One of my life's goals has been achieved today -- I have officially received my "eijuuken," or my permanent resident visa for living in Japan. I drove to the administration office for foreigners' visas today and got the stamp in my passport. Since I've lived in Japan almost ten years and am married to a Japanese national and have kids here, it was not that much of a problem for me, but this isn't the case for millions of other foreigners living in Japan, who have a harder time of it than I do. I have a friend who's a major Japanophile and who wants to live in Japan all his life, but because he's single, it's much harder for him to show the authorities why he should be given permanent residence status.
Incidentally, although it's possible for foreigners who get Japanese citizenship (all the Hawaiian sumo wrestlers like Konishiki do it), I wouldn't go to the trouble myself. There are too many little "plusses" when you're a foreigner living in Japan. For one, you get to use an International drivers' license all the time, rather than having to switch to a Japanese license. Since you're not in the computers of the Japanese police, you never get traffic tickets if you get stopped for something.
When you learn a language, there are always some things that are more complex than the language you're coming from. If I were to learn Spanish, for example, I'd have to deal with feminine and masculine nouns, which don't exist in English. In English, we use "wear" or "put on" for just about any kind of object of clothing you could think of, but the Japanese have different words for where you're wearing the item in question. For anything going on your legs or feet (shoes, pants, etc.) the verb for to wear is "haku." For anything you wear around your abdomen, or for dresses, the verb is "kiru" (the "ki" from this verb is part of the word kimono, which really just means "thing that you wear"). Put something on your hands, like a ring or gloves, and you use "suru," and anything worn on the head is "kaburu." Similarly, the Japanese have two concepts for cold, one for cold in the air around you, and another for things that are cold to the touch. If the air around you is cold, you use "samui," but if you're washing dishes in cold water, the words is "tsumetai." Whichever one comes out of your mouth, it's pretty certain to be there wrong one for the situation you're in. Foreigners making mistakes like using the wrong word for cold are "cute" to the Japanese, kind of like Japanese making L/R mistakes (e.g., the Japanese sent us Viagra last December because we couldn't get an election).
We've improved the organization of the DVD pages slightly. Now, all of the non-SOD Indies DVDs (which are almost without exception zoned for region 2) appear in grouped with Japan-release hentai DVDs and other region-2 zoned DVDs together on the new "Indies, Hentai & Region 2" page. This way, those who have region-free players or can view the DVDs on their computer's DVD-ROM drives can find all the region-2 DVDs in one place, and we can get away with a simpler organization.
Speaking of region 2, since it's a fact of life that some DVDs from Japan (adult indies and Japan-released anime and hentai DVDs) are going to have the region encoding, we've made a new DVD Region 2 Help page, incorporating all our links to hacks and informative pages on how to view region 2 DVDs. The simplest solution to to the problem is to buy a region-free DVD player. The model we recommend, the Sampo DVE-611, is a low, low $129 from several online resellers. See our new DVD page for the links.
For the pre-weekend update, we've got some very nice items for you. They include:
- First, the excellent new Bejean, the famous extra-wide adult magazine from Eichi Publishing -- features everyone from Kanabun to Hitomi Hayasaka and more
- We've also got fresh stock of some more discounted magazines, as well as the new issue of the very hardcore "wet" magazine Aishite Ageru (I'll Love You)
- If you dig Japan's outrageous kogals, the girls with questionable moral, we've got a large-format Cho Mach!! for you
- Other photobooks are in stock, including the excellent swimsuit hardcover photobook by Mayumi Uehara, a beautiful new Photoshot with Mai Hagiwara and many other lovely ladies, fresh stock of Mai-chan's "Tennyo" photobook, and more
- For leg lovers, we've got some stock of the sold-out Mini-Suka Deluxe June issue, which features excellent "low angle" photographs
- Also, fresh stock of many formerly out of stock photobooks, including several in the Bishoujo Memorial series, and the long-lost photobook of Bauko Euchi, on the photobooks page
- On our manga page, we've got several excellent new volumes by Tsukasa Comics, Orange Comics and others, as well as fresh stock of the very nice "Heartthrob on a crowded tain"
