In Japanese, words are made from kanji, the Chinese characters that have meanings built into them. When modern hospitals came to Japan and a word for "operating room" was needed, they built a word out of the meanings in the Chinese characters. Sometimes, though, the meanings of words breaks down when their definitions change. The Japanese word for preschool teacher was "hobo" (literally "protecting mother"), but like words like fireman, stewardess and mailman in English, it needed upgrading to a term that didn't refer to a particular sex. The new "correct" is "hoikushi" (a professional-sounding word that means care-giver). A family with only one parent is called "boshi katei" which literally means "household of mother and child," but this word doesn't serve its purpose very well if the single parent is male. And Japanese who spent several years overseas then returned to Japan are called "kikoku shijo" or "girl-children who have returned to this country." The terms is used for males as well as females, despite the fact that the "girl" meaning is built into the word.
A fun part of learning Japanese is memorizing the "counters." In Japanese, you use different words for counting different objects depending on what shape they are. If you're counting sheets of paper, you count with "mai" (ichi mai, ni mai, san mai, and so on). For any long, cylindrical object, you use "hon" (which changes to pon or bon depending on the preceding word), e.g. ippon, ni hon, san bon, and so on. (Roppingi, if you want to know, means "six trees" -- roku plus the "pon" counter, and ki is Japanese for tree.) Small animals are counted with "hiki" (which changes to piki or biki), cows and horses are counter with "tou" (ittou, ni tou, san tou), birds with "wa," and any large machine like a car is counted with "dai." There are some difficult ones to get down -- for example, an umbrella is counted with hon/pon because it's long and cylindrical, but when it's opened, it's in a different shape. How do you count it? Does the Space Shuttle count as an airplane or a spaceship when counting. We used to bug my Japanese teacher, Higurashi-sensei, with questions like that.
We've reorganized our Anime & Toys page so that they're hopefully laid-out more logically for you. Now all anime & toy items are posted on each category, Anime Figures, Stuffed Animals and so on, as well as on a handy new "View all Anime & Toy Items" category, so you can browse everything we've got in stock at once. And speaking of stock, J-List has been able to make available the extremely cool and rare Totoro stuffed animal line from Studio Gibli, including the super-giant-massive Sleeping Totoro that is 32 inches high! Feedback on the new categories is always appreciated.
For the pre-weekend update, we've got a bunch of cool items for you, including:
- First of all, we have great new magazines for you, including the new Video Boy and Best Video issues, super "all purpose" adult video magazines with lots of information and pics, as well as new kogal and amateur magazines!
- For fans of Japan's beautiful Race Queens, check out the deluxe Cool Girls EX which we've got in stock for you, featuring the Mario Racing Team and more
- For photobook fans, we've got fresh stock of many popular items, including Race Queen Miki Munemasa, with lower prices on many of our photobooks
- For hentai manga fans, we've got another great selection of new items for you, with fresh stock of new volumes as well (including the incredibly popular High School Planet Prowler)
- For hentai art book collectors, we've been able to locate fresh stock of the popular Yui Shop books, but stock is limited so snap them up before they sell out again
- If you love doujinshi, we've got more fresh-from-the-Comic-Market works for you. Also, we've reposted some of our popular lower-priced doujinshi works, with new scans so you can see what they're like. Check them out!
- From Soft on Demand we've got a nice DVD: "Study of men's penis with innocent girls." It's interesting to see the reactions as a room full of inexperienced girls see and touch a penis for the first time
- Also from SOD, enjoy the "lewd talk and multi-angle" of Nanami Yusa, which features many scenes with multiple angels that you can change with your DVD controller
- We've got a new "Swimming Girl" fetish DVD for you, for fans of spandex and swimming pool sex
- For Anna Ohura fans, a great new large-breast fetish release on video, Complete Bust, featuring some superb erotic performing by this busty lady. As the cover says, "That's Excellent Big Bomb!"
- Finally a very special item from Waap Entertainment, a super bukkake release that's got to be seen to be believed. This rare work is very special because it was produced by M's Video Group, aka MVG, an indies video company so aloof and popular that their products are almost completely unavailable except through one retail store the company operates
- We've got more good news: it turns out that the DVD releases of the bold and interesting indies AV studio Aroma are region-free, so you can play them on any DVD player! We've posted some of very interesting fetish titles for you, and will get in more soon
- Finally, we've got fresh stock of many of our popular DVD titles, including several Aika Miura indies DVDs, and Bunko Kanazawa's excellent "Kageki" production which happens to be subtitled in English, Chinese and Korean!
- Borderline 3 ~ Frozen Beach was out of stock for a few weeks, but we're happy to report that it's back from the CD duplicators. Borderline 3 is a great collection of hentai parody CG from illustrator Sakaki Naomoto (who designed the J-List logo, hence we've got a soft spot for his works). Get free shipping on this and all doujin-soft CD works this month!
- Finally, the first issue of AG, the Super Erotic Anthology Comic, is in stock, and we've already processed those with subscriptions. AG is a great idea from Icarus Comics, an English-language manga compilation magazine that will carry translated hentai manga from Japan and the U.S., and we hope everyone at J-List will support their efforts (we know we will -- look for articles by yours truly as well as other content J-List fans will enjoy)
- We have the above-mentioned Giant Totoro that is so cool we couldn't believe it when we saw it -- if you'd like a giant icon of Japanese pop culture in your room, we've got one for you!
- Also, we've got fresh stock of the very popular Totoro "tin toy" series, including the sold-out Totoro Bus Stop playset, which features many characters from the film in a wind-up toy
- For Oh My Goddess! (Ah Megamisama) fans, fresh stock of the sold-out PVC/soft vinyl figures of Belldandy, Urd and Skuld
- The only-released-in-Japan Hot Wheels toys have attracted interest, so we've posted more, authentic Hot Wheels recreations of some of the most famous Kamen Rider (Masked Rider) motorcycles + figures ever made
- If you love Morning Musume, the 13-member cute girl idol group, you can get their newest idol cards and enjoy their pretty faces
- For fans of the popular Bilingual Manga (in English and Japanese) from Kodansha, we've restocked the Love Hina and Oh My Goddess titles -- read them in English!
- If you love Japan's snacks and food, we've got many new items for you, including a delicious new set of "raw style" miso soup, a delicious set of dried salmon furikake that you sprinkle over rice, and the famous Mill Make, a delicious coffee-milk flavored powder you mix with milk, consumed universally by all elementary school kids in Japan (thus everyone says "natsukashii" when they drink it)
- For lovers of sweeter things, we've got a delicious "air in chocolate" from Lotte as well as a highly recommend item, Meiji "Poifull" sweet jellybeans
- Our authentic Japanese headbands (hachimaki) are very popular, and we've got a new one posted for you, "Will Power"
- J-List carries the only authentic Japanese "loose socks" (worn by high school girls) you are likely to find, and we've got fresh stock of "socks glue" which you apply to keep your socks up
- Finally, check out a cool Japanese way to remove oil from your face, a super set of pens that is really four pens, cute chopsticks and chopstick holders, fresh stock of our popular tofu storage box and best-selling Hamster Club bento box, and in celebration of the Olympics, a cool Gold Medal!
At J-List, we love all forms of Japanese pop culture, from Hello Kitty vibrators to beautiful Japanese things. We've got stock (although it's going fast) of the wonderful Gummi Sushi, individually wrapped packages of Japanese gummi candy in sushi shapes, perched atop marshmallow "rice."
Are you an anime fan in Canada? If so, be sure to check out Anime North, a great convention that you should be sure to get to. For more information, see their homepage at http://www2.animenorth.com:1080/