Saturday, December 29, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 29, 2001

Greetings from Japan, where tako salad always contains fresh octopus.

We had great time at the J-List year-end party last night, drinking dark German-style beer and fruit sours and eating tons of food, including kimchee nabe (meat, tofu and vegetables simmered in a spicy Korean broth), with sushi and octopus salad. Most of the J-List crew don't drink, but Yasu, Chiharu and I managed to get quite hammered. Most Japanese possess a gene that causes their faces to turn bright red when they drink alcohol, by the way, in case you've ever noticed it. Yasu was especially red last night, all over his body, and his wife had to come pick him up.

J-List has been honored to be able to bring a wide range of Japanese pop culture goods to customers around the world for five years now. We've got customers in practically every country in the world, including Luxumbourg, South Africa, and even Iran. I recently ran a script to see where most of J-List's customers were located. Not surprisingly, the lion's share of J-List customers are in the U.S. and Canada, where Internet connection rates are the highest. England and Australia are also well represented. In Europe, countries with a lot of interest in Japan order from J-List, with Germany, Italy and the Netherlands in the lead. In Asia, Singapore, South Korea and Hong Kong have the front position. We've also got quite a few customers in South America, especially in counties with large Nikkei (Japanese descended) populations.

When foreigners come to Japan, it seems they are always striving for a way to understand the country and put it into some kind of context. Some gaijin who like anime or manga try to see Japan through the eyes of their particular hobby, while others try to view the country through, say, Japanese martial arts. Another way to understand Japan is through its dramas. In the U.S., the "basic" unit of television entertainment is the 30 minute situation comedy, but in Japan, dramas are the most popular form of television, and there are always several running at any given time on Japan's major networks. Featuring famous stars and dramatic romantic situations, each weekly episode of a standard Japanese drama is an hour, and dramas generally run for 15 weeks, building up to a big dramatic finale. The people and places in popular Japanese dramas become cultural symbols that all Japanese recognize -- for example, when Masaru Fukuyama played the character of the kind oldest brother in the drama "Under One Roof," the name of his character became an icon of its own, and he's forever known as "Chii-niichan" because of that role. Japanese dramas are broadcast in many countries in Asia and spottily in the U.S. (if you have access to a Japanese TV channel), or can be rented from Japanese video rental stores if you can't find them any other way. Watching Japanese dramas can provide "hooks" for foreigners wanting to learn more about the country and culture, and they're fun to watch, too.

We'll be going ahead with the checkout system upgrade for the J-List site, which will add the much-requested "express checkout." Once you've checked out with the site once, you'll be able to quickly checkout in the future, and the system will remember your credit card information, too. As always, there's a chance something could break, so if you have a problem ordering from our site, you can always use the secure email form link.

For the weekend update, we've got a big slew of new products for you, including:

  • First of all, some great new magazines, including the new Video Boy and Best Videos, the two "all purpose adult video magazines" that feature all lovely AV idols from Japan
  • For fans of Ami Ayukawa, we have a very cool item, a special magazine dedicated to nothing but this lovely lady, all throughout
  • If you like magazines with discs in them, check out the new issue of DVD Wow! we've got in, featuring a full color magazine and 120 minutes of AV for you, on a region free DVD
  • For photobook fans, we've got some nice items for you, including a very rare item capturing the lovely nudes of eight lovely Russian models (Russian girls are popular in Japan)
  • Also: fresh stock of Strawberry Diary with Honami Seki
  • If you love lovely girls and asses, we recommend the dynamite Hip Paradise, featuring the lovely ass and leg photographs of Kaya Asami and Hitomi Ikeno
  • For manga fans, we've got a large number of all-new books, including manga from Do Comics, Fujimi Comics and more
  • Also, we've posted a bunch of fresh stock of sold-out items, including manga by Yui Toshiki, fresh stock of "Motherhood And Sexuality" and "Sexbeast Fight Vaginass " and more
  • Out doujinshi special ends soon, and we've got more doujinshi for you to grab, all new and all in single issues so they'll go fast (so hurry)
  • We've got many new video and DVD items for you. From Audaz, enjoy the "Shameful Love" of Rin Tomosaki, who is made to do embarrassing and shameful things on video
  • From Moodyz, there's a super special all-lesbian video ("Lesbian Room"), followed by the indies debut of Minami Yoshikawa, a favorite "demure type" AV idol that Tomo and I like
  • From Waap, we've got a great "Dream Shower" performance for zamen fans, starring Nana Houshou (known for her beautiful legs), followed by a very erotic new Aika Miura video ("A disguise of actress, her nature of a slut")
  • From Soft on Demand, we've got a "reverse fucking" offering with the lovely karate black belt "ball breaker" Erika Nagai, an all-lotion cat-fight video in which girls fight in a pool of lotion in which the losers are raped on-camera, and finally, a super "special edit version" of Nanami Nanase's Fan Thanks Day
  • From Wanz Factory, there's a great indies DVD featuring the "super angle of manko" (pussy) of Natsumi Kawahama
  • For fans of the lovely Shinobu Kasagi, of White Sexual Desire fame, she's got a new 120 minute bondage DVD, great fun
  • There's a dynamite *four hour* erotic cosplay DVD, with lots of anime costume sex, and a DVD dedicated to watching women have sex from behind (doggy style)
  • Finally, for fans of the beautiful AV gals, check out Shinobu rei's very lovely Love Juice video
  • Also: look for more discounted video items on our discount video page (they ship free)
  • For Star Wars fans, we've posted more of the "super deformed" Star Wars talking figures, which speak lines from the movies when you put them on your hand (Stormtrooper and Darth Vader)
  • Also on our anime & toy page, we've got fresh stock of the very cool Godzilla 2002 Deluxe Figure, Deluxe Ghidora, Gamera, and the Love Hina SkyLuv Project figure, as well as an excellent new toy figure for Japanese professional wrestling fans, and more
  • If you like Hello Kitty, check out the new items we've posted, including Hello Kitty rice bowl, fresh stock of Hello Kitty towel holder, and more
  • For our Japanese snack lovers, we've got fresh stock of Morinaga Carmel, a cool brand of carmels that have been around for over 100 years, as well as a totally cute Hamutaro Peanuts and Choco snack that comes with cool Hamutaro characters tags
  • We've got new calendars! Well, they're not really "new" per se, but we've freed up some very nice calendars by deleting some old orders that hadn't been paid for -- it's a great second chance to pick up that swimsuit or idol calendar you'd like to have
  • Finally, we've got a great way to massage your neck and back, a "pollen and cold mask" which you wear to protect yourself and others from pollen and germs, and more cool New Years' items, including fresh stock of the square "masu" sake cups (you can drink sake out of them, or use them to organize your workspace since they look so cool

We've updated the J-Mate site again, this time with a killer English interview with Sally Yoshino that gives a lot of insight into her as an adult video performer. The site is located at http://www.jmate.com

Wednesday, December 26, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 26, 2001

Hello and Merry Christmas from your friends in Japan! We hope you all had a warm and wonderful Christmas wherever in the world you are. We had a nice Christmas dinner on the 24th, along with our Christmas Cake (you can't have Christmas in Japan without Christmas Cake). We settled down to open presents, American style, and had a great time.

Now that Christmas is past, Japanese will turn their attention to the most important holiday in Japan, New Year's Day. As 2001 winds down, Japanese will prepare for the end of the old year by cleaning their house from top to bottom (called "o-soji" or "big cleaning") so they can start the new year with a clean slate. We'll be doing the same at J-list, stopping our normal work tomorrow and cleaning the J-List office inside and out, and washing our doors (you can't have New Year's in Japan without washing your doors). Before the year ends, we'll take part in another Japanese year-end custom, the "bounen-kai" or "year-end party" (the kanji literally mean "Forget-the-year party"), in which we'll go to a nice restaurant and order lots of good food and beer and look back on the past year for J-List.

