video CDs filled with sampler footage, we've got the new DVD Perfect Guide, featuring 3 VCDs from 216 titles -- 200 minutes of footage for a super low price
  • If you love Japan's unique panty stocking and let fetishism, check out the new Panst Best, a dynamite softcover photobook of Japanese women in high skirts shot from a low angle, with sexy panty stockings, high heeled shoes and more
  • For photobook fans, we've got new hard- and soft-cover photobooks, including Akari's "Himitsu" nude hardcover photobook, a great item for race queens, and more
  • We have a major update of doujinshi, with many nice new books for fans of hentai Evangelion, Love Hina, Nadesico, Air, Kanon and more -- and with good stock of all books
  • We also have a very nice update to our erotic manga pages, with several all-new offerings by Tsukasa Comics, Mujin Comics and more
  • For yaoi fans, we've got two new volumes in the b-Boy Zips series, dealing with many interesting classic yaoi erotic themes
  • For fans of our DVDs, we've got some nice new ones. The new Semen Gokkun Series features excellent bukkake and sperm-eating fun as only SOD can bring it to you. For fans of sexy panty stockings, we've got the great Panty Hose Lovers DVD from Atlas 21
  • For fans of SOD's excellent video offerings, see The First Cock Suckin' and Finger Shakin' Contest, a great battle of fellatio and tekoki (hand job) to determine which girl is the Queen! This item was requested by many J-List customers so we think you'll like it
  • If you love Japan's lovely swimsuit idols, and who doesn't, we have fresh stock of one of the most often-requested items in recent memory: Bururun Club vol III, which features tons of cards signed by the models, and even special cards that contain pieces of the actual swimsuit used in photography
  • For fans of traditional Japanese chopsticks, we've got some nice items for you, posted to the Wacky Things -> Traditional page, as well as fresh stock of the popular traditional Japanese tray
  • If you love the cute "super deformed" Star Wars toys we offer, we've got fresh stock of several of them -- Darth Vader, Boba Fett, and the Stormtrooper
  • On our Japanese snacks & food page, we've got many nice items, including all-new traditional Japanese hard candy varieties, Cupie mayonnaise, tart Japanese dried plums, and more
  • We've got a new wacky Japanese headband on the Signs & Stickers page: "Now in training" (Shugyo-chu), good for anyone trying to reach a goal, as well as fresh stock of our "Do not throw trash away here" and more
  • On our Study Items, we've got some high-quality Japanese pencils and new notebooks with silly English on them
  • Finally, new and updated items on our Wacky Things from Japan pages include a cool new way to clean your ears, Japanese style, a nifty machine to take length measurements, fresh stock of our popular no-stick rice scoop (with case), more Hello Kitty chopsticks and toilet paper, new onigiri makers, and more!

Well, it's not the best time to think about flying right now, my my neice is getting married in San Francisco, and my wife and I are off tomorrow to attend the wedding. Like many in America, we're determined to make sure barbaric acts by people outside our World Society don't change the way we live or act. While we're gone, Tomo, Yasu, Kaori and Harumi will make sure things run smoothly.

Tuesday, September 18, 2001

Greetings from J-List September 18, 2001

Hello again from Japan! This is just a quick update to let you know that the rest of the 2002 calendars have been posted to the J-List site. Since we love these large size glossy calendars that are only available from Japan, we've worked extra hard today to get the calendars ready for ordering. Writing the descriptions for 200+ calendars is no easy thing, I can tell you! In case you're not familiar with the large size high-quality calendars that are published in Japan around this time, please browse the newly posted items on our site.

As always, we love to see which calendars will be included each year. This year, popular singer and fashion icon Ayumi Hamasaki snagged the coveted CL-1 position again, the same as last year, a reflection on the active year Ayumi has had in music and TV commercials. "Mo-musu" (teeny bop idol group Morning Musume) bagged the #2 slot. In general, each calendar season is a snapshot of the past year, and shows how Japan has grown or changed in the past 12 months -- or how some things have stayed the same.

