Saturday, January 05, 2002

Greetings from J-List October 5, 2002

Hello again from your friend in Japan, J-List!

In many ways the Chinese language is to Asia what the ancient Latin and Greek languages were to Europe: a defining blanket of culture over the entire region. Languages like Japanese and Korean originally used Chinese characters as their sole writing system, then later came up with new writing systems based on kanji (hiragana and katakana for Japan, the Hangul alphabet for Korea). Just as Greek and Latin form the basis for most vocabulary words in modern European languages, virtually all Japanese words are written in kanji, and when new concepts come along, the Japanese can combine existing characters to create new names (when they're not making up funny English names, that is). Because I can read the 1,945 "joyo kanji" (required to pass level 1 of the Japanese Ability Test), when I go to Hong Kong I can puzzle out the meanings of about 20% of what's written around me, although I have no idea how to pronounce it. It's a lot like going to France actually -- English speakers can easily pick up 20-30% of the meaning of written French because so many of our words are of French origin.

One concept you have to get used to when learning Japanese is that there are long and short vowels, which you have to keep track of. For example, the word ojisan (oh-gee-SAN) means uncle or refers to any middle-aged man, but ojiisan (oh-GEEE-san), with a long middle vowel, is grandfather or an old man. (Similarly, obasan means aunt or a middle-aged woman, while obaasan means grandmother or an elderly woman.) It's tricky to follow when writing in the Roman alphabet ("romaji") because our alphabet is not set up to write Japanese correctly. The long vowels are usually ignored in English -- if they weren't, we'd be writing Toukyou instead of Tokyo and Oosaka instead of Osaka -- but it can still be confusing, especially in the age of Internet searches, where the results you get will depend on how the person chose to write the word you were searching for (for example, the Japanese idol Yuka, whose name is also written Yuuka). To avoid these problems, J-List's search engine is "smart" and will bring up the same results for most words regardless of how you search for them. Because English is completely unsuited to accurately representing written Japanese, I strongly advise that anyone trying to learn the language be sure to choose a class that uses a textbook that uses only hiragana, katakana and kanji, the actual writing systems of Japan, and not the English alphabet. (See my personal homepage at http://www.peterpayne.net for an overview of the Japanese language and my advice on how best to study it.)

The upgrades to the J-List site seem to be running smoothly so far, once we solved the cookie problem that kept some customers being able to see adult products even though they had clicked the "yes" graphic. Our server move is completed and everything seems to be running fine currently. As always, if you experience any problems with the site, please let us know by email and we'll get on it right away.

We've got a nice update of new products for you today, including a great item for Race Queen and swimsuit idol fans like Miho Yoshioka, a great series of piggy banks based on traditional Japanese mailboxes, cute items like Afro Ken beer glasses and plush sushi toys, new snacks including the deluxe Strawberry Pocky and Meiji's Village of Chocolate Bamboo, a rare Lord of the Rings item that also comes with chocolate inside, new Chobits items, unique Hello Kitty items sold only in Japan, new Kubrick-style figures based on Hikaru no Go and the Diablock, a parody chocolate bar that is really a mirror, a traditional sake cup, and more.

For our adult customers, we've also got many new products, including new magazine items including Aishite Ageru ("I'll Love you"), the new issue of Karte Club (playing doctor fetish), a very nice selection of new erotic manga for you as well as a great restocking of some very popular books, some very nice nude and sexy idol photobooks, and great adult DVDs including a new Deep Kiss lesbian offering from Soft on Demand, a great parody hardcore DVD featuring the famous busty idol Yuka (you decide if it's really her or not), and a very interesting indies offering from Aroma with Japanese lesbians taking on women from America, Canada and the UK. Please see all the new items!

The top 5 has been updated, so you can see what products are the most popular right now with J-list customers. Clicking on each top 5 link will show you those items (actually it shows you the top ten or so items).