For me, studying Japanese has always been great fun, but there are were difficult areas, to be sure. One area that proved challenging for me while I was studying is an interesting category of four-syllable adjectives that have interesting meanings. "Sokkuri" is a word that means "to look exactly like [someone else]," so if you meet a Japanese man and his son, and they look very similar to each other, you can point and say "Sokkuri!" and have some fun. Another similar word is "pittari" which means "it's a perfect fit" (e.g., if you are trying to find the right size shirt, and you finally find it, this is the word you'd use. "Bikkuri" means "to be greatly shocked" (sometimes Japanese substitute the English word "shock" for this word), and so on. There are about 50 of these words, all with hard to learn but well-defined meanings.

Congratulations go out to our own Yasu, who got married yesterday. His wedding isn't until March, but he and his fiancee went to the City Hall to file their marriage license yesterday, on Christmas Day. Japanese care far more about the day the paperwork for marriage is filed than the actual date of the wedding (Kaori also filed her paperwork several weeks before her wedding ceremony). Yasu said he chose that days so that Christmas would be the date of their wedding anniversary -- what a romantic guy. Just as I had to give a long speech in Japanese at Kaori's wedding, I'll be called upon to speak to the guests at Yasu's wedding ceremony, as the employer of the bride. The difference is that this time I'm the groom's boss, which means first, before anyone else, and have to give an extra-long speech. It's going to be hard...

We've reorganized the J-List product categories somewhat, adding new sections for anime & sexy idol trading cards, as well as a section for nude and erotic trading cards. Hope it makes things easier to find! We have so many products, and sometimes they don't fit into established categories all that well...

For our post-Christmas J-List update, we've got more fun and wonderful things from Japan, including:

  • First of all, a big volley of new magazines for you, including a nice selection of new $5 magazines for you to check out, with many back issues from 2000 posted (once they're gone, they will be gone for good)
  • For fans of the popular Buru Mani series of photobooks that feature beautiful young Japanese models, we've got the latest version for you (and it's a good one)
  • For fans of hentai manga, we've got several very nice items in, including a "request version" reissue of Oh My Bunny, a new hentai manga from Wataru Watanabe and an anal fetish manga that will probably prove to be very popular...
  • Also, Yasu has posted fresh stock of more out of stock manga volumes, including Professor Cow God, Peach Breast Girl and the great hentai manga by Shikage Nagi, creator of the upcoming Peach Princess game Little My Maid
  • For doujinshi fans, we've got several new titles posted for Love Hina fans -- remember that our doujinshi sale will be ending soon
  • If you love bishoujo games, especially the upcoming 2D RPG from Crowd and Peach Princess, Brave Soul, we've gotten new stock of the Brave Soul Complete Data artbook (very cool)
  • For our adult video and DVD lineup today, we've got another nice bunch of new offerings for you. From Eichi DVD, we've got an excellent soft porn offering from the lovely Hitomi Hayasaka, age 18 (it's uncensored, too)
  • From Soft on Demand, enjoy some very special new releases, including Kurumi Morishita's erotic "Aroused Bondage" offering and a fiery leg and stocking fetish title with Rumiko Hasegawa, and a totally cool DVD
  • From SOD's Deep's label, a very special item -- the "Holed Panty Series" DVD, which used tiny holes cut in panties to get around the mosaic censorship. Features the very popular Nanami Nanase of "One week only semen" fame
  • From Waap, a super new Dream Shower bukkake video featuring the ultimate Japanese girl-next-door, Sayaka Hijiri
  • Bunko Kanazawa fulfills your fantasies by dressing into many different costumes and performing for you in the new Costume Princess offering from Moodyz
  • The lovely Nana Sakura, known for her appearances in leg fetish videos and magazines, stars in a super "How to Perfect" feature from Wanz Factory -- another reason to buy a region free DVD player and enjoy J-List recent Indies offerings ^_^
  • Finally, we've got a very nice "Lewd Sisters" video starring Nao Hirosue and Sayaka Hijiri, and a very special item, the "sayonara fuck" video of Aika Miura, retiring from her sterling career at last
  • For lovers of Macross, we've got a single copy of the transforming VF-11A, from Macross Plus -- a truly excellent toy which will almost certainly not be available to us in the future. If you want it, grab the one we have before it's gone
  • On our Japanese food and snacks page, we've got fresh stock of the delicious (and fast-selling) packets of Japanese miso soup ("nama" or "raw" type)
  • Also, fresh stock of Tomato Pretz (one of my all-time favorite Japanese snack foods), Pocari Sweat powder (make Pocari Sweat at home!), and delicious Hamutaro furikake for kids
  • We have some new cute things for you, including some fun bath stickers for kids with hamsters on them, and a Hamutaro "free notebook" to have fun with
  • We have some newly posted Japanese headbands, one of our most popular sellers, including "The best in all Japan" and "Pass the test" (great for college students), as well as more silly message signs
  • On our reorganized trading cards sections, we've got a super new card series for Morning Musume fans -- the all-new Morning Musume Trading Card Part 3
  • For lovers of the anime classics, relive the greatest moments of Yamato/Star Blazers with the Yamato Chronicles from Cardass
  • Finally, find traditional-style Japanese trays (great if you're tying to put a Japanese look into your home), fresh stock of the you-gotta-try-them Japanese hand warmers, a great puzzle of Mt. Fuji, more cool chopsticks from Japan, and more! Please see all the new items

