Saturday, November 10, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 10, 2001

Hello again from your friends in Japan!

I was hit by some kind of flu bug yesterday, so I took myself down to the nearby medical clinic so they could look at me. There I did what many Japanese people do to get well, get a "tenteki" (intravenous administration of medicine). Japanse swear by I.V.'s, and whenever they feel sick they will go to a nearby hospital or clinic for one. After my I.V. finished, the doctor gave me various medicines to help chase away whatever bug I had caught. I was pleased to see that each batch of medicine had a little slip of paper included, explaining what the medicine did and how it worked. In the past, Japanese doctors have been famous (among foreigners living here, anyway) for giving out medicine without the slightest explanation of what the medicine was for. In general, foreigners living here aren't too thrilled with Japanese medicine, as it never seems to have any effect -- I tend to prefer medicines from home, as most foreigners do, and fortunately for me, I brought back a cache of Nyquil, Alka-Seltzer, Contac and other medicines from the States.

If you ever come to live in Japan, you will probably gain a new appreciation for fish. The Japanese eat much more fish than most Americans do, which probably contributes to their overall good health. Before I came to Japan I liked sushi and sashimi, but didn't eat much in the way of "yaki-zakana" (fish slit open and fried). Now I love many kinds of fish, from shaké go aji to hokke. There's just one problem -- living here as I do, I never had the need to learn what most of the fish I was eating was called in English, so I only know the Japanese names.

Money is important, and no one should be frivolous with it. However, I must admit that when I have American change in my pockets in Japan, I sometimes toss pennies or quarters on the ground, wondering if some high school girl might pick it up and be somehow inspired to do something like go study English in the States or something. It's probably silly, but you never know how one event might affect others in some positive way.

A great moment of fatherhood has come for me -- my son is finally old enough that I can read The Hobbit to him. I've been a huge fan of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings and have been waiting for this for years. Unfortunately I wasn't able to time our trip to the U.S. to allow me to be around for the Lord of the Rings movie premier. Maybe I'll get lucky and have to take a business trip to the States in January...

Remember that at J-List, we've got a wide variety of Japanese snacks and food products, from delicious Pocky (a chocolate covered pretzel stick) to "furikake" (a delicious food you sprinkle over rice) to wakame soup and more. Some of the items are very traditional, such as the Japanese "kuro-ame" ("black candy"), and others are just plain fun to eat, such as the super-sour Shigekix, or

Thursday, November 08, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 8, 2001

Greetings again from the other side of the Pacific!

We're safely back in Japan now -- although it was really an ordeal, getting our massive boxes and suitcases back in one piece. Japan, like most countries, places limits on the amount of merchandise you're allowed to bring into the country without paying duty, but I'm quite good at squirreling my way through customs without paying anything. If you're ever coming into Japan with a lot of boxes, tell the man you're bringing in American cereal, pickles and other foods you can't buy in Japan -- apparently they're used to that and won't question it.

There are some things you just don't get used to. While I have gotten quite good at switching from the right side of the road to the left when going to and from the U.S. and Japan (you just make sure you look for other cars and go the same way they're going, it's only hard when there are no cars around you), I can't for the life of me seem to get in the correct side of the car on the first try. It's a great joke with all of us -- start to get in the wrong side of the car, then walk around to the other side as carefully as you can, so one notices your goof.

Because names in kanji have some meaning that's not necessarily present in Western names, it's usually interesting for foreigners to find out what those meanings. Many Japanese are made up of kanji for some of the simplest words -- ta (rice field, also read "da"), ishi (stone), naka (inside), yama (mountain) and so on. People who have names like Yamada, Tanaka and Ishida probably came from farming backgrounds, although somehow all Japanese will tell you that their ancestors were Samurai. The last names of the J-List staff are a little more complex: Tomo Fujita (fuji = wisteria flower, ta = rice field), Yasu Nieda (nie = victim, da = rice field), Harumi Shibuya (shibu = tasteful, ya = valley) and Chiharu Yanai (ya = arrow, nai = "inside"). Hmm, maybe their ancestors really were samurai after all.