- We also have some new doujinshi for you, including new works from Ryu-Seki-Do and more
- From Soft on Demand, a bunch of region-free DVDs for you, including two fun productions that make use of their Magic Mirror Bus -- Amateur Bukkake, and the all-new Magic Mirror Reverse Nampa, in which lovely ladies engage in "boy hunting"
- Kurumi Morishita's "Forbidden Privates Garden" was one of the best-selling lesbian titles ever, and now it's out on DVD for fans of this great gal
- Another region-free release, and a super one for swimsuit fetish fans (yes, they think of everything here in Japan), the Swimming Girl series features hot AV idols like the popular Shinobu Kasagi performing in Olympic-grade name-brand swimming suits
- Another interesting performance is Kitora!, an erotic "Sentai" production in the spirit of Kamen Rider and Kikaida, parodying the best Japanese rubber monsters and Power Ranger's style fighting
- On our slightly reorganized adult DVD and video pages, we've got some great new items, including top-notch erotic performances by two classy Japanese actresses, Ayaka Fujisaki and the silky Manami Suzuki, released by Moodyz
- From Wanz Factory, we've got a new super leg fetish production, this time featuring the excellent Kaori Shimizu, followed by Marin Kobayakawa's own "How to Perfect"
- If you like the popular fetish known in Japan as "new half" or "Mr. Lady," we've got a new video for you from GloryQuest
- For the bargain-minded, find many big bargains on the Discount Videos page, which come with free shipping, to boot
- Finally, for anyone who appreciates the beautiful grace of stripper Kaori Shimamura, we've got a nice soft porn DVD for her fans
- For fans of the Kodansha Bilingual Comics, which let you enjoy famous Japanese manga in English and Japanese, we've got Cardcaptor Sakura vol 5 and Love Hina vol 8 in stock
- If you're into Macross, we've got a very cool limited-run die-cast metal recreation of two Valkyrie slips, and it comes in a display case that's to die for
- Two other unique items on the Anime & Toys page are a dynamite Kubrick figure of Tony the Tiger, and the ultimate item for the Seattle Mariners fan, cute little Ichiro action figures!
- For fans of cute things from Japan, especially Hello Kitty (the symbol of "cute" after all), we've got a bunch of new items, including fresh stock of the sold-out Hello Kitty Happiness Bags, Hello Kitty cake mix (make a kitty-cake in just 1.5 minutes), Hello Kitty mayonnaise cups, Hello kitty chopsticks, Hello kitty cupcake papers, and of course fresh stock of our trademark Hello Kitty toilet paper
- Since cute Japanese hamsters are fast becoming their own category of item, we've got more Hamster Club bento boxes, fork and spoon sets, a new Hamster lollipop + hard candy item, and more Hamutaro Gum (not hamster-flavored, as far as I know)
- We've got more wacky signs for you, including fresh stock of wacky "Emegency Exit" sign plates that come complete with tape for mounting
- On our Japanese snacks & food page, enjoy a tasty new set of miso soup, with bits of fried tofu in them (tastes great, even if it doesn't sound so good in English), as well as fresh stock of the sold-out March of the Koalas chocolate-filled koala cookies
- Finally, new items on our "traditional" things from Japan page include some nice chopsticks that are easy for foreigners to eat with, some onsen (hot springs) bath powder for your bath, and more.
J-List carries monthly subscriptions to many Japanese magazines in two categories. First, we've got "timed" subscriptions (6 or 12 months) to magazines like Urecco, Bejean and Gokuh, for which you pay up front but get free issues with your subscriptions. You can get some anime, manga, JPOP, hobby and other magazines sent to you each month from Japan, while they're hot on the newsstands here, via our "reserve subscription" system, which allows you to get each month's magazines sent to you automatically, until you tell us to stop. Tomo and Yasu work hard to bring these magazines to you, and are often driving around Isesaki to bookstores when we don't get enough issues sent to us by our distributors, and we're glad we can make these items available to you.
Some time ago, J-List had a "text-based mailing list" via which we'd sent text versions of updated J-List pages to people who requested to be added to the list. With all the updates to the site over the summer, this list stopped going out, but we've fixed the scripts that were broken, so customers can now once again request the jlist-text list. If you want notification of J-List product including lists of actual products (good for people who can't view the J-List site all the time), and don't mind the long emails, just reply to this and asked to be added to the list.