Friday, November 16, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 16, 2001

Greetings from Japan, where "that's true" means "no" and people bow while talking on the phone (I do it too...).

Some things in Japan are beyond easy comprehension to those outside the country. One are "Yakult Ladies." Yakult (always pronounced "Yakuruto" in Japanese) is a popular "drinkable yogurt" that is sold in supermarkets and convenience stores. It's also sold direct by the company by an army of "Yakult Ladies" who ride around the town on their bicycles (outfitted with packs to keep the drinks cold) and sell their drinks directly. When a woman has pedaled her bicycle all the way to where you work to bring you something to drink, it's hard not to accommodate her and dig into your pocket for 100 yen -- they make great use of this "giri" (obligation) to make sales. The Yakult Ladies are a unique way to market products, and they're probably worthy of some study if you're ever writing a book on Japanese business practices. They all dress the same, wearing one standardized green uniform throughout all of Japan, and they have company songs and great pride in their work.

Japan and Korea are very close to each other, and much of Japan's culture is actually imported from Korea. A favorite dish of the Japanese is "yakiniku," Korean Barbecue, served both at home and at many yakiniku restaurants. Basically, you order a big plate of pieces of beef and chicken and vegetables, and fry it directly on a big hot plate in the middle of the table. It's fun to have everyone gathered around, picking pieces of meat out of the fire before they burn, dipping the meat into sauce and eating it with rice. I like another korean dish, kim chee, but the kimchee in Japan is never spicy enough (Koreans complain of this too).

Another food that is popular is "nabe" (NAH-beh) a word which means "pot" and which loosely describes any kind of food you make in a big pot and eat with everyone gathered around, talking while taking things from the pot (boiled fish, tofu, vegetables, miso, etc.). Chanko-nabe is the delicious food that sumo wrestlers eat to get so big, and kim chee nabe is also delicious. Sukiyaki is a form of nabe, and is both food to eat and a social event at the same time. Nabe is eaten in the winter -- I'm looking forward to eating some sukiyaki soon.

After years of faithful service, the game Season of the Sakura has sold out. We still have stock of Three Sisters' Story and May Club, the two games we're offering on sale for $24.95, but our stock levels won't hold out for long, so please pick these games up if you're interested in trying them.

For the pre-weekend update, we've got an extra volley of new things for you, including:

  • First, we've got new magazines, including the new Urecco (Eri Yukawa is so cute at her "busty picnic"), a new "Otakara" (treasure) magazine with embarrassing and nude pictures of famous idols from years ago, and the new Gal's Shower, the #1 selling "wet" fetish magazine
  • For photobook fans, some new and back-in-stock items, including the hardcover "comeback" photobook of Momo Aida (one of Peter's old faves from the 1990's)
  • Also: be sure and check the new issue of Mini-Skirt Deluxe, a fantastic square-back magazine featuring the best leg-fetish photography in Japan
  • Those enamored of anal themes should check out "Sweetie," which features ass-centric photos of some very erotic idols
  • For fans of Japanese adult idol trading cards, we've restocked the Crystal Card 2000 vol. 2 series (we have three whole boxes of 20 cards each in stock now)
  • For manga fans, we've got another great selection of new wide manga works, filled with some of Japan's most talented hentai artists for you, as well as a major restock of almost a dozen other books that had been sold out
  • If you love G-Taste, the popular erotic art book series from Yagami Hiroki, we have fresh stock of volumes 2 and 3
  • Also for manga lovers, a restocking of the Electric Fighting Daughters hentai game girl parody mangas
  • For doujinshi lovers, check out Nyu-Gi-Oh, an erotic parody of Yu-Gi-Oh by the excellent doujinshi circle Kennix
  • For DVD fans, we've got some excellent items for you, including DVD releases of Bukkake Circle vol. 1 (one of our most popular semen items), and good old Ball Breaker Erika (beautiful girl who kicks ass on would-be rapists)
  • For fans of Ai Nagase and Mirai Hoshikawa, we've got a super "2 in 1" DVD featuring two complete releases for you -- great for fans of sailor uniforms
  • Japan has many lovely swimsuit idols, and one of the most popular is Kaori Manabe, who takes time off from her career as a college student to make a super busty swimsuit idol DVD for her fans
  • For Japanese toy fans, we've got a deluxe fully posable Mobile Suit Gundam toy that is very cool, followed by a super set of Ultraman and his most famous foe, Alien Baltan, two highly collectible figures similar to the Kubrick toy line
  • On our "cute things" wacky page, we've got a new bento box and cute spoons and forks based on a cute Japanese character "Hamster Club"
  • For anime fans and card collectors -- the very cool Yu-Gi-Oh "Struggle of Chaos" card series in stock
  • We have restocked that old favorite, Japanese sake candy, a delicious hard candy made with real sake inside
  • Also, we've got fresh stock of unique Japanese chewing gum, including Black Black (caffinated spicy gum to keep you awake), No Time (gum that brushes your teeth for you), and the ever-delicious Blueberry
  • For those studying Japanese, we've got a nice new Campus Word Book (great for studying a language), and an improved version of our traditional Japanese writing paper (which sells very well, although we're surprised at this)
  • Finally, we've got many new "wacky" items for you, including some nice Japanese chopsticks (you can never have too many chopsticks), Japanese shiatsu boards for your feet, more wacky Japanese signs with messages on them, and more bizarre items!

