Almost all Japanese with a high school education study English for six years, three in Junior High School and three in High School -- if you ever want to have some fun, ask a Japanese how many years they've studied English, and watch them count up the years one by one, even though you'd think they knew the number off the tops of their heads. Despite all these years of study, the Japanese don't usually attain competency at English. To combat this, the Ministry of Education has declared that English conversation will be taught, starting in the 3rd grade, to try to increase fluency in English. I wish the Japanese educators well, but I know that as long as Japan refuses to study the examples of countries like Canada and Belgium that have successful bilingualism programs, future efforts will continue to be disappointing.
Japanese study English, but there's always a subtle conflict that no one acknowledges: do they study American English or British English? The Japanese have always had great respect for England, and have patterned much of their government after England's. Still, the Japanese tend to study American spelling ("color" not "colour") and pronunciation, as a general rule. The problem is, it's not a fixed rule -- British English is sometimes used in schools, just enough to confuse the poor kids. When my wife was in Junior High school, she took part in a pronunciation contest. She practiced and practiced the text she was supposed to read, but unfortunately, the teacher who helped her with the material had learned British English, and the two accents confused her terribly.
The Japanese love to see their own being recognized around the world, so they were pleased to see Prime Minister Koizumi standing beside President Bush. The Prime Minister pledged his support for the war on terrorism, and he's also doing what he can to amend the Japanese constitution (which America wrote), which expressly forbids Japanese military activities outside of Japanese coastal waters, to allow Japan to do more to help.
When we made our first "Looking for a Japanese girlfriend" wacky Japanese T-shirt two years ago, we had no idea what a cult we were creating. It turns out that there are a lot of people who would like to meet Japanese girls in the world, since our shirts sold beyond our wildest expectations. The new version of our shirt sports a great new design, with the words "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" laid out around the Japanese "red spot." We've got two different colors, white and black.
For our first update after returning to Japan, we've got some nice new items for you, including:
- First, we've got some excellent new magazines for you, including the wonderful new Gokuh and Dela Beppin, as well as some great kogal mags and more
- For fans of magazines that give you more, we've got Underground DVD, featuring a magazine with tons of excellent material and a 2 hour DVD, too
- We've restocked many popular photobooks, which had sold out before, including the Costume Top Models leg fetish photobook,
- We've got fresh stock of Yellows 3.0 China and Yellows Angels, the popular photobooks which document the nude beauty of women, by photographer Akira Gomi
- For fans of the rather bizarre Japanese medical fetish photography, we've got a new issue of Karte Club for you on the high-end bondage photobook page
- Of course we've got an excellent update of Japanese wide manga for you, including some erotic comics by Shikage Nagi, the artist for the popular Snow Drop and Little My Maid bishoujo games from Peach Princess
- If you love the fantastic artwork of Yui Toshiki, we've got fresh stock of his hot seller, Yui Shop vol. 1, one of the best-selling erotic art books we've ever carried
- For doujinshi fans, we've got several new titles for you, including fresh stock of some great books with kemono (animal) and romantic boy-meets-girl sexual themes, as well as fresh stock of Kenix "game girl" doujinshi titles
- We were very impressed with the sales of "First Cock Suckin' and Finger Shakin' Contest," a competition of fellatio and tekoki (hand job) by eight women, produced by SOD. The second video in the series is here, with eight new lovely women doing more of the same!
- For lovers of SOD's bold Idol Shower series, we've got another excellent "coupling" title, featuring two complete productions on one disc
- For those who love sweet Japanese AV idols with small, lithe bodies, we recommend the excellent No Cut! DVD featuring three full productions and 180 minutes of footage, starring Aimi Yoshii
- For fans of Himeya's popular bishoujo games, we're happy to announce that the long-awaited Adam the Double Factor is in stock and shipping! This great 2-CD game is a sequel (or side-story) to the popular Eve Burst Error, and features super animation and more
- For anime fans, check out some cool items, including fresh stock of the Giant Robo phone straps (also useful as camera straps or keychains), and limited stock of the very cool soft vinyl "Santa Girl" figure
- We've got a bunch of new items on our Japanese snack & food pages, including some delicious kimchee soup mix, a delicious deluxe rice cracker, super-tart "ume-boshi" candies and more of the very nice traditional Japanese hard candy
- We have more of our popular wacky Japanese signs on the Signs & Stickers page, including "No Parking," "Do Not Enter" and the ever-popular "Danger"
- On our wacky "traditional Japanese" things page, we've got some spiffy new chopsticks, which feature very modern styling and glitter as well as rings that make them easy to hold
- On our Wacky Things from Japan main page, we've got a host of nifty things, including an all-new map of Tokyo, some super molds for making sushi and onigiri, new handy kitchen items in the cheerful "Kitchen Hanako" series, and more!
Do you wish you could talk to your favorte Japanese AV idols, find out what makes them tick? Well, you can, at J-Mate (http://www.jmate.com), a site where you can read all kinds of cool interviews with Japan's most famous and lovely idols. What makes them want to go into AV? How do they feel about millions seeing them perform? When did they lose their virginity? The latest interview is a very nice snapshot into the daily life of the sweet Mai Hagiwara, featuring her private thoughts and feelings on the choices she's made.