Saturday, December 01, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 1, 2001

Greetings and salutations from the J-List crew again!

Japan is ecstatic over the birth of a girl to Princess Masako, the wife of crown prince Naruhito. Although most wanted a boy to be born (so Japan's Imperial line can have a male successor to the throne), all around Japan people are breaking open sake barrels and celebrating, gathering in crowds around the hospital where mother and child are resting. According to Japan's constitution, only males can succeed to the throne, and the fact that there is no male child in line yet leaves a lot of questions open. Will Japan change its constitution to allow an Empress? It's doubtful, as this is still a very male country -- it took 30 years for the Pill to finally be approved here in Japan, but Viagra was okayed in just a few short months.

Like the famous "F" word in English, the Japanese get quite a lot of mileage out of the word "kuso," which means "shit." There aren't very many "bad" words in Japanese -- meaning that a child will get in trouble if he says them -- and it's quite common for "Kuso!!" to be uttered in all kids' anime shows. It addition to the primary meaning, it also refers to the junk that builds up in different parts of your body. The stuff that comes out of your nose is hana-kuso (nose-shit), and ear wax is mimi-kuso (ear-shit). Sleep in your eyes that builds up while you sleep is me-kuso (MEH-kuso). Rather than have a list of shockingly bad words to use when the time comes, the Japanese get by with less anatomical words -- "baka" (which means stupid) is a great catch-all insult and swear word. The English "F" word is also very famous and is used sometimes, too. (Once I saw, in a game center, a picture of Superman, with a speech balloon that read "Fack you!")

We've made a few improvements to the J-List site. First of all, we removed the Javascript that caused thumbnails to open in a pre-set window. Now clicking on thumbnails of product images opens the larger picture in a new window that you can resize any way you like. Also, we've got many links for those wanting to play region 2 DVDs, including links to some very affordable region-free DVD players, hacks for resetting your DVD-ROM drive's region setting, and more. If you're using Mac OS X, as we are now at J-List, there's a region code resetter there, too. Find these links at the top of the Region 2 DVD page and anime DVD pages.

For the weekend update, we've got a boatload of very nice items for you, including:

  • First, we've got some nice magazines for fans of amateur girls and kogals, new issues of Lip Mate, Amateur Girl's Data, Hakkutsu Idol and more
  • If you like MPEG CD-ROMs (video CDs) in your magazines, we've got a new Video CD & DVD Soft Catalog, a killer sampler magazine with nearly 2 hours of sampler "quickie" footage
  • We've got some very nice photobooks for you, including the lingerie hardcover photobook of Yui Minami
  • Also for Maiko Kazano fans, fresh stock of her positively lovely hardcover photobook, which sold out in record time
  • If you love hentai, we've got the very nice Viper GTB Official Art Book, with many pages of beautiful erotic artwork from the game series (this game is being ported to English)
  • For fans of Kurumi Morishita, the undisputed Queen of Indies adult video in Japan, we bring you Fan Thanks Day vol. 2, in which Kurukuru performs sexual acts on a total of 80 of her fans -- her way of saying thanks for your support
  • If you love leggy Japanese ladies, be sure and check out the erotic Leg Fetish Paradise, featuring the lovely Kanako Fujimori and Yoko Yazawa
  • For fans of older, more mature ladies, enjoy the very lovely Mariko Kawana in her very erotic performance from SOD
  • Ai Nagase has really gained popularity ever since she emerged on the scene here. Now she fellates dozens of guys to get a "stomach full of zamen"
  • We've restocked several of the Pure Beauties softporn DVDs that we have in stock in San Diego, and added a very nice new one by the erotic quiet beauty Shiori Inoue
  • For hentai manga fans, we've got some extra-special new volumes posted for you, as well as fresh stock of many popular volumes (including Black Mass, Alice First and Second and Mama ni Dokkin)
  • For fans of doujinshi anthologies, which are full-size manga volumes containing hentai game girl, Sailor Moon and Evangelion works compiled for you, we've got fresh stock of Electric Fighting Daughter
  • If you love Yaoi, we've got another very nice erotic boy's manga for you, by Keiko Konno
  • For anime lovers, we've got some very special items, including a super *transforming* Macross VF-1A toy from Yamato Toys, which transforms into Battroid, Gerwalk and Fighter mode
  • Also: a deluxe "finished model" of Kaneda's motorcycle from the famous anime film Akira
  • Japanese Race Queens are the beautiful girls who promote F1 racing in Japan, and we've got great stock of the new Gal's Paradise idol cards
  • We've got various fresh stock of our wacky signs and stickers from Japan
  • For fans of tasty Japanese snacks and food, we've got a new flavor of Morinaga Hi-Chew soft candies (Strawberry), as well as delicious individual packets of miso soup mix (with clam and wakame) and Pocari Sweat
  • If you want to try your hand at Japanese calligraphy, we've restocked our popular calligraphy sets for you
  • Wacky things from Japan for this evening include a neat "free case" item for Hello Kitty fans, an all-new Japanese "noren" door curtain for giving your room a Japanese feel, a great way to stay warm this winter in Japanese style, new maps of parts of Japan, fresh stock of our popular sushi maker, and more!