For our first update to the J-List site after returning to Japan, we've got a bunch of excellent items for you, including:

  • First, we're announcing a new category of DVD product for AV collectors, the Pure Beauties Collection from Asiaview Entertainment. These soft porn DVDs capture some of the most lovely AV idols Japan has to offer, like Akira Fubuki, Madoka Ozawa and Bauko Eichi. Because many of the models are retired, these DVDs are a great
  • We've got some great new magazines, including the new Dela Beppin and Bejean, both brimming over with lovely girls
  • For photobook fans, we've got some excellent new items, including the excellent Top GT Race Queen book with the top-RQ's (including Toko Ushikawa and the Chinese Race Queen Yinling)
  • Also for photobook fans, fresh stock of most of the popular Tennyo erotic nude photobooks including Maiko Kazano, and fresh stock of Mami Gotoh's "Morning Baby"
  • If you love hentai art books, check out the excellent erotic work, "The Science of Wet Girl," filled with some excellent
  • Also: fresh stock of the long-selling Yui Shop erotic art books (both volumes)
  • For manga fans, you know we've got some excellent new works for you, including a new erotic manga my Marshmallow Juubaori (creator of Alice First/Alice Second), the erotic tales of a sexy private investigator, and more -- as well as fresh stock of several popular sold-out books, too
  • For SOD DVD lovers, we've got two great offerings for you: the new Do Lesbian, featuring lesbians who have sex with other girls they've just met, and Airi Kago's incredibly erotic Idol Semen vol. 4
  • We've gotten many requests to carry the products of Ai Kurosawa, a lovely new busty AV idol whose star is rising fast. See her new DVD in stock now, too
  • Anna Ohura is still queen of the busty AV world in Japan, and we've got a killer new DVD featuring the lovely Anna-chan in some seriously erotic video footage -- and it's uncensored!
  • For collectors, we've got the debut video of the lovely "Latin AV actress" Emily Yoshikawa, a truly beautiful girl who is half-Japanese and half-Dominican Republic (and she speaks Spanish)
  • J-List offers "reserve subscriptions" which allow you to get the latest issues of a wide variety of Japanese magazines each month. Now we've added Animedia, a popular anime magazine that comes with lots of extras, and Roadshow, a magazine for fans of Western and Japanese film
  • For fans of Licca-chan, the super-cute line of dolls, we've got two very cool "Neo Licca" PVC straps for your portable phone (or you can use them as a keychain, or a camera strap) featuring "kogal" (high school valley girls) versions of Licca
  • On our English manga page, we've got fresh stock of the Love Hina Bilingual Comics, which feature English and Japanese side by side, along with the new volume, vol. 7
  • On our popular Japanese snacks and food page, see fresh stock of Shigekix, the very sour "hard gummi" (very chewy gummi candy) in lemon and cola flavor, as well as a delicious Japanese mustard
  • On our Japanese signs & stickers page, we've got fresh stock of some popular wooden signs with funny messages on them, along with very cute metallic cute pins, for fans of Hamu-Taro and Thunder Bunny
  • For those studying Japanese, find fresh stock of our $4 E-J and J-E dictionaries, along with some very cool notebooks with funny English printed on them
  • Finally, our Wacky Things from Japan main page includes a new way to scoop rice, Japanese document protectors that are great for protecting your bank book, passport and other important documents, date magnets that let you organize your life better, and more!

Sant to know why adult video actresses choose to go into their unique careers? Want to know what it was like for Kurumi Morishita or Rin Tomosaki their first time performing? Check out J-Mate, at http://www.jmate.com, the only place where you can read translated interviews with Japan's lovely idols, so you can find out their personal feelings and thoughts firsthand.

Monday, November 05, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 5, 2001

Hello again from your friends at J-List!

Well, our sojourn to the U.S. is at an end, and tomorrow we get on a plane back to Japan. As always, it's been incredibly fun coming home, spending time in the house here, and doing lots of shopping for things that an expat needs in Japan. The kids loved Trick-or-Treating, and we followed this American tradition up with a trip to Disneyland California Adventure, the brand-new amusement park on Disneyland, which we liked very much. Now that it's time to go home, the kids want to stay, but of course school and all their friends are waiting for them back home.