J-List is the only place where you can find the Lunatic Party, Angelic Impact and Paradise Lost erotic parody doujinshi anthologies from Fusion Product. Each volume in the series is an excellent wide manga in B5 format, with the compiled works of a dozen hentai doujinshi artists. They offer excellent erotic parody of Sailor Moon and Evangelion, and are a great value, too, since each book has 160+ pages. They are out of print, so we're never sure when they'll stop being available to us.

Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 14, 2001

Hello again from your good friends at J-List!

When encountering another culture, it's often easy to get a self-centered vision that everything from your own culture is "right" and things in the new culture are "wrong." For example, the Japanese have adapted many English words to their own language, and use them in ways that are quite different from how they are used in English. Certainly English words carry a slightly different connotation from the same word in Japanese -- for example, the word for milk in Japanese is "gyunyu," but the powdered milk you put in your coffee is called "milk" (actually "miruku"), written in katakana since it's a foreign-loan word. For some reason, the Japanese word for "ground" (as in, an electrical ground) is "earth" (which makes some cognitive sense, I guess). It's quite easy to brand these words as "wrong" instead of just "different," and in my nine years of living in Japan, I have done my share of it, too. That's part of why I recommend living abroad for at least a year to young people whenever I get the chance -- you'll learn so much about how you view the world.

I got an interesting lesson on how subtle Japanese can be when I wrote up little papers describing the differences in the coffee beans that we're selling at our liquor store/coffee shop. As a rule, Japanese has three writing systems, hiragana (the "basic" syllable-based writing system), katakana (used for foreign words) and kanji (which is used to express adjectives and nouns). When writing something that you want to look attractive, the interplay between the three systems is quite important. English words like "aroma" and "dark roast" embedded in the Japanese make the text look very slick, but too much katakana can be ugly. Adding a flowery adjective written in kanji, like "maroyaka" (warm and pleasing) or "shinsen" (fresh) break up the monotony of the text. Finally, the "fourth" writing system used in Japan is English, and it's quite common to see English words written in English (not katakana) in Japanese text, especially song lyrics. We used a little bit of English to further smooth things out. If you want to see what our finished Japanese text came out to be, it's here: http://www.jlist.com/c1/example.jpg

We got even more 2002 calendars in, and I must say our stockroom is quite full of calendars! Unfortunately, our calendar distributor tells us that the time for pre-ordering calendars is just about up. If you're just dying to order a 2002 Crayon Shinchan calendar, get your order into us in the next day or so or forever hold you peace. We've been very pleased with how well the calendars have sold this year, as many customers decided to buy one or more of our large poster-size glossy calendars to put on their wall or give as Christmas gifts. The winners so far this year are the anime calendars (Ah My Goddess, You're Under Arrest, Ruro ni Kenshin), Race Queen Fumika Suzuki, the beautiful Modern Nihon-ga art calendar, Jun Kusanagi's busty nude calendar, and the always popular Onsen (Hot Springs) nudes. We do have about 200 calendars in stock right now, so please browse our selection. We can get your calendars to you by Christmas!

We made some changes to the J-List site after our last update, which caused some users' browsers to fail to display products correctly. The error should be fixed, but if you have any problems with the site, please email us immediately and we'll check out the problem.

Also, we posted Gibo, the new game from Peach Princess, on Monday, but we posted it at $49.95. The actual price is $39.95 (with free shipping for preorder if you order it now). Sorry about that.

