My Japanese wife and I working hard to raise our children so that they're bilingual in both English and Japanese, but it can be difficult sometimes, especially since the kids both know that I understand Japanese. Pretending not to understand and asking them to repeat what they just said in English doesn't work very well, so we try to come up with other ways to tackle English together. First of all, we watch TV in English regularly, and get tapes of TV from San Diego sent (the kids love the Cartoon Network). If they want anything from me, they have to say it to me in English. Also, my kids have trouble making some of the sounds native English speakers say, such as voiced and unvoiced "th" (as in "this" and "thing" respectively -- these sounds are known as fricatives, if you're into linguistics), so we have a game: if they can pronounce the "th" in "Throw me!" properly, I will throw them onto the bed (one of the favorite pasttimes of my kids).
The Japanese school year is very different from the U.S. First of all, the school starts in April, a time-honored time to start things in Japan, right in the middle of cherry blossom season. Summer vacation is much shorter in Japan than it traditionally is in the U.S. -- just 5 weeks, from the end of July through the end of August -- something which I think is a good idea, since the long 3 month summer break in the U.S. is too long, and kids forget everything they have learned the year before.
Compulsory education is organized into elementary school (shogako), which is six years, and middle school (chugako) for 3 years. Required education in Japan is very drab and inflexible, designed to created a sense of shared group identity rather than just to teach information. It's also very static and slow to change -- next April, when my son Kazuki starts elementary school, he'll be going to Misato Elementary School, the same school where my wife went, 28 years ago. As part of the "unifying" mission of the Japanese education system, all kids must walk to the school nearest them, with bigger kids being assigned to help shepherd the younger ones. Even though we're almost a mile from the school, and would prefer to drive our kids the long way, everyone must walk, because "it's always been done that way."
We're pushing our 2002 calendars out faster and faster, as December rolls on, and they're really starting to disappear, as customers snap them up, or we post others on eBay. To help you help us, we've lowered the prices on nearly all calendars again. Some of the most popular items, such as the Onsen Nudes calendar or Natsumi Kawashima's beautiful nude calendar are down to just $8! Remember, if you order 2 or more calendars, you get your mailing tubes for free.
People are taking advantage of our free shipping sale on all bishoujo game and hentai image CD-ROMs, and that makes us happy. The sale is for everyone in the U.S. and Canada, and covers all CD-ROMs by Peach Princess, Himeya Soft, Milky House and JAST USA -- everything we have, actually. Isn't it a great chance to, say, snap up those Borderline CDs you've had your eye on, or complete your Peach Princess game collection?
For this special Saturday update, we've got some very nice items for you, including:
- First, a host of great adult Japanese magazines, which had been out of stock, but which we really hiding in our massive stock room -- see magazine page 3 for these $5-6 items
- For photobook fans, we've got some nice items in stock for you, including the very sexy Yukari Fukui's hardcover photobook, fresh stock of Mizuno Haruki's dynamite Cantik photobook, and more
- Also: fresh stock of the popular Sweetie Bishoujo Anal Photobook
- If you like the artwork of Hiroyuki Yagami's popular G-Taste series, you've got one last chance to get the G-Taste CD-ROMs -- the maker is out of stock of these items, so the ones we've got will be the last ones we ever get in stock
- For bondage fans, see the very nice DVD Cinema we've got for you
- For hentai manga fans, we've made another major update for you, with both all-new books , as well as an excellent supply of back-in-stock and very rare manga volumes (some of them out of print)
- For DVD fans, we've got some very nice items for you. From SOD, we've got the very pretty Tohko Kizaki having performing 100 consecutive sexual acts in seven different fun and erotic costumes
- If you love the pure and lovely Ai Nagase, enjoy her new performance from SOD's I Energy label, with many amazing sexual themes
- From Deep's, enjoy a very special '2 in 1' edition of Lesbian Hospital, which marries interesting lesbian themes with Japanese-style medical fetish
- Misa Tezuka is an erotic "fresh doll" (I think they meant "flesh doll") in an excellent new production from the indies studio Glay'z
- For fans of the classic Godzilla movies, we've got a dynamite new Godzilla 2002 rubberized figure in, with great detailing, as well as the truly beautiful gold-chrome three-headed King Ghidora
- If you were too embarrassed to carry a "cute" Japanese bento box, we've got some new designs in, which are much more conservative
- For those interested in studying Japanese, we've got fresh stock of our Japanese J-E and E-J dictionaries (just $4 each!) as well as the cool katakana foam boards, a fun way to learn the katakana syllibery
- We've got several interesting Japanese food and snack items, including Japanese corn soup and wakame (seaweed) soup, Hamutaro delicious furikake mix (which you sprinkle onto rice, or make into rice balls), and some very cool Hello Kitty pancake mix
- Speaking of Hello Kitty, we've got fresh stock of our Hello Kitty toilet paper, which sells so well -- it's great for people who either really love, or really hate, Kitty-chan (makes a great gift, too)
- We've got some new onigiri makers for anyone interested in trying to make the triangle-shaped Japanese rice balls
- Finally, see cool items like fresh stock of the "ribbed" spiral cotton ear cleaners,.
The J-Mate site has been updated again, with a new private interview with a famous Japanese actress: the lovely Koharu Tohno, the small-bodied AV idol who is so pretty to look at it. You can see all her personal thoughts and read her comments on how she feels about her job at J-Mate! The URL is http://www.jmate.com/