The J-Mate site has been updated, with reviews of two popular DVDs -- Maiko Kazano's "Pure Heart" and the erotic "White Sexual Desire" bukkake DVD starring Shinobu Kasagi. Both have lots of screenshots, too. See them at the J-Mate site at http://www.jmate.com/

Remember that J-List is one of the few places where you can get authentic Japanese "loose socks," the outrageous baggy socks that high school girls wear here. We have them in 80 and 120 cm length.

Monday, December 24, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 24, 2001

The warmest wishes to everyone for a Merry Christmas from J-List!

It's Christmas Eve in Japan, and to the Japanese, it's a time to have a special dinner that Okaasan (mother) makes. Over the past 20 years, the idea of giving a Christmas present has taken hold (helped along by Toys R Us Japan), and so most Japanese kids can expect a special present from their parents, or maybe their grandparents, too. Presents are also exchanged by young people, and of course boyfriend and girlfriend. Older Japanese, for whom Christmas is an "outside" thing, don't usually give gifts. The other "big event" that is related to Christmas Eve is that it's the #1 night for girls to lose their virginity, and for weeks in advance love hotels are booked solid with couples waiting for this perfect night.

We won't be having a White Christmas on the Kanto Plain this year, but it certainly a cold and windy one. Geographically Japan is a very vertically oriented country, and the farther north you go the colder things get, until you are in "Yuki-guni," or Snow Country, the setting (and title) of the famous novel by Kawabata. Known as the Tohoku region of Japan, the northern part of the main island of Honshu (roughly everything north of Tokyo) is an interesting area, and have hitchhiked up there several times. A cold and lonely area, with few large cities, Tohoku is cursed with a problem many Japanese rural areas face: shrinking populations as young people go to live in larger cities, leaving nothing but old people at home. Tohoku is the birthplace of many singers of "enka," a sad form of traditional Japanese music that corresponds to country music in the U.S. (i.e., truck drivers listen to it). As you travel through Japan, you can see how Japanese architecture changes to reflect the regional climate. In the Tohoku area of Japan, houses are constructed with roofs that are slanted, to keep snow from piling up, and the front doors are extra-insulated to keep the heat in.