J-List sells many cool things, including some cool products from the U.S. that we like to support. Two of these are the excellent AG, the English-language magazine of "art, sex and CG culture" that publishes hentai manga in English from Japan (including the famous Shiwasu no Okina) and America. Also, there are the English-language Blue Eyes comic translations from White Lightning Productions that we stock in San Diego for you. We love to support these companies and hope that you will too, through us! (Revolving subscriptions to AG are available if you want to make sure you get each issue automatically.)

Calendar season is moving along, and we expect to start receiving preordered calendars in a week or two. We'll process all calendar orders ASAP, and get them out to you as quickly as you can. Since we have so many unique anime, JPOP, pretty idol, nude and wacky 2003 calendars from Japan, we're sure we have something that you'd love to have on your wall -- or gift to someone as a unique gift. Please browse our many cool 2003 calendars and see if there isn't something really special waiting for you.

Greetings from J-List January 5, 2002

A very quick hello from J-List! I am rushing to get this update out the door, as I'm off to San Diego and Las Vegas on business. The "Azalea" bus (the bus that takes you right to Narita Airport, it's so-named because the Azalea is the official flower of Gunma Prefecture) leaves in an hour!

We are certainly hoping for some good economic news here in Japan, but so far all the indicators point to things getting worse. Unemployment is up to 5.5%, which is supposedly equal to a 7.5% unemployment rate if the measurement were taken the same was as it is done in the West. It's somewhat embarrassing being one of the few growing, busy companies in the city where we live -- we get deliveries of stock several times a day by truck, and the delivery man often remarks that we're the only busy business for miles around. The bad economy has a direct effect on J-List in many ways -- mainly, several of the distributors and other companies we've worked with over the years have gone out of business and disappeared, making it more difficult to get the products we need for you. In some industries, the poor economy is combined with a double whammy of competition from American companies, which really destroys their business -- small toy retailers and aging toy distribution companies, for example, have been greatly changed by the coming of Toys R Us to Japan.

For some reason, there are several English phrases that have burned themselves into the consciousness of the Japanese. When Dr. Clarke left Sapporo, where he helped establish what would become Sapporo University, he said left the words "Boys, be ambitious, which has endured ever since (making him far more famous than he deserved to be). When idol singer Yamaguchi Momoe retired from singing, she sang a tear-filled song that contained the English words Thank you for your kindness, thank you for your tenderness." All Japanese seem to know these little snippets, and if you ever want to make Japanese people's heads turn, try saying some of these words to them.

Winter is here, and with it, winter fashion. The fashion this year is decidedly leather -- specifically, light, shiny, well-tailored leather jackets hung on Japanese girls so slender as to challenge Ally McBiel. Tight jeans are also really big this year.

There was a problem with the shopping cart, caused by our programmer who accidentally overwrote some records while he was working on the site. We think around 20 orders may have been erased before we processed them. If you made an order yesterday but didn't hear from us, would you please email us to make sure all is well? Thanks.

We've got some great items for you today, including new magazines (the new Penthouses are in, loaded with beautiful Japanese women), many new photobooks (including that beautiful Chinese Yinling, many new and back in stock erotic manga volumes, great new erotic doujinshi for collectors, a huge slew of 18+ DVD and video items from Japan's best video houses (everything from anime cosplay dvds to tekoki to nude boxing and more), great new anime toys (including the new Laputa robot series), fresh stock of Men's Pocky and Coconut Pocky, fun things for Hello Kitty fans, and new wacky items like Buddhist prayer beads and much more. Please check out the newly added items!

We're kicking around the idea of attending an anime convention in Germany or Italy this Spring, but it can be hard to get information on all the cons that are out there. If you have information on large cons coming up in the Spring in these countries, would you let us know? Thanks.

Thursday, January 03, 2002

Greetings from J-List October 3, 2002

Hello again from your friends in Japan!

Japan has certainly changed in the half century since World War II ended. For many, one of the most romantic symbols of the postwar era, when Japan was working so hard to rebuild their country and make products that would be recognized by the international community, are "wanman" (one man) busses. In the old days (the 1960s and 70s) busses always had an extra employee, usually an attractive female, who took your tickets when you got on the bus. When this job was phased out, "wanman" busses appeared, with a sign on them indicating that there was only one man (the driver) on the bus, and you had to pay him for your ride. Of course, all busses are like this now. There are also "wanman" trains in extremely rural areas, like Tottori Prefecture (the home of the only desert in Japan). These areas are so devoid of people that there are no train employees in the station at all. You have to go onto the train, which usually consists of just one car, and pay the driver directly for your ride.