For this evening's update, we have a bunch of excellent new products for you, including:

  • First, we have new adult Japanese magazines, including the very nice Mini Teen, which features very interesting hard core sex with "kogals" (the bad girls of Japan), and a new copy of EX CD-ROM, a magazine with a cool sampler CD-ROM
  • We've also added many discount magazines, too, including fresh stock of several copies of our popular magazines
  • For fans of Waffle, we've got a new deluxe Buru Mani photobook-style magazine, featuring some lovely models
  • For lovers of Maiko Kazano, a treat: her super-erotic hardcover photobook, filled with some of the most beautiful nude photos we've seen in five years of running J-List
  • We've got fresh stock of some nice leg fetish photobooks, including the long-selling "Legend of Stairs" which features pictures of women in miniskirts and panty stockings photographed going up stairs
  • If you love Japan's erotic manga, we've got a nice selection of all-new books for you, including a new work by the popular Fuuga and all three volumes of Teacher Takatsuki's Sexual Days in a handy set
  • Also for manga fans, fresh stock of a dozen or more out of stock books, including Blue Eyes, and more
  • For doujinshi fans, we've got some very nice books for you, all single issues (so check them out fast, before they go)
  • For DVD fans, we've got many nice new offerings, including a deluxe 180 minute video with Bunko Kanazawa
  • From SOD, we've got a super Kyonyu (Giant Breast) Best Selection, with the best large-bust fetishism in the history of Soft on Demand, followed by the long-awaited DVD release of the Kurumi Morishita Fan Thanks Day, in which she performs fellatio and tekoki (hand job) on 40 of her fans
  • For lovers of Emily Yoshikawa, the F cup "Latino" AV idol, we've got her 2nd video release
  • For fans of Japan's sexy idols, see the very nice DVD of Haruka Igawa, the #1 sexy swimsuit idol in Japan today
  • For fans of "traditional" Japanese things, we've got fresh stock of the very nice ukiyoe postcards with famous Japanese images on them
  • On the anime and toys, a very cool Nightmare Before Christmas phone strap/keychain from Jun Planning
  • For customers with kids, we've got a nifty Hello Kitty paint set in stock, which my own kids like
  • We have a new Japanese wooden sign for places where people should not use portable phones
  • Finally, we've added many nice new "wacky" items, including a super-handy shoulder protector to keep straps from bags you're carrying from digging into your flesh, a convenient "finger separator" for women to use when painting their fingernails (with matching toe-separator), more wacky Japanese health items, and more. Check out our excellent items!

Japan is home to many fine manga artists, who create all manner of interesting comics. One popular subset of the manga world is "yaoi," Japan's homosexual comics which detail the deep and complex relationships between males. Very deep and interesting, you can always find a selection of yaoi manga and doujinshi here at J-List.

Monday, November 12, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 12, 2001

Hello from Japan, where the turn signal light on a car is called a "winker."

Well, the Season of Cold has come to Japan, bringing frosty mornings and the beginnings of winter in addition to the beautiful colors of autumn. Japanese love to talk about how Japan has four seasons as if this was the only country that had four seasons. In practice, the time between "hot and humid" and "cold and windy" is mighty short, at least in this part of Japan. Part of the problem with winter is that although Japan is a modern country, Japanese homes are not built to hold heat in efficiently. Also, there's no such thing as central heating here -- you heat the room you're in, usually with a portable kerosene heater, which means that as you go from room to room you are chilled

One way to stay warm, Japanese style, is with a kotatsu (koh-TA-tsu). A kotatsu is basically a low table with an electric heater inside it. You pick up the top of the table, which is removable, and put a blanket (futon) over the table, then place the tabletop on top of the blanket. Stick your legs in the kotatsu, and you'll be as warm as you like. Kotatsus are a favorite place for small creatures to sleep, like cats and my kids, who climb inside the heated space and go out like a light.

There's a fun game Japanese kids play, called Shiritori ("take the end" or "take the ass") Game. To play, someone things of a word -- say, chopsticks, which is "hashi" in Japanese. Then the next person takes the last syllable -- "shi" -- and thinks of a word that starts with this syllable, say, shiatsu (although a child wouldn't think of a word like that). The next person continues, with a word that start with "tsu" and so on. In Japanese phonetics, the only consonant that can appear by itself without a noun after it is the letter N, so in Shiritori Game (such as lion, "raion" in Japanese). This game is played universally in Japan and is a fun way for kids to pick up vocabulary (although there are darker uses for it, as you can see below).