Whenever you go somewhere, you're required by unspoken Japanese tradition to bring back "omiyage" or souvenirs for those who didn't get to go. This little custom goes a long way to keeping the Japanese economy alive, as anyone who goes anywhere must bring loads of stuff back with them. Of the seven massively packed suitcases and boxes we're lugging home, much of what we're carrying is omiyage for our various friends and family, including beef jerky and Disneyland trinkets for the J-List staff, Ichiro T-shirts for jiichan (grandfather) who is a big baseball fan, Halloween treats for the students in our kids' classes, and so on. Well, we don't mind -- we figure we're doing our part for the American economy.

Have you ever been to a Recycle Shop? This is a Japanese word meaning a shop where you can find used TVs, vacuum cleaners, and other goods, and with the Japanese economy continuing its poor performance, these shops have become quite popular. The word "recycle" means to reuse natural resources in English, but it also means to get use out of things again. Actually, the Japanese word for recycle, saisei (literally "live again"), also means "play back" on VCRs, since the video is truly living again as it plays off the tape.

The top 5 list has been updated, belatedly. You can see what manga, DVD and other items other J-List customers are most interested in by clicking the links on the J-List front page.

For today's update, Tomo and Yasu have come up with tons of excellent new products for you, including:

  • First, we've got some excellent new magazines for fans of Japanese adult magazines
  • We've also got fresh stock of some nice new $5 and discounted magazines as well, on magazine page 3
  • For fans of magazines with discs inside, we've got the very nice DVD Video Cinema, a 2 hour DVD of bondage and SM with a color magazine
  • Also for fans of bondage themes, we've got fresh stock of the dynamite Hitomi Ikeno photobook "Tied-Up Angel"
  • For those who love Japan's famous AV idols, check out the very erotic "Love Diary" featuring silky
  • For leg fetish fans, be sure and see the limited stock of Panst Best, for fans of "panty stockings"
  • We've got some new hardcover photobooks, including Akari's alluring "Himitsu," Kaori Shimizu's erotic nude photobook and more
  • For hentai manga fans, be sure and check out the excellent additions we've posted, including new kemono works, manga with many forbidden themes including incest, and many more works
  • Also: fresh stock of the popular Electric Fighting Daughters series, which offer erotic parody of popular game girls from games like Street Fighter II and more
  • We've got more cool doujinshi, which we think you'll like -- although please note that we have only 1 copy of each
  • Also for doujinshi collectors: a restocking of Nostalgia, the very special English-language doujinshi that features totally uncensored parody of Dirty Pair
  • If you are a fan of yaoi manga, see the yaoi page for some newly posted unique Japanese homosexual comics
  • If you love DVD, we've got some excellent items for you, including the new Study of Penis by Innocent Girls, the Sperm Angel series vol. 2, a super 4-hour "remix" DVD with Kago Airi (recommended for fans of Morning Musume), and more
  • For adult video fans, see some excellent "Would you like Hand Job?" videos now posted, and more
  • For anime fans, we've got some cool new items, including a deluxe die-cast metal toy of the VF-19A from Macross Plus, more Japanese professional wrestling, and some cool figures from Tokimeki Memorial
  • The new trailer for Star Wars episode II is up on Quicktime.com, and to celebrate (well, not really, but the timing is good), we've got fresh stock of the Super-Deformed Star Wars figures
  • We've got some new calendars posted, all in-stock, so check out those, too
  • For little fans of stuff from Japan, we've got some play Japanese money, too -- that's just plain cool
  • J-List carries various cool notebooks and study items, including notebooks with funny English on them (a long favorite of ours) -- see fresh stock of our unique Japanese flashcards and Japanese report paper as well as the Japanese ultimate correction pen
  • New and restocked items on our "wacky things from Japan" category include fresh stock of our famous penguin wiener maker (which makes cute little penguins for your bento lunchbox), a handy Japanese outdoor plate and plasticware set, a special brush to clean your foot, fresh stock of Picky's Bear authentic Japanese bento boxes, and more!

J-List carries many useful things, but one of the most rare are our revolving magazine subscriptions. Each month, you can reserve your copy of some unique Japanese magazines, including anime magazines (Newtype, the poster-filled Megami Magazine, Animage), toy magazines like Hobby Japan, JPOP/J-Rock magazines including Uta-Bon, which features sheet music of popular JPOP tunes for musicians, the excellent Bomber, featuring lovely swimsuit idols, and more. See the magazine subscription pages for more information on what we have available.