Saturday, December 08, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 8, 2001

Hello again from Japan, where they have many no-nonsense sayings, such as "Even monkeys fall from trees."

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/

Thursday, December 06, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 6, 2001

Hello again from your good friends in Japan!

When foreigners come to Japan for the first time, one of the first cultural differences they run into is the Japanese custom of taking shoes off before going into a house. Japanese homes (and some offices, such as J-List) have a lowered area at the front door called a "genkan," where you leave your shoes before going inside. After you've lived here a little while, it becomes second nature to open the door, kick off your shoes (or if you're the obsessive type, neatly arrange them so that they all line up), and go inside. Seeing foreigners on TV wearing muddy shoes on plush, clean carpeting starts to look really weird after a while. To the Japanese sense of cleanliness, anything having to do with your feet is dirty under any circumstances -- actually, the "genkan" where you leave your shoes in modern Japanse homes was much larger hundreds of years ago, and livestock were kept there, so that the humans living in the house could benefit from the warmth of the animals. Because you have to take your shoes off a dozen times a day in Japan, you tend to get very good at choosing shoes that can be put on easily.

The Japanese also have some interesting customs when it comes to their cars. First of all, auto theft is quite uncommon here, so it's not at all rare to see someone leave his beautiful Nissan Fairlady Z parked in front of the "conbini" (convenience store) with the car unlocked and running. The idea that his car might be stolen just doesn't enter into the thinking here, so it's perfectly safe. Japanese cars have the steering wheel on the right side of the car, as in England, and the Japanese have perfected the art of starting the car without getting in it (since the ignition is easily accessible on that side of the car). When stopped at a light at night, it's considered good manners to turn your headlights down to "park" so you don't blind the person in front of you, and when someone lets you go ahead of them in traffic, flashing your emergency lights at them once or twice conveys your thanks. Japanese love their cars, and there are many interesting products that allow drivers to deck their vehicles out, including bizarre and interesting accessories, gaudy air fresheners, and for those with a lot of money to spend, funky custom lights for the outside of your car, such as special flashing lights that replace your normal brake lights. Great for picking up the girls.

Announcing the Big 2001 Doujinshi sale! To say thanks for your past support this year, we're having a big sale on hentai doujinshi. Effective immediately, we've got the following discounts :

Order 2 doujinshi, get $1 off each (for a total of $2 off)
Order 3 doujinshi, get $2 off each (total $6)
Order 4 doujinshi, get $3 off each (total $9)
Order 5 doujinshi or more, get $4 off each book

All doujinshi hentai comics we have in stock are part of the sale, including the new ones we're posting today. The discount will be applied when we process your order and send you the total (the discount won't be recognized by the shopping cart, but we'll factor it in before processing the order).

Also: announcing the 2001 Year-End Bishoujo Game Free Shipping Sale! Until the end of the month, we'll give free shipping to U.S. and Canadian customers on our massive lineup of English-language bishoujo CD-ROM products, when you buy two or more at a time. All products are part of the sale, including JAST USA and Milky House CD-ROM games, as well as the excellent products from Peach Princess, Hobibox Europe and Himeya. This is a great chance to get the titles you've been wanting, and save some money, too.

The past few years has seen a massive blooming of "indies" (independent) adult video in Japan, by companies like Soft on Demand, which are separate from large AV studios like Kuki, Uchu Kikaku, and Alice Japan. We've got some excellent news for fans of authentic Japanese indies AV, because recently, J-List has been able to form relationships with new Japanese AV distributors which will enable us to carry many new indies video products in the future. While we've always had a very close relationship with Soft on Demand -- we sell so many SOD videos and DVDs that Tomo was invited to attend a special retreat at the company, where he met Kurumi Morishita, Nanase Nanami and Tohjiro himself -- we haven't been able to get products by companies like Moodyz, Aroma, Audaz, Waap and Wanz Factory. Well, this will be changing soon, so fans who have been requesting these products will have something to look forward to. Tomo asked me to mention if you want to special order products from these companies, he can get most anything, so please email him. One caveat, however: unlike Soft on Demand, which is embracing DVD in a big way, most of the products put out by these other indies AV companies are available on VHS only, or on region 2 DVD. We'll make sure these titles are available to you on both formats as much as we can.

More improvements to the J-List site are coming soon. We'll be upgrading our check-out system soon to an improved one, which should hopefully solve some of the problems some have experienced with the current system. We're not sure when the new system will go live, and I'll try to give advance notice in case there are any problems with it. As always, if there's ever a problem with the J-List ordering system, you can always use the secure email form to send us your order.