As usual, our selection of calendars is massive, since we want to give as much choice to everyone. We've got calendars with sexy Japanese swimsuit idols like Haruka Igawa, dozens of anime calendars, JPOP calendars, with everything from idols to Japan's "visual rock" represented. Stars of Japanese baseball? Beautiful contemporary Japanese artists? Cute Japanese characters like Afro Ken (Afro Dog)? A My Neighbor Totoro calendar, with a "Bondage Nude" on the side? Our selection of very nice Japanese calendars mirrors We've got them all available for preorder right now.

For information on the sizes of calendars, please see the top of each calendar category page. For protection, all calendars will be shipped in protective tubes that we have sent especially from the U.S. Tubes are $3, and two calendars can fit inside one tube. Preorder four or more calendars, and your mailing tubes are free. The mailing window for calendars is always frustratingly small -- we ask that you get your preorders in as soon as possible, so we can guarantee that your calendar will be available. Orders made past mid-October will start to get hard to fill. A note about the scans that we've posted: in some cases, they're not very good. The reason for this is, we're scanning very small thumbnail images that we're provided with. The actual printing on the calendars themselves is beautiful and top-notch.

In addition to the newly posted calendars, we've got a few other newly posted items tonight. First, we've got a huge restocking of some of our most popular manga, with about two dozen items, some of them very popular manga items. We've got fresh stock of several of our wacky Japanese T-shirts, including "Proud of my Big Root" and "Dirty American Devil" (we'd sold out of size M and XXL, but we have them back in stock now). We've got fresh stock of some backordered photobooks, too, with many nice items in. Please check out the new items!

In other news, the Japanese Pentagon has been destroyed, but not by terrorists. The Japan Self-Defense Forces General Headquarters, which corresponds to the Pentagon in the U.S., has been located in the heart of Roppongi for the past fifty years. The land around the buildings had become some of the most valuable in the world, so the Japanese government decided to move the operations of the military to a cheaper location and sell the land. It fetched a cool $6 billion. The land is being cleared now, and will be developed with apartment buildings and more of the drinking establishments for which Roppongi is so famous for.

For those interested in learning more about the bishoujo gaming world, there's an interview with Dave Endresek of Peach Princess at Gamers' Press. See it at http://www.gamerspress.com/article.php?sid=659&mode=nested&order=0 . It's quite interesting...

Monday, September 17, 2001

Greetings from J-List September 17, 2001

Greetings from Japan, where a man's fly is referred to as his "shakai no madow" (or "window of society")...

The events of last week continue to shock everyone here in Japan. Over the weekend, families of Japanese still missing flew to New York on the first available planes. Executives of Fuji Bank also went to New York to help in whatever way they could. The Japanese stock market has down, and up, and down again, as investors wait to see what will happen when the U.S. stock market opens. Based on the strong orders we got at J-List over the weekend, I believe that the American economy will continue to be strong. And if stocks do drop when the U.S. market opens, I, for one, will go shopping...

In local Japanese news, fears of Mad Cow Disease have seized consumers, with the discovery of the disease in a cow in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo. Authorities are investigating problems with the feed the animal was given as the most likely cause. As a result of the scare, Japanese are turning to American and "Aussie" beef, which is causing prices to go rise sharply. And in Tokyo, a 16 year old high school girl was working in a convenience store, when a man came in and made a purchase with a counterfeit 10,000 yen note. She noticed that the bill was odd, and when she happened to see the man on her way home, she decided to follow him. He went into another convenience store, where he passed another fake note. He tried to leave, but the girl said "Stop!" and with the help of some people on the street, she was able to catch him while authorities were called. Brave girl!

We're happy to report that all mail flights have been resumed, and all backlogged packages that had been waiting to be sent are safely on their way to their destinations. We thank all customers for their understanding during this trying time for everyone. We're making sure that all orders go out to customers in a timely manner.