Every country has a list of things that are considered rude, and each country is different. In Japan, of course, you take your shoes off when you go into a house (and into some businesses -- J-List included). Never stick your chopsticks upright in your rice, since this is "only for dead people" (chopsticks are placed standing upright in rice as part of a last offering of rice to the departed at Japanese funerals). I've noticed that many Japanese, at least the ones I've encountered, are more open than Americans about discussing topics like menstruation or masturbation. On the other hand, something that I personally consider very rude -- reading over someone's shoulder -- is not rude at all here. As a result, anything being read or written by a foreigner on a train is considered perfectly okay to read, and it's not rare to have one or more Japanese straining their necks to see what this gaijin is doing on his iBook. If he should be writing Japanese, their interest is doubled.

For the new update, we've got a huge amount of cool items for you from Japan, including:

  • First, we're happy to announce stock of the superb Hayao Miyazaki film, Caste in the Sky Laputa, one of my personal favorites, which comes with 2 DVDs and features full English dubbed and subtitled tracks
  • For fans of Japan's lovely Race Queens, a special item: super-huge life-sized posters of the most famous models (Miho Yoshioka, Yinling, Toko Ushikawa, Aki Kawamura) -- they're being printed right now, but we've posted them for preorder now
  • Also, a super photobook dedicated to the beautiful Miho Yoshioka, the #1 RQ in Japan today
  • For Hello Kitty fans, some nice only-available-in-Japan items, including a Kitty set of high-quality glasses, a pretend Kitty fax machine your little one can play with for hours, and a cool suitcase belt that will protect your stuff while traveling
  • Also, fresh stock of other items, including Hello Kitty toilet paper, Hello Kitty toy refrigerator and cash register, and more
  • We have a great item for Astro Boy fans: several of the very nice Astro Boy figures with display cases, from Tomy
  • We've got some cool "Inviting Cat" (Maneki Neko) items, a cute cat that invites good luck into your home
  • We have fresh photobooks you might enjoy, including more Morning Musume hardcover photobooks and the lovely photobook of Yoko Mitsuya
  • For fans of Totoro, enjoy a major restocking of plush and other items, including the cool Totoro tissue holder (he looks like Totoro sleeping, but he's got tissues inside) as well as the large plush Totoro toys, all from Sun Arrow
  • If you love Japanese characters like Sony's cat "Doko Demo Issho" (Always With You), we have new items for you
  • For anyone who loves the old Japanese cars of the 1950s and 60s, we've got an esoteric item for you from Tomy (but stock is limited)
  • For snack fans, we've got fresh stock of Japanese miso soup, traditional Japanese furikake, and fresh stock of Pocky and Mousse Pocky
  • Finally, look for great gift ideas like the Cup Noodle coffe cups, a restock of bento box items and traditional Japanese dishes, and more!

For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:

  • First, a bunch of new magazines for you, including new amateur magazines of real couples in love hotels
  • Also, some more cool backissues of Urecco and other magazines (stocked in San Diego) -- these are quite rare and will be forever gone when they sell out
  • For leg fetish fans, we've restocked several popular issues including Mini Suka Deluxe June 2002 and the excellent Mini Suka Panty Collection vol. 4
  • We've got nice photobooks, including the sexy "greatest hits" photobook of Miwa Ohshiro, a great photobook of the "classic Japanese beauty" Minami Yoshikawa
  • For hentai fans, we've got a great new volley of manga for you, including great books by top-notch artists, including Shiwasu no Okina and the very famous Satoshi Urushihara
  • Speaking of Urushihara, we've got limited stock of his classic hentai art book Cells Works, filled with some of his most beautiful creations
  • For doujin fans, we've got a special item: a doujin-soft CD-ROM by the TGWOA circle, aka The Great Works of Alchemy, with CG and Flash movies for fans of "dick girls"
  • For fans of our incredibly selection of Japanese adult DVDs, we have many more for you, starting with a hot new No Cut!! release featuring 180 minuntes of AV by the lovely Amu Mazaki (region free)
  • Kyoko Ayana is a beautiful and very busty AV idol who appears in her first Soft on Demand title for you -- she is beautiful and very eager to please (region free)
  • For fans of Japan's very highly developed lesbian AV, Juri Wakabayashi agrees to appear in a "first lesbian" production in which she's taught lesbian sex by the experts (region free)
  • We love Ryoko Mitake for her erotic body and quiet beauty -- see her in a great soft porn DVD by Bauhaus (region free)
  • Ai Nanase stars in a great bukkake DVD in which she explores "the aesthetics of drinks a sperm" (sic) (region 2)
  • Finally see a great new Akira Watase erotic performance, Heaven's Door 2 (region 2).