For this evening's update, we've got a very nice volley of new products, including:

  • First of all, the excellent game Love Love Show is shipping! This is a really unique game from Hobibox Europe and Love Gun, a very complex and fun game that's actually three games in one. An excellent and 100% uncensored bishoujo game for the English-speaking world (and yes, you can get it with free shipping with our special sale)
  • For fans of lovely adult video idols from Japan, we've got the new issues of Best Video and Video Boy, both very nice "all purpose" adult video magazines that follow all AV idols, both professional and indies (independent), for your enjoyment
  • We have some nice erotic photobooks for you, including the erotic Kumano Pooh-ko's "Seduction," and the very lovely Minami Yui's "First Eros" erotic photobook
  • Also: fresh stock of K.O., the deluxe photobook for fans of O.K.
  • Also for photobook lovers, fresh stock of a perennial classic -- Santa Fe, the massive nude photobook released by 1990's actress-idol Rie Miyazawa that shocked Japan
  • We have tons of great new erotic manga for you, both new volumes as well as fresh stock of popular books that we couldn't keep in stock -- check out the manga pages now
  • For yaoi fans or fans of Japanese homosexual culture, we've got limited stock of Badi, the Japanese "gay life magazine" (we'll carry more items like this on the yaoi page if there are requests)
  • Kicking off or big doujinshi sale, we've got a new volley of very nice doujinshi for you, with some unique and rare items, at major savings because of our sale -- see the dozen or so new items on the J-List site before they start to sell out
  • For DVD collectors, we've got some great new titles by Soft on Demand, including famous AV director TOHJIRO's self-produced sex offerings in which he gives up filming gorgeous girls having sex with AV actors, and has sex with them himself -- 150 minutes of good action in the Blue Desire DVD
  • 16 lovely Japanese kogals agree to play rock, scissors, paper -- if they win, they get money, but if they lose, they have to get undressed inside the Magic Mirror Bus
  • There's a new 2-in-1 release by Deep's, Get Panty (which features guys adept at convincing kogals to give them their panties), and Peroman (in-street oral sex)
  • We've got an excellent new indies erotic hardcore DVD for you -- an excellent erotic performance by Rinka Yaguchi with the bizarre title of "Embezzle my Honey Pie"
  • For those with players that can read region 2 DVDs, either separate players or the DVD drives in their computers, we've got a nice item: a very erotic Bunko Kanazawa/Ryo Takami title featuring some outrageously erotic themes
  • Also for region 2-capable customers, two excellent new Night Shift Hospital DVD releases by Tachibana Seven
  • DVD fans should look through all our pages for some extra-good bargains that we've posted, including many discs that come with free shipping, too
  • Finally, for adult AV fans, we've got a dynamite new series of Crystal Card nude AV idol cards, featuring many lovely girls from Crystal Eizo
  • Newly added Japanese snack and food items include a new toasted shreaded ika (squid) snack that goes great with beer, and delicious Japanese "ochazuke," a food containing green tea, nori, and salmon you sprinkle over rice, then pour boiling water
  • Popular new Japanese sign plates include a new No Smoking sign plate, as well as a very nice "It is forbidden to wear shoes here" sign plate
  • For anime fans, some special items: first, a super-deluxe extra-large "completed model" made of die-cast metal of the coolest ship from the Yamato/Star Blazers universe, the Andromeda, the flagship of the Earth Defense Fleet
  • Then, a new Kubrick Evangelion toy, featuring the Eva-03 Production Model, a figure of Kouji, and a figure of one of the Angels
  • New "cute" items include a silly but cute toothbrush holder, and fresh stock of our Hello Kitty straws and spoon/fork set
  • For fans of our bento (boxed lunch) related items, see several new items, including fresh stock of the little cutter that turns a small sausage into a little cute penguin -- great for eating lunch, Japanese-style
  • We've got wacky Japanese notebooks for you, with funny English printed on them, as well as study notebooks useful for anyone trying to learn hiragana and katakana, the two basic Japanese writing systems
  • Finally, on our wacky things from Japan "traditional items" page, which is always popular with J-List customers, find a very nice bamboo cup that would be great for drinking tea, as well as an authentic bamboo soba dish, and more!

We receive questions about some Japanse CD-ROM and VCD/DVD products and how they work with English equipment, and so we'd like to answer some of these questions. In general, all bishoujo and game CD-ROMs you see at J-List are made for Windows, and should have no problems playing on supported OS versions. If you are interested in some of the magazines that come with one or two video CDs (MPEG-1), these are also very easy to play. On Windows, you can play them with any Video CD player, which are readily available online; for Macintosh in OS 8-9, use the standard Quicktime player. Video CDs also play in most DVD players, although the quality is closer to VHS than full DVD.

For those interested in the high-quality and features of DVD, 99% of the DVDs that J-List carries are "region free," so you can play them without worrying about handling the special region 2 codes. A few adult DVDs (they're located on a special page), as well as all Japan-released anime and hentai DVD titles, are always zoned for region 2 (Europe and Japan). To view them in the U.S. or Canada, you need a region-free DVD player (see the top of the region 2 DVD page for several links to ones we recommend), or else you can set your computer's DVD player to view region 2 discs (although you can only change this setting 5 times on most DVD drives). Personally, I've gotten hundreds of hours of use out of the region-free DVD player I bought for myself, and since certain DVD titles from Japan are simply unavailable in region-free format, we recommend getting a region-2 player if you're interested in those items.

We've placed links to some sample movie clippings from Soft on Demand's titles. The titles are in Windows Media format. To find some of the products that have movies available, you can search for "sample movie" in the J-List search engine.