The "Top 5" list has been updated by Yasu, so you can see which magazines, manga, DVDs and other items have been selling sell around here.

Are you getting too many emails from us? We update the J-List mailing list three times a week, and for some people, that's too much. We've decided to make an "infrequent J-List updates mailing list" for people who feel swamped by our regular update emails. If you'd like us to keep in touch with you less frequently, please let us know to change you to the new list.

Thursday, November 29, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 29, 2001

Hello again from Japan, where going to Kentucky always means eating chicken.

The psyche of Japanese men can be a complex subject indeed. It can be said of Japanese men that they have an "inferiority/superiority complex" when it comes to foreigners the West -- sometimes they feel threatened or uncomfortable around, say, American men, and they express this in various ways. In Japan, foreigners have a reputation for being, ah, somewhat well endowed, whether it's really true or not -- it's very similar to how white men in the U.S. can feel about black men. On a very few occasions, I've met Japanese men (usually drunk) while walking with my Japanese wife, who felt compelled to shout insults at the gaijin who was taking one of "their" women. We are sometimes asked why there aren't many adult videos or DVD that feature Japanese women and gaijin males together. The reason is related to the subtle "uncomfortableness" many Japanese men feel about white guys. (We do have a DVD with these themes on the site, today.) It's not just about imagined penis envy though -- as a rule, most Japanese consider Japanese culture to be below that of America and Europe, and this sometimes affects how they interface with foreigners. Trying to hire a male employee for J-List, too, we learned something else: Japanese men whose English skills are so-so are very nervous about speaking English. Tomo and Yasu, who have had many years of experience with English, don't have this problem.

The subject of gaijin men dating and wanting to marry Japanese girls is another huge one, and I could write a book on it and never understand it completely. I've had several friends who married their Japanese girlfriends, and had major troubles getting their wife's families to accept them into the family. In the case of one friend, it was a matter of out-waiting his wife's parents and the head-shaking relatives who were sure this "silly business" of wanting to marry an American would end in time. In the case of another friend, his wife's parents didn't accept him until they had children -- it's very hard to resist cute grandchildren. I was extremely fortunate in my efforts to marry my wife. My mother in law was very open minded, and accepted the idea right away -- "You're not marrying the country, you're marrying the person," she said. My father in law, a somewhat gruff man who has run the family liquor store for 20 years, and ran a rural Japanese bank before that, wouldn't hear of it. Fortunately, we knew how to deal with him -- just proceed with the plans for the wedding,

Our stock of many calendars is dwindling, as the popular JPOP, anime and other calendars sell out. We've got good stock of some of the lovely nude calendars published this year, such as the Japan Onsen [hot springs] Nudes, or the lovely Natsumi Kawahama erotic "Season of Woman." Look for reduced prices on these great calendars as we try to move our stock out.

For the new update, we've got a bunch of new items for your enjoyment, including:

  • First, excellent new adult magazines, including the new issues of Bejean and Dela Beppin, both brimming over with beautiful girls for you
  • Candygirl!, a new "special cutie and sweetgirls photo book," features eight of the most famous gals at J-List, including Ai Kurosawa, Izumi Morino and more
  • For photobook fans, we've got several beautiful new photobooks featuring some extremely lovely girls for you, including the Makoto Shinohara (ooh!)
  • For manga fans, we've got some great new books for you, including books by AV Comics, Mujin Comics and more, as well as fresh stock of a half-dozen or more popular books that we had run out of stock on
  • For doujinshi lovers, we've got another dozen or so single-issue books for you, all very nice and recent (but they will go quickly, I am afraid)
  • For DVD fans, we've got another powerhouse lineup, with many great items for you, including the Ami Okina Best Selection (the best works of the very erotic lady) and a super Fellatio Best Selection (the best oral sex and bukkake moments ever)
  • Those wanting to learn more about sex will enjoy the DVD release of the Much-Treasured Sexual Technique Lecture Video, in which Kurumi Morishita and Yuri Komuro teach how to make a man come -- it's truly amazing, since it really is a course intended to teach women how to be better lovers
  • We get many requests for DVDs featuring Japanese girl having sex with gaijin (foreigners), and now we've got something for you: the LA Lewd Women and Gaijin Special
  • Something just in time for the holidays is "Oneesan is Santa Claus," a super-erotic 2-DVD set featuring 250 minutes of amateur sex material, including some very nice Santa-girl erotica that will warm you on a cold winter night
  • Also for our DVD customers, Tomo has posted some nice titles at reduced prices, and you get free shipping to boot!
  • For anime lovers, we've got a very special item: the Japanese release of Princess Mononoke. This excellent item contains *3* DVDs, with the film in 8 languages (English, French, Cantonese, Italian, Spanish, German, and Portuguese), and all kinds of rare extras. We highly recommend this cool item for fans of Miyazaki's films
  • Also for fans of anime, we've got fresh stock of the very popular Kubrick Evangelion toys, featuring the excellent and bizarre designs, as well as fresh stock of some of the Super Deformed Star Wars toys that talk
  • If you like Hello Kitty, we've got some wacky things from Japan for you -- Hello Kitty toilet paper (fresh stock), printed chopsticks (they look real cool), straws, printed paper lunch bags, cup cake holders, and more
  • Other cute items include fresh stock of Picky's Bear authentic Japanese bento box (lunch box), fresh stock of Hamster Club plastic forks, and more
  • For fans of unique Japanese snacks, we've restocked our popular Japanese sour ume-boshi (pickled plums), as well as added more delicious Japanse "tamago" furikake
  • For fans of our wacky Japanese signs, we've got fresh stock for you, of the classic Japanese emergency exit sign, and something for those who like the Japanese custom of taking your shoes off
  • Finally, our "wacky things from Japan" pages include fresh stock of the All Japan train map, more beautiful Japanese "congratulations" envelopes that are used for giving money gifts at weddings (but you can use them in other ways),

J-List carries many excellent English-translated bishoujo (pretty girl) games. One of the most popular series are the Viper games from Hobibox Europe. The Viper games stand out from most other bishoujo games because of their excellent full-frame animation. Check out these nice titles, which you can play in English and Italian (in the case of VM1) and English, Italian, Spanish and German (in the case of Viper V16). It's a great series that we recommend to fans.

Tuesday, November 27, 2001

Greetings from J-List November 27, 2001

Hello again from your good friends at J-List!

We've got a new face around here at J-List, Mayumi Ishiwata, age 24. A girl from Maebashi, she studied English for one year in Ireland -- a rare place for Japanese people to go to study, but she wanted to go somewhere far from other Japanese students so she could really master English. She likes reading, and is a fan of Japanese classics of literature like the Tale of Genji. She wanted to study English more, but she's unfortunately terrified of flying, and was only able to fly to Ireland with the help of tranquilizers. You can mail her at mayumi@jlist.com .

With the continuing negative growth of the Japanese economy (which has fallen into a recession for the fourth time in the past 10 years), the unemployment rate has shot up to 5.3%, which is unheard of in a country that has enjoyed near-full employment for decades. Everywhere one looks there seems to be more bad news, more layoffs, and hope that the U.S. will recover quickly and help lead Japan back into the black. In addition to high unemployment among Japanese, another area that's been having a very tough time are foreigners living here in Japan, especially "Nikkei" (Japanese descended) workers from Brazil, Peru and elsewhere. These workers are often the first to be cut when a company has financial troubles. Take a trip to the local employment office (called "Hello Work" in typical Japanese style) and you'll see dozens of foreigners with their hands in their pockets, milling around and hoping for some work to come in.

When J-List goes to hire Japanese staff members, we first call up the local Hello Work to see if they've got anyone in their lists with the skills we need -- mainly English writing skills, experience living abroad and using English, familiarity with computers. We also run advertisements in the newspapers, also in some weekly "employment journals" that are published in each area, and start doing our interviews. All interviewees bring a filled-out Japanese "rireki-sho" or standardized resume, which has spaces for writing all pertinent information about education, job experience, interests, and of course, blood type. It has been an odd aspect of Japan that employers can list potential jobs for "men" "women" or "either" and put age limits -- say, 30 and under. Last year, legislation was passed in Japan making that illegal -- another example of Japan's society running 10-20 years behind the West.