We're happy to make available three new bishoujo games for preorder. From Peach Princess, there are two titles forthcoming. The first, Brave Soul, is an excellent game from Crowd, the first adult fantasy RPG (2D scrolling) game brought ot the English language. It features a host of characters, combat, a variety of campaigns for your party to wage, and excellent uncensored erotic CG. Look for Brave Soul sometime next summer (but you can preorder it now and get free shipping when the game is ready).

In Gibo, a multi-scenario adventure game also to be released in coming months, you were only a child when your mother cheated on your father, causing the destruction of your happy home and your hatred of the concept of "mother." When your father suddenly marries a young, beautiful woman, you find yourself with a new stepmother, or Gibo. How will Misako's entry into your life change you? The choices are endless in this Freudian tale of erotica and forbidden love. This game will ship around Spring 2002.

Then, from Hobibox Europe, we're proud to announce Love Love Game!, from LOVE GUN, an exciting puzzle game that's actually three games in one. With fantastic hentai graphics and great game play that is a breath of fresh air to the English-language bishoujo world, we think this will be a great title to pick up. It will ship in a month or so.

Aside from the Japanese bishoujo games that are available for preorder, we've got some excellent items for you, including:

  • For fans of the "Pure Beauties" series of soft-porn erotic DVDs we made available last week, we've posted the rest of these great items, with new DVDs from Jun Kusanagi, Sally Yoshino, Aya Andoh and Ai Iijima -- these DVDs are all excellently priced, and we send them to you from San Diego, too. For fans of our very nice adult magazines, we've got some nice items for you, including the new Gal's Dee, some cool "submitted by readers" magazines and more
  • Also: you can always find discounted magazines on Magazine page 3, with many items at just $5
  • For photobook fans, look for fresh stock of some great items, including the fabulous Anna Ohura hardcover photobook "i-Nude" which must be seen to be believed, as well as lower prices on many of our hardcover photobooks
  • If you love erotic manga, we've got a nice bunch of all-new manga works for your perusal, along with a major restock of previously sold out works (about 12 manga volumes in all)
  • For doujinshi lovers, we've restocked Tropical Princess vol. 5 and 6, from the talented hentai doujinshi circle Kennix
  • If you love Soft on Demand's excellent erotic DVDs, we've got two: Shirtori Samurai, in which ten Japanese girls play the Japanese "shiritori" game, and whoever loses must endure being raped. Then, we've got a "deluxe re-mix" of Nanami Nanase's One Week with Only Semen DVD
  • For fans of Bauhaus's wonderful DVDs, we present the very lovely nude performance of Maiko Kazano, who recently started appearing nude (she is one of my favorites)
  • For adult video fans, a very special item: a sterling performance by Miki Sawaguchi, the incredibly busty AV idol from Japan
  • We've gotten a fresh shipment of very cool 2002 Japanese calendars in. If you had preordered some of the calendars we got in stock, we've already contacted you to let you know your calendars are on their way. Newly in stock: You're Under Arrest, Gackt, Ryoko Hirosue, and more
  • For fans of lovely Japanese swimsuit idols, we've got some new photobooks posted to the Japanese idols page
  • On our popular Japanese signs and stickers page, we've restocked several items, including Japanese signs that say "Please don't use portable phones" "I'm suffering from a broken heart" and more
  • For Japanese snack fans, we've got fresh stock of Japanese Hi-Chew Kids soft candies, in aloe and cream soda flavor (don't you just love Japan?)
  • On our "traditional things" page, we've got more Japanese "masu" cups, which are perfectly square cups made from white pine wood. You can use them for drinking sake, or to hold things on your desk, since they are really cool to look at
  • Finally, we've got many nice "wacky" items for you, including fresh stock of our Japanese resume forms, more of our popular sushi maker mold, fresh stock of Japanese chopsticks, the best cotton swab you will ever find, and more!

The J-Mate site has been updated, with an all-new interview with Mai Hagiwara (is she really retiring?), a great review of Fairy Nights, and something for Kyoko Fukada fans... See it at http://www.jmate.com/

J-List has a very popular line of "wacky" Japanese T-shirts with funny messages on them. As we're always coming up with new designs for our shirts, we won't be reprinting most of our older designs as they start to sell out (as in the case of our "it is forbidden to urinate here" T-shirts). In the past, we've seen many customers gnash their teeth when the design they wanted to buy goes out of print permanently. To keep this from happening, why not pick up the wacky T-shirt you want now?