Tuesday, December 04, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 4, 2001

Hello and greetings again from J-List!

First of all, we apologize if this mail reaches you multiple times. We're having an issue with our mail server that causes mails to be sent multiple times to some users. We're on the issue and should have it fixed soon.

Happiness over the recent Royal Birth continues in Japan. Department stores had special sales to commemorate the new baby, and bakeries baked special "congratulations" bread which customers lined up to buy, and in one amusement park, anyone named Masako can get in free this week. (We've got a friend named Masako, although she's in the U.S.)

It's always hard to be an expat and live in another country. No matter how long I stay in Japan, I still feel that things from home are "better." American medicine works the best for me, and there's nothing like American Cream of Wheat for breakfast on cold mornings (I've even turned my kids on to it, although my wife sticks her nose up at it, since it looks like "okayu," a watery rice dish Japanese give to sick people). While there are many familiar things to an American living in Japan (McDonald's, Starbucks, Time Magazine), I don't think I could get by without the Internet to give me all the American culture I need. Amazon.com is also a Godsend for someone like me -- a far cry from nine years ago, when we had to scour the town to find a store that had some imported Pringles or Doritos, or travel to Tokyo to one of two bookstores that carried English books.

It's funny how when you live in Japan, you've suddenly got all kinds of things in common with other foreigners living here. For various reasons -- perhaps because of the good economy in the U.S. during the end of the 1990's, Americans are not at all common here in Japan at all. Aided by the "working holiday" exchange program (or waa-holi as the Japanese like to call it), which helps people from Canada, Australia, and many other nations get visas to work in Japan quite easily. I have more non-American friends than American friends, and it's quite interesting to talk American politics and other subjects with people from Canada or New Zealand and see their viewpoints. Just as Japanese studying in the U.S. often get lumped into vanilla group labeled "Asians," foreigners working in Japan are all "gaijin" (or in its more politically correct version, "gaikokujin").

We're now in the month of December, and we've still got lots of very nice anime, JPOP, Japanese idol, and sexy and nude calendars to choose from. In fact, we've got a few too many, so we're having a big sale on our remaining stock of 2002 calendars, lowering prices on all calendars as our way of saying thanks for helping us get our stock levels down. Also, if you buy two or more calendars, we'll give you your mailing tubes free. Calendars will be disappearing from the J-List site as they sell out, or as we post them to eBay, so if you see something you'd like, please snap it up. We can get calendars to you by Christmas, although the cutoff for airmail orders going to the U.S. is Dec 9-10.

For the new update, we've got some very nice items for you, including:

  • First, we've got the new issues of Penthouse Japan and Penthouse Special, two excellent magazines that feature all-Japanese models, photographed entirely by all-Japanese photographers
  • Also for fans of adult Japanese magazines, we've got the new OK magazine, for fans of "rape play" themes, as well as the very erotic new Hit Parade
  • For photobook lovers, be sure to check out the very lovely Baccara Five, a beautiful team of bikini babes, as well as a positively dynamite item for fans of Race Queens
  • We have a very nice erotic update to our manga page for you, with a large selection of very nice volumes by the most famous artists and publishing houses in Japan
  • For doujinshi lovers, see several all-new doujinshi volumes posted, all nice new additions from the most recent Comic Market
  • For lovers of SOD's long-selling Deep Kiss series, we've got an extra special new offering: the Deep Kiss First Lesbian Hard Version, featuring girls going far beyond mere deep kissing...
  • Also from Soft on Demand, a super "best selection" for fans of the lovely elf-like Nao Hirosue, and a super erotic "dick girl" DVD featuring girls with strap-on dildos
  • Other DVD titles include a very rare and interesting limited offering for fans of SOD's darker themes, and a rare item, a DVD featuring larger girls, a theme not handled in Japan very often
  • For fans of Japan's truly beautiful idols, we highly recommend the idol DVD of Megumi Yasu, the charming and beautiful model who has graced recent issues of Urecco and Penthouse
  • For anime fans, we're proud to bring you the Japanese DVD release of Grave of the Fireflies, a moving tale of two children growing up in war-torn Japan at the end of World War II (includes Japanese subtitles)
  • Also: stock of "completed figures" of Rei Ayanami and Soryu Asuka Langley, with many attachable extras for super detail
  • For those with an esoteric twist, we've the photobook of the charismatic prime minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi
  • For kids who like to draw and doodle, we've got some 'free notebook' (meaning that you can use them any way you like) from Pocket Monster and Ham-Taro, both of which come with stickers inside too
  • We've got more 'wacky' traditional things from Japan, including
  • For Getter Robo fans, there are several really cool toys recreated from 1970's versions
  • Finally, today's wacky things from Japan new items include the ultimate way to store and chill tofu (no, really!),

We try hard to keep all sizes of our wacky Japanese T-shirts in stock at all times, but sometimes one size or another sells out. We found 7 shirts with our Dirty American Devil (Kichiku Beihei) in size medium, which had been sold out -- so if you're interested in this shirt in size M, please get it before they sell out again. Some shirts, such as our "Forbidden to Urinate" shirts will not be reprinted, so if you want one, you should pick one up soon.