Ever since the Playstation 2 came out in Japan, the VHS format has been on its way out as a format. Very few adult productions are released on video anymore, and when they are released, the prices are nearly always higher than comparable DVD releases, due to the higher duplication costs and shrinking economy of scale for videos. We're looking for feedback -- if you are a fan of the VHS format and prefer it over DVD, and would like to see, say, productions released by Soft on Demand carried by J-List in both DVD and VHS format (even though the VHS release will be $10-15 more than the DVD), we'd like to hear from you. Thanks!

For the first weekend after Thanksgiving, we've got a super bunch of items for you, including:

  • First, we've got some nice new magazines for you, including some nice kogal and amateur items and "rape play" magazines for fans, including the deluxe new issue of Stalkers
  • For fans of Japan's hot and famous AV idols, we've got the Top AV Idol Best 10, which features Kurumi Morishita, Ami Ayukawa, Nana Sakura and many more girls in very nice nude shots
  • Photobook fans should check out Gravy, the very nice hardcover erotic photobook by Satomi Nakagawa, and we've also got a new issue of Photoshot for you (with many famous girls)
  • For fans of cute Japanese girls and school uniforms (all over 18 of course), check out the cute Buru Mani vol. 4
  • If you like video CDs in your magazines, with lots of sample footage in MPEG format, we've got the new issue of Multi Boy, an erotic magazine with tons of Bunko Kanazawa, Pu-ko Kumano, and more
  • We have some excellent erotic manga posted to the site for you, with new works from Hit Comics, Oak Comix and a very erotic work from Tsukasa, as well as fresh stock of some excellent works that have sold out
  • For yaoi fans, be sure and check out the new X-Boy's, another very hard-core collection of yaoi "bara" (rose) themes
  • For doujinshi fans, we've got a dozen or so all-new doujinshi posted, all of which are very nice new books released at the last Comic Market in Tokyo
  • DVD fans have many nice new items today, including a dynamite *240 minute* erotic collection of sexual performances by the lovelY Ai Nagase, for fans of this 100% authentic girl
  • Also from Soft on Demand, the elegant Natsumi Kawahama is a "Virginity Hunter" who takes pleasure in claiming the cherries of men
  • For all those who wondered why there was no AV for women, we've got a super *4 hour* release of adult video material directed by female AV director Chie Kanbara, made by a woman for women, with tons of classic moments in SOD history
  • For anyone who loves Soft on Demand's unique products, we've got limited stock of Japanese "nobori" banners, a kind of vertically oriented cloth advertisement, for you to hang up in your room for a little piece of Japan
  • For fans of scat themes, we've got limited stock of a release by SOD, which we've posted by customer request
  • Finally, although video releases in Japan have become scarce with the onset of DVD, we've got a killer new item for you -- the lesbian tale of incest and motherly love, starring a new face in the AV world here, Madoka Ishii
  • We have some cool "sign plates" posted to the wacky signs and stickers page, with funny messages that are both useful and wacky
  • Also: fresh stock of one of our most popular items, Japanese headbands (hachimaki) that say "Goukaku" ("I will pass the test") and "Nippon ichi" ("the best in all Japan")
  • J-List carries a line of tasty traditional hard candies from the Edo period of Japan, and we've gotten in fresh stock of Kuro ame (black candy) and the very interesting "sugar ice"
  • Also, for those wanting to improve the health of their teeth, we recommend the delicious sugar-free gum from Japan, Xylitol, which features a very advanced ingredient for removing tooth decay (and it's very tasty)
  • Finally, our "wacky things from Japan" main page includes a deluxe new Japanese bento lunchbox (one that's not particularly cute, for those who were too shy to buy one of our other bento boxes), the ultimate way to cook tempura or other fried food, fresh stock of our popular Japanese onigiri (rice triangle) maker, and more. Check out the J-List site now!

Remember that you can use the J-List search engine to find products easily. The engine is "smart" and allowed you to search for words in any order (e.g. Fubuki Akira, or Akira Fubuki). It also has a list of "search synonyms" that it uses to help match products -- so that you can search for, say, bishoujo or bishojo and get the same items both times. We've posted a link to "search help," giving some pointers on searching for products on the J-List site. If there's anything we missed, please let us know!

The J-Mate site (http://www.jmate.com) has been updated with a new interview with Mami Gotoh, the lovely lookalike AV idol who resembles the lovely idol from Morning Musume, Maki Gotoh. Read her describe aspects of the Japanese AV world, including the difference between "rental" and "sell" videos, about her private sex life, and more.