J-List sells cool small toys and figures that come with candy inside. One of our favorites is the series of Captain Harlock figures from Leiji Matsumoto's classic manga and anime. We currently have two full sets in stock, and when they're gone that will be the end of them. You can see these items on the Anime Snacks page or the Anime and Toys pages.

The J-Mate site was down for a day or so during our server move, but it's back up now. Look for part 2 of the very long and in-depth English interview with Ai Nagase, as well as reviews (with lots of screenshots) from Itsuki Kinoshita's Fan Thanks Day and the excellent Bauhaus "Cosplay Lovers". The URL is http://www.jmate.com/

Greetings from J-List January 3, 2002

Hello and "Akemashite Omedetou" from all of us at J-List! The New Year is here, and J-List is happy to be back to work. We think 2002 is going to be our best year yet!

2002 will no doubt bring many new things to many new people. For Japan and Korea, 2002 is the Year of Cooperation and Good Relations, as the two countries are jointly hosting the World Cup. Everywhere you look there are signs of improved friendship between the two countries -- everything from Korean film getting more attention in Japan to Japanese food companies bring more Korean tastes to customers. After the problems of last year, we're very happy to see these changes. 2002 is also the Year of Soccer here in Japan, and about 40% of TV commercials manage to work the sport into whatever they're selling. I have to admit that I'm not the biggest soccer fan in the world, but it is great to see everyone get so excited. Harumi, the girl who lovingly wraps outgoing J-List orders, is a huge soccer fan. If anyone knows how we could get tickets for any of the Japan games (tickets were not available to the public here at all), please let us know and we'll pass the information on to her.

I received some questions about international drivers' licenses when I mentioned them before, so I thought I'd give information on them. Annoying spam bouncing around the Internet aside, the international drivers' license system basically allows you to go to a foreign country and, along with your normal valid license from home, drive legally. Japanese can go to the Japanese version of the DMV and get a Japanese version of the IDL and drive in the U.S. for up to 6 months, for example, and Americans can do the same in Japan (they get up to 1 year of driving, however). I once got an international driver's license made at a passport photo shop, but was told by a Japanese policeman that the only ones that are really legal (and which will help you out if you're in an accident) are the ones issued by AAA (Triple A). For foreigners living in Japan, it's generally more convenient to keep an IDL and renew it each year. Because you're not in the Japanese computer system, it's virtually impossible to get a ticket for anything in Japan.

Japanese portable phone companies continue to duke it out, trying to give customers better features and keep NTT and NTT Docomo (the "Microsoft" of Japan) from swallowing their market share. J-Phone stresses their phones with cameras in them (now they've got little flashes for the phones), and AU boasts the Qualcomm "CDMA" phone standard, allowing you to go to several cities in Asia and America and use your Japanese phone (if you don't mind paying $3 per minute). Now the first GPS phone has appeared -- if you get lost, just call up a map of Tokyo on your phone and find out where you are. The idea sounds good, but after finding that I can't even view Yahoo on my own Internet-enabled phone, I have to say I'll wait and see how the technology unfolds.

