Friday, March 08, 2002

Greetings from J-List March 8, 2002

Hello again from your friends in Japan!

The Japanese love of saving money is world famous, and as a nation, Japan has a mind-boggling US$9 trillion in savings, most in cash-based accounts that earn almost no interest. Getting a 1% return on savings is considered great in Japan right now, what with the government's "zero interest policy" of keeping money practically free to borrow to try to get the economy moving again. We don't mind this policy at all -- when we built the J-List office and remodeled my wife's parents' rural liquor shop, we were able to borrow money for around 1.9%. (No, we can't arrange any loans for anyone outside of Japan, sorry.) Incredibly, the per-household average amount of cash savings for Japanese families is a whopping US$100,000. They have enough money to save this much and still have some left over for toilet seats that wash your butt for you when you're done going to the bathroom. As the economy has grown worse, Japanese households are saving more and more, which is of course a big corse reason for the problems with the economy in the first place.

Japanese banks became famous as the expanded out of Japan in the late 1980's, but the granddaddy of them all isn't a bank at all: it's the Japanese Postal Savings System, established back in 1875 when Japan was going through a period of rapid modernization. About 20% of Japanese savings is done through the Post Office here, making for a staggering amount of money -- supposedly, if it were considered a bank, it'd be the largest bank in the world. Since the Post Office doesn't loan money out to individuals or businesses, this money is put to use in various ways, funding Japan's public works and building various projects all over Japan.

One of these projects is a beautiful onsen (hot springs) hotel situated in the mountains above Nikko called Melmonte. It features many baths and saunas, a sprawling heated pool with many water slides and fountains, and the coup d'grace, an observatory where you can go view the planets and stars after your bath. Built with public funds, the hotel is partially a PR campaign for the Japanese postal system, and historical items of interest relating to the postal service are on display. Postal workers get a discount when they stay there -- which really gives our local mailman in San Diego a laugh. Since my son and I love Japanese baths so much, I'm taking him there on Saturday as a special treat for him. So you know we'll be very clean this weekend!

For the pre-weekend update, we've got a bunch of nice items for you, including:

  • First, we have some great new magazines for you, including the new Urecco, laden with beautiful models for you, including the new "too big poster" (very large nude poster of Hitomi Hasegawa and Hitomi Hayasaka)
  • We've got a new bust fetish magazine for fans, Oh! Pai
  • For photobook lovers, we've got several nice items, including an all-new photobook by the lovely Risa Tani, as well as fresh stock of several of our popular leg, stocking and mini-skirt fetish photobooks
  • Also: a very rare and interesting photobook of the lovely Mariko Mise, which comes in a limited edition box with a poster and T-shirt (available by special order, only 5000 of these have been made)
  • For hentai anime fans, we've got a rare "complete work book" (art book) on the anime OAV "A Kite" by La Femme Nikita
  • Look for another large update of adult comics from Japan on our manga page, with several really cool works that really stand out, including an incredibly hentai parody of Love Hina, Rayearth, and Utena
  • Also: Yasu has worked hard to restock our manga pages, with fresh stoc of many popular items so you can get them with no waiting
  • For DVD collectors, we've got two new 180 minute "No Cut" DVD releases, which feature three full video releases of two very lovely professional AV idols
  • From Soft on Demand, a great new "Penis study with innocent girls" release, in which girls without much sexual experience see and touch a man's penis for the first time
  • A great item from SOD's Deep's label, we've got a 120 minute DVD which collections the best cum shots from 61 actresses in a great item for you
  • There's a great new "chijo" (lewd woman or slut) performance by Hitomi Ikeno, Yuuki Tsukamoto and Riran Mizuho for fans of bold, erotic women who pursue their sex with a vengeance
  • Finally, Tomo has updated the video and DVD pages, with fresh stock of many items, including videos by Akira Fubuki and Anna Ohura, and the popular new items by M's Video Group
  • Because we love The Dog, we've got more The Dog stuff for you, including some very cool (and in Japan, hard to buy) The Dog bento boxes, and cute colorful tape with images of dogs on it
  • Our only-available-from-Japan Hello Kitty items continue to be popular, and we've added many all-new items for Kittyphiles
  • Also for Kitty fans, an entirely new category of item -- Hello Kitty stick-type chewing candy, which looks like sticks of normal gum but is really delicious soft, fruit-flavored candy you can chew and swallow
  • Other newly added snack items including delicious rice crackers, tasty "pudding flavored Pocky," a reduced-salt version of our popular miso soup, and delicious ume flavored hard candy
  • When we saw the very cool Sesame Street character pens from Sony Creative Products, we were bowled over and got some stock for J-List, even though it's not our usual area of business
  • For anime & toy fans, see the cool "miracle action figures" of Devilman we've posted, along with a very, very cool Cyber Trooper robot figure from DNA
  • For fans of the bilingual comics series from Kodansha, which let you read Cardcaptor Sakura, Ah My Goddess and Love Hina in English, we've got a general restocking of several volumes that had sold out
  • We've restocked one of my favorite anime movies, Kiki's Delivery Service, a 2 DVD set released only in Japan, which comes loaded with the English and Japanese versions (both dubbed and subbed), interviews and extras from the creators, the storyboard version of the film, and more! It's region 2 and highly recommended for collectors!
  • Finally, an item I've wanted to sell through J-List for years, the extra-large cat bus tissue box holder, which accepts any standard box of tissue and lets you take the tissue out through a hole in his back.