First of all, we've done our final price reduction on the 2002 calendars, and most of them are all the way down to $10, which is way below our cost. If you'd like to pick up a couple of these lovely calendars at this price, please help us out, we'd greatly appreciate it. The calendars that are still in stock are mostly the Japanese swimsuit and lovely actress/idol calendars, and some of the girls are really lovely. And you can put these up in your office without getting in trouble ^_^

For this yuletide update, we've got some very nice items for you, including:

  • First, we've got some excellent new magazines for you, including the new Dela Beppin, filled with lovely girls including Maiko Kazano (heart)
  • We've got a treat for adult magazine collectors, a cache of older Japanese magazines from 2000, which feature some very popular actresses who are unfortunately retired now, and quite hard to find -- check magazine page 3 for the newly posted and discounted items. Once these sell out, they will be gone for good...
  • For fans of erotic nude photography, we have another elegant issue of Photoshot for you, featuring some of the most lovely photographs we've seen in a long time
  • Also, we've got fresh stock of several of the Strawberry Diary series by nude photographer Garo Aida
  • For fans of hot Japanese AV stars like Anna Ohura, Natsumi Kawahama and more, we present Dynamite Body Sexual Collection, a nice new photobook for you
  • We have fresh stock of some previously sold out photobooks, including Weekend Party, Love Target, and many more
  • If you're a fan of the very cool erotic manga we carry at J-List, check out the new volumes we've posted
  • In addition to the new manga, we've got fresh stock of some sold-out manga, including Lovely Eyes, Rocket Oppai, Stripper Mai and more
  • Remember that our Doujinshi sale is still on -- buy 5, get $20 off -- and we've posted some nice new doujinshi
  • For fans of J-List's adult DVD, we've got another great selection of new items. From Wanz Factory, we've got an erotic How to Perfect series DVD for fans of the leggy and sexy Kaori Shimizu, followed by a Happy Date with Yuuna Akimoto
  • From Moodyz, vol 2 in the very best-selling Dream Gakuen series, featuring an all-star cast including Bunko Kanazawa, Mami Gotoh and more -- over 30 girls in this 190 minute production
  • From Soft on Demand, we've got some great new items, including an erotic DVD for fans of "Kissing, oral sex and horse-riding style sex," a graceful and erotic "Zenra Swimming" (featuring an actual semi-pro swimmer swimming gracefully in the water, all photographed with underwater camera), and Vol. 2 of the popular "Anal Torture" 2-in-1 DVD from Deep's
  • From Waap, a super erotic Dream Shower video starring one of Yasu's favorite AV idols, Mirai Hoshizaki
  • Audaz chimes in with a new "Shameful Love" video starring Aya Otosaki, and a very nice an erotic video and DVD featuring Momo Kawai
  • Finally, a bizarre item from Aroma, we present the ultimate"panty line fetish" video that captures beautiful Japanese women walking with tight pants, very nice
  • For fans of Miyazaki's animation, we've got a very nice item we'll try to carry more of in the future: color film comics from Miyazaki's movies, which present all animation from the movie in a great format. See vol. 1 & 2 of Nausica and Spirited Away on the English Manga page now (although this manga is in Japanese)
  • Since it's Christmas, we've got an extra volley of cool toy items for you. Macross fans should check the restock of the dynamite VF-1A and the limited stock (as in one copy) of the VF-1S "Skull 1" that is just too cool to live
  • For serious collectors of My Neighbor Totoro items, we've got some very rare items from the Totoro's Wonder Tin Toy Collection, featuring toys that are made out of tin, in the tradition of the toys of the 1950's
  • Our Capcom toy line has sold so well, we've posted stock of the Capcom vs. SNK super deformed figures that are really cute
  • For bento fans, we've got fresh stock of two conservative colors of bento boxes, for those who are a little embarrassed to eat out of a cute Hamutaro box
  • On our Japanese snacks page, we've got a tasty package of rice crackers and nori, along with fresh stock of two of the most popular Pocky items, Mousse Pocky White and Strawberry (Mmmm...)
  • Finally, for those interested in traditional Japanese decorations, see the very nice "Maneki-neko" (Inviting Cat) piggy banks we have in stock, which are associated with good luck and business success in the new year -- it's really cool.

Remember that J-List is having a "free shipping sale" on all English-language bishoujo games and doujin CG collections from San Diego. This is a great time to snap up those JAST USA, Himeya Soft, Peach Princess or other titles you've been wanting but don't get for Christmas.