The "Express Checkout" feature of J-List is now live, and so far it's working really well. Basically, if you've already checked out once, you can make subsequent orders using the express checkout, and quickly select shipping, billing address, and payment method from a pull-down list. To add a new address or payment method (credit card, etc.) to your account, just check out once the old way, and the new information will be remembered. Just a note, by the way, that credit card numbers are not stored on the server at all -- just the last four numbers are, for maximum safety.

For our first update of the new year, we're coming out swinging, with a great lineup of new items for you. including:

  • First, we've got the excellent new Gokuh, the oversized erotic magazine from Eichi Publishing (great for Ami Ayukawa and Ichigo Milk fans)
  • For Anna Ohura fans, we have limited stock of the dynamite "Bauhaus Mook" filled with nothing but photos of the lovely 101 cm busty idol
  • We've got other mags for you too, including some really nice amateur and kogal sex books, and a new issue of EX CD-ROM (a value-priced adult magazine with a free video CD of footage)
  • We have two great DVD & magazine combos -- DVD Wow, featuring 2 hours of super pro AV, and a rare treat, Aika Miura and Hikaru Oishi in a bold bondage magazine + DVD coupling
  • Just because we love you, we've got a super line-up of new photobooks for you, featuring lovely girls like Shinobu Kasagi and Maria Yumeno and more -- both hardcover and softcover photobooks in stock
  • If you are into Japan's manga erotica, enjoy the double portion of books we've posted for you, including the excellent "Refrection" (Reflection) by the renowned hentai artist Okawari, the uncensored erotic manga Engine Room, and more, as well as fresh stock of some great manga works that were sold out
  • A sneak peak from the December Comic Market, we've got a beautiful "Busty Girls of Doujin" calendar, with 13 large pages capturing beautiful huge-breasted anime girls -- but we've only got three, so hurry
  • For DVD and adult video lovers, we've got another can't-be-beat volley for you -- first, from the new Hot Entertainment there's a superb 120 minute lesbian DVD with great lesbian eros (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand, three great DVD titles: the lewd "Semen Hospital" (a very erotic place to get medical care), a new "Study of Men's Penis by Innocent Girls" in which 18 year old girls see, touch and "study" a penis for the first time, and a great rape-play offering (all region-free)
  • From Moodyz, a superb erotic "soap girl" performance by Bunko Kanazawa (DVD-2)
  • If you love the delightful Rin Tomosaki, you'll love her new cosplay DVD by Wanz Factory, with anime, maid, sports wear and kimono erotic costumes
  • From Audaz, a very erotic "busty lesbian orgy" (VHS) and a dynamite "Violent Shoot" performance by Maria Yumeno (DVD-2 or VHS) -- best of all, you get a free packet of sex lotion in each Audaz DVD
  • A cool new offering from Aroma, a beautiful actress is deprived of the senses of sight and hearing as she's teased and fucked
  • Also: a fun erotic "Morning Tekoki Musume" video for fans of the pop group, and a super performance with the lovely Ai Nagase
  • Finally, for fans of S&M themes, a very cool "Bondage Battle" with three lovely AV idols, including Maiko Yuuki
  • For fans of the incredibly high-quality "cold cast" figures made in Japan, we've got limited stock (exactly one) of two beautiful figures from Kia Asamiya's manga Duplex Divine. The figures are truly incredible and must be seen to be believed (we'll order more so we have stock in the future)
  • Also on our anime & toys page, we've got some cool stuffed black cats from the Miyazaki film Kiki's Delivery Service
  • We've lowered the prices of our color bishoujo T-shirts based on Peach Princess's games, as we close out our stock to make room for making new shirt designs. Help us out by picking up some Peach Princess T-shirts!
  • If you like being able to buy the Japanese snacks and food items J-List sells, we've got some delicious Lamune candy (in many flavors), as well as a major restock of some of our most long-selling items, Milky Strawberry candies, the delicious Milky white carmels, and more
  • We've got some wacky traditional items for you, including some cool Buddhist prayer beads (which you can also use as fashionable bracelets), a super traditional bamboo dish, and more
  • Finally, find a slew of all-new Wacky Things from Japan for you, including a Hello Kitty pocket tissue holder (works with the J-List tissues you get free with each order, too!), a jumbo deck of playing cards, the ultimate food storage containers for your kitchen, a rare Japanese pan that can make square omelets, and a great vacuum attachment that will get your house really clean, and more. Please stop by and check out what we've got for you!