Calendar season is here! Every year, hundreds of beautiful calendars are made published near the end of the year. Extra-large and printed with very high quality, these glossy calendars cover virtually all possible areas of Japanese pop culture, from anime to JPOP to beautiful swimsuit models and race queens and more. Since J-List's mission is to introduce as much of Japan to people living around the world, we make these beautiful calendars available to everyone. The first 2002 calendars are ready for posting to the J-List, so please check them out. The rest of the calendars, including anime, JPOP and more, will be posted as soon as we get the data into the computer. (I can hear Kaori typing now...)

In addition to the calendars we've posted today, we've got some nice items for you, including:

  • We've gotten in some new magazines, including the new EX CD-ROM, and one of my own favorites, the new Amateur Girl's Data
  • If you like the popular magazines with video CDs inside them, see the new Internet Paradise, with some very nice international AV collected for you
  • For fans of O.K. magazine, we have a super O.K. photobook, called K.O., filled with great girls for you
  • For photobook fans, some extra-special items, including a new Strawberry Diaries photobook by Garo Aida featuring "Nanami," and more
  • For fans of Japan's unique doujinshi, we've got a great update for you, with both very rare single-issues of new doujinshi recently obtained at the past Comic Market, but good stock of several very nice books -- including a new Girl Power and new Sailor Moon hentai books!
  • Since we love Japan's erotic wide manga, we've got new erotic manga volumes for you, with many all-new volumes posted in additional to fresh stock of several popular works as well
  • Also for manga fans, a special treat -- an *all* Azuki Kurenai issue of Angel Club
  • For fans of Japan's bold yaoi manga, we've got two new books for you as well, very nice yomi-kiri (individual self-contained manga volumes, not part of a set)
  • For DVD lovers, check out the excellent Neo Uniform Collection, featuring excellent and rare AV with Sena Wakana, Mizuho Kanoh (aka Jun Kusanagi), and more
  • For lesbian fans, we've got a great DVD item for you: a new Deep Kiss series production, featuring 8 lovely Japanese girls who agree to try lesbian "deep" kissing and much more. Who will win the SOD kissing contest?
  • Also for lesbian aficionados, a new video from SOD's Deep's label explores the deep lesbian love between Chie and Mayu, two cousins who share a private summer together
  • If you love anime, check out the anime page for a cool "completed figure" set based on the new Miyazaki movie, Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi
  • On our "wacky" stickers and signs page, we've got fresh stock of two popular traditional Japanese headbands, "Goukaku" (for those striving to pass some sort of test), and "Hisshou" (Certain Victory, for those trying to overcome an enemy in a battle)
  • Also on our Wacky Signs page, fresh stock of some popular wooden signs, including "thank you" "now hiring" and "please don't throw away your trash here."
  • On our popular Japanse snacks & food page, we've got several great new items, including two delicious new flavors of Toppo, a baked pretzel with chocolate inside, and a line of butter cookies from Japan in the shape of animals -- they have the animals names written in English, right on the cookies
  • For fans of our unique Japanse gum, we've got not one but two new flavors of Lotte chewing gum, a bold new coffee gum, and a delicious "lemon tea" gum that is right on the money
  • For those studying Japanese, either the hiragana/katakana syllibery or kanji, we recommend the Pokemon Japanese study notebooks we've gotten in more stock of
  • On our "traditional" wacky things page, look for a nifty Japanese air pillow, but one with a traditional covering of igusa, the straw that tatami mats are made from
  • Finally, we've gotten some cool new items on our general Wacky Things from Japan pages, including a delightful Japanese flowerpot, fresh stock of our best-selling Japanese wall maps, Hello Kitty clips to keep anything closed, and more stock of one of our most popular authentic Japanese bento boxes.

The J-Mate site at http://www.jmate.com/ has been updated with new reviews and English interviews with Japanese AV stars. New reviews of X-Change and Hentai Anime Poker are posted, as well as a photobook of Kyoko Fukada. For Nao Hirosue fans, read a great new interview with her, in which she discusses her nervousness about having small breasts, and more!