Remember that J-List now carries some interesting U.S.-published adult comics from White Lightning, including the first three volumes of the English version of Tohru Nishimaki's Blue Eyes. These are all stocked in our ever-growing San Diego office for your ordering convenience. See the English hentai manga page for these items.

The "top 5" list has been updated, so you can see what other J-List customers have been buying over the last week.

Well, that's all for now -- thanks as always for being a valued part of J-List and making it all fun for us. We'll see you next week!

Wednesday, March 06, 2002

Greetings from J-List March 6, 2002

Greetings, programs, from all of us at J-List!

English grammar is sometimes too difficult for Japanese to accept, so they "reduce" it to be easier for all Japanese to understand. If you buy shampoo in Japan, you'll have many brands of "rinse in shampoo" to choose from. (We've also got some "Vitamin C In Candy" in stock today.) Movie titles are sometimes "trimmed" in this manner -- You've Got Mail was released as You Got Mail, since it's easier for Japanese to digest in that way. Many Japanese words get similarly "adjusted" when they enter use in English, with the original meanings changed. "Hara-kiri" is ritual Japanese disembowelment that was done in the Edo Period, but it somehow managed to enter English usage pronounced "hairy carry," meaning to commit suicide. In Japan, a hibachi (hee-ba-chee) is a kind of heart that was built into houses 100 or more years ago, for cooking or warmth, but in English it's a cute little barbecue for apartment-dwellers. Language is fun.

I am a big fan of sushi, and eat it whenever I get the chance. As you can expect, sushi is pretty popular here in Japan, although in land-locked Gunma Prefecture, right in the middle of the main Japanese island of Honshu, we're as far from fresh fish as one can be. There are many sushi restaurants, including expensive restaurants where a licensed professional chef cuts the fish for you (you have to have a license to prepare sushi in Japan) and "mawari-zushi" (where you wait for your sushi to come along on a conveyor belt). But the best sushi in all of Japan (at least in my experience) is a place called Edokko, in Narita City (near the airport), a fabulous place with "neta" (the fish part of the sushi) so big and fresh it falls off the rice. If you're ever laid over in Narita, stop by for some good sushi. (To get there, go to the train station and say "Edokko sushi?" to any taxi driver, and they'll point you in the right direction).

For today's update, we've got another volley of incredibly fun and rare things from Japan, including:

  • First, we've got new magazines for you, including the lovely new Gal's Dee, filled with beautiful Japanese gals size "D" and up (all the way up to I cup)
  • Also, fun amateur sex and kogal magazines for fans of Japanese girls
  • We've got some fantastic new photobooks today, including new hardcover and softcover books with some of Japan's top beautiful models
  • If you are into fetish for panties, bikini or "that funny patch of cloth that sits between a girl's legs" we recommend Sachiyo Isobe's dynamite photobook
  • This month's Mini Suka Deluxe sold out in record time, sorry for all who wanted to buy a copy -- but we've got a great replacement item for you, the wonderful Mini-skirt and Panty Stockings Collection, featuring tons of famous Japanese idols
  • For fans of hentai manga, we've got a very special update for you, including the incredibly erotic manga "The Den" by Yukio Shijima
  • Like doujinshi? We've got stock of the very nice Angel Pain 5, an *all color* doujinshi, as well as fresh stock of the best-selling Blue Eyes by Tohru Nishimaki
  • We've got tons of great adult DVDs for you, including the bold new slut-in-hospital performance with a funny English title ("We're crazy about the act of molesting") (region free)
  • The popular "Bukkake Circle in the Blue Sky" series continues, with Yukari Sawamura performing boldly with many actors (region free)
  • For fans of Japanese indies hardcore, enjoy the great sexual performance by Yuna Akimoto with tons of very hard themes and bukkake (region 2)
  • We have more very special and impossible to find videos from Milky Cat, some of their finest bukkake material ever!
  • Finally, we've got a good restock of several very popular DVDs, including Kanabun's tekoki special, Aika Loves You, Semen White Paper and fresh stock of the G-Taste hentai DVDs from Kodansha
  • For fans of Japan's bold and fun pro wrestling world, see an idol DVD by Soft on Demand capturing the life and times of two professional wrestling idols, Miho Wakizawa and Kayo Noumi
  • We've two beautiful new "cold cast" (polyresin) anime statues in, Sayuri and Jun from Hiroki Yagami's "