Once again, all of us at J-List would like to wish you a peaceful and prosperious Happy New Year. "Kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu" is what Japanese say when they greet each other for the first time each year, and it's an odd phrase that's is really hard to translate accurately -- something like "Please let us serve you again this year" is pretty close. Please let us serve you!

Tuesday, January 01, 2002

Greetings from J-List October 1, 2002

Hello again from Japan, where drivers should always practice "safety driving."

First, an update on the site. We had two major changes take place over the weekend, a sudden move of our image server (forcing us to serve J-List product images from a backup server), and a change in the way the J-List pages are rendered. The second change caused problems for some customers trying to view adult products via the search or "three day" links. The "adult cookie" that controls which J-List products are displayed was not being set properly. To set the cookie, enter the J-List site from the front again (http://www.jlist.com/) and it should work. If you experience any problems with the site at all as we work out the bugs, please email us.

The most profitable Disney theme park in the world is Tokyo Disneyland, which opened in 1983 and has broken all records for money-making for the theme park line. The Japanese penchant for spending money on souvenirs for family members, called "omiyage," helps push this profitability up. A year ago, Disney's second Japanese park opened: DisneySea, centered around themes of the sea. We took a day off work yesterday and took the kids, although we were miserable for much of the time due to a typhoon that was soaking Japan. Also, Disney's parks are very popular in Japan, and even with all the rain, there were thousands of other gusts, pushing waiting times for some rides up to 3 hours. The park features a volcano, a recreation of Agrabah from Aladdin, a fun under-the-sea area for younger kids, a cruise ship, a "jet coaster" (as they say in Japan) based on Journey to the Center of the Earth, and even a hotel where you can get married, right inside the park (for all the Japanese "Disney otaku" who REALLY love Disney characters). The kids had fun, although my son said it was "kakko warui" (unstylish, uncool) for Mickey Mouse to speak Japanese when he should be speaking English. If you'd like to see pictures of the park, http://www.jtcent.com/disneysea/index.html is a good site. (It was much wetter when we were there.)

The Japanese are a very efficient people, and they're very fond of abbreviating words and making shortcuts. Abbreviations of long words or names are made by taking the first one or two syllables from each part and combining them to make a shorter word. Kokumin Hoken, one of Japan's health care systems, is shortened to "Koku-ho" and the machines that take your picture and print it on little stickers (a huge business in Japan, where there are game centers with nothing but these machines in them) are called "puri-kura" (from "print club"). Virtually all famous actors and singers in Japan acquire nicknames that are often created by abbreviating syllables (singer Kimura Takuya, the Brad Pitt of Japan is universally known as "Kimu-taku"). The names of Western stars can be long and unwieldy in Japanese, so they're often shortened: Arnold Schwarzenegger's been known as "Shuwa-chan" for a decade, and Brad Pitt, the Kimura Takuya of America, is almost always referred to as "Bura-pii" by fans since it's easier to say. Tomo also tells me that the famous Eagle's song Hotel California is shortened to "Hote-Karu" by Japanese fans.

One of my personal favorite games is our Hentai Anime Poker, a very enjoyable single player game in which you take on computer-controlled anime girls. Now that Hentai Anime Poker comes with all 12 expansion pack girls free (a $24.95 value), it's a great buy. And this month, we're giving free shipping (half price for international) for this game, making it an even better buy than before. Enjoy the best poker game you'll ever play, with fantastic female anime opponents!

For the new update, we've got a huge selection of cool things from Japan for you, including:

  • First, for fans of Japanese trading cards, enjoy great series from Chobits and Di Gi Charat, but extremely cool
  • For fans of Hello Kitty, we've got a cool item: a "hot or cold refrigerator" that can be used in your home or in your car -- it's so cute, and very Kitty
  • Also, an incredibly stylish Kitty bathroom cup, soap dispenser and cotton ball holder that would greatly improve any bathroom, especially if you want to impress guests
  • There's a delicious snack from Japan called Mountain of Chocolate Mushrooms, little cookie mushrooms with chocolate tops -- we have this in stock now
  • Also: a cute parody cell-phone strap (which can be used as a keychain as well) with little chocolate mushrooms made or rubber -- so cute and fun!
  • We have two cute strap/keychains from "Doko Demo Issho," the funky-looking cat character from Sony
  • For toy collectors, we have more cool only-sold-in-Japan Hot Wheels cars, that are really cool and great for fans
  • For Macross/Robotech fans, we've got new *transformable* toys from Bandai and Yamato, which can transform into Fighter, Gerwalk and Battloid mode -- so cool!
  • Look for nice items for your kitchen, including some high-quality bamboo chopsticks, a cool bowl for drinking miso soup, a cute My Melody bento box, and more
  • We've got fresh stock of an old favorite: a Japanese calligraphy set including brushes, ink well, ink and paper, great for learning Chinese brush writing
  • Also, restock of ear cleaners that contains little lights and batteries, so you can more accurately clean the ears of your loved ones (only from Japan)
  • Finally, see many other new items, including a "wet tissue" pack moistened with 2000 year old water, cute hamster tissues, a great "rocket pencil" featuring the cute character Thunder Bunny (Kaori's favorite), a big restocking of bento box items, and a spiffy pencil case with random French written on it.
  • For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. These new items include:
  • For fans of Japan's unique adult magazines, we've got new issues of some great magazines for you, including the new Gal's Dee, just brimming with busty Japanese idols
  • We've got the new issue of Bachelor, featuring the beautiful Russian nude idol, Yulia Nova (but stock will go fast), as well as the new Do-Up, featuring super-detailed hardcore Do-Up
  • We've got superb new photobooks, including a positively fantastic look at high-end bondage and rope work in Japanese erotica, with fifteen different models featured
  • Also very cool, two "Chinkame" style photobooks which document the prettiest high school uniforms of Japan (a non-adult item)
  • Courtesy of Yasu, we've posted a major restock of beautiful photobooks, including fresh stock of Morning Musume, Yellows, Yinling of Joytoy and many other cool items, all back in stock for you
  • We love Japan's pretty swimsuit idols, we've got a very nice new photobook featuring Eriko Satoh, a really lovely girl
  • Of course we've got more great hentai manga in stock for you, with new works by Peace Comics, Tsukasa Comics and others, with some excellent (and uncensored) work in stock
  • Also, a HUGE slew of great hentai doujinshi in stock, with many of the best items we've put out in a long time -- be sure and see these items before they disappear
  • For erotic DVD lovers, we've got some great titles for you, starting with Nao Oikawa's super-deluxe Cosplay Beautiful Breast Idol, with parodies of Fujiko from Lupin III, Lum, Astro Boy, Gundam and an Evangelion parody that must not be missed (region free)
  • The lovely Cocolo, a professional AV performer popular in Japanese adult magazines, has a great costume play release out too (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand, the stylish "smart older woman" Natsumi Kawahama who is very classy as she shows you her top-notch sex (region free)
  • From Deep's, we've got a new Lesbian Hospital, with some excellent all-female performances for lesbian fans (region free)
  • Enjoy the very erotic anime cosplay, lesbian bukkake and more with the wonderful Nanami Yusa, from Moodyz (region 2)
  • Audaz, a super new Violent Shoot, featuring Mirai Hoshizaki in a great bukkake performance (each DVD comes with a free packet of sex lotion courtesy of Audaz)
  • Finally, look for various restocked DVDs from some of Japan's most popular studios, such as Tohjiro's Blue Sexual Desire series, the Fetish Lesbian releases, titles by Ai Nagase and more.

One of our favorite series are the Yellows photobooks by photographer Akira Gomi. For ten years, he's photographed beautiful nude women from Japan, America, and China, and presented the photos in high-quality photobooks that detail the names and other information about the models. A very interesting ongoing project from a famous Japanese photographer of nude women. We carry all the Yellows photobooks in stock at J-List.

Remember that J-List stocks a wide range of hilarious Japanese T-shirts with message that say "Expel the foreign barbarians" and "I'm looking for a Japanese girlfriend" and "I wish I were Japanese." Our shirts are 100% cotton, printed in the USA, and are really fun. Since no all customers are the same size, we go the extra mile for you, stocking size S, M, L, XL, XXL and XXXL in almost all shirts. Check out our shirts for guys and girls on our site!

Monday, December 31, 2001

Greetings from J-List December 31, 2001

Hello and "yoi otoshi o" (have a happy new year) from J-List!

Dec 31st he here in Japan, and that's a special day in Japan. While people run around town making last minute preparations for the long Japanese holiday. Since Japan closes down completely for three days, except for convenience stores and certain department stores, most people buy all the food and other items they think they'll need during the New Year's festivities. (The post office opens again on Jan 4th.)

In the U.S., at least, New Year's Eve is a time to party, but in Japan this is seldom true. Japanese eat soba (noodles), known as "toshi-koshi soba" ("Cross into the New Year noodles"), which are said to give you a long life, since the noodles are long. They sit in the kotatsu (low table with a heater under it) and eat mikans (mandarin oranges), and look back on the past year. Most Japanese watch the famous Kouhaku (lit. "Red-White"), a 3 hour TV show in which all the famous Japanese singers -- from enka singers to Morning Musume to Japanese rappers -- do "battle" (male singers vs. female singers) by singing songs, to see which team is more talented. Kouhaku is broadcast in something like 80 countries around the world, so if you've got a Japanese TV channel in your cable box, maybe you can get it too. If viewers don't want to watch Kouhaku, don't worry -- all the other TV networks in Japan eagerly fight for ratings with interesting shows of their own.

Another part of New Year's in Japan is eating mochi. Mochi is basically white rice that has been compressed until it's a hard object that looks like white plastic. But when you cook it (in a microwave or toaster oven), it becomes a hot and delicious treat that all Japanese enjoy. It's very, very chewy, and every year a number of elderly Japanese go to their deaths choking on mochi. Since it's made from compressed rice, it's also very high in calories -- there are supposedly two rice bowels of rice crammed into one square of mochi. Some mochi, which may look like a little snowman to Western eyes (a large ball of mochi with a smaller ball on top), is actually ornamental and used as a decoration.

On New Year's Day, it's time to go off to your favorite Shinto shrine for "Hatsumoude" (First Prayer of the New Year), in which you will clap your hands together and pray for happiness. Rather than a religious event, this is a fun thing that Japanese take part in almost universally. When you meet people for the first time in the new year, you tell them "Akemashite omedetou" which literally means "Congratulations on opening [the new year]." The phrase I used above, "Yoi otoshi o" (have a happy new year) is only used before Jan 1.

All rites and customs that have to do with New Year's Day flow from Shinto. Shinto (lit. "Way of the Gods"), if you don't know, is one of the two religions of Japan, and is originally a system of beliefs that there are "kami" (gods or spirits) in things like trees, rocks, mountains -- quite similar to the American Indian beliefs, actually, and logically so, since Japanese and American Indians are probably descended from the same stock. The other religion in Japan are the many flavors of Buddhism (there are as many sects of Buddhism as there are Protestant religions). As a general rule, Japanese turn to Shinto for anything to do with life (marriages, baby christenings), but turn to Buddhism for anything relating to death (funerals).

We've got some nice items for you on the J-List site today, as posted by Mayumi and Yasu and Tomo. New stock of DVDs, including a killer 4 hour DVD from Big Morkal, some fresh stock of new manga and other items, new stock of Japanese "Black Black" caffeinated spicy gum, new toy item, some interesting "wacky" items too, some new $5 magazines, and some new stock of photobooks that have come in. Please check out the new items!

We're still seeing that many customers are getting multiple copies of our J-List mailings. We're still on the problem and hope to have it solved soon. If you are getting multiple copies of our mailings, please email us and we'll check into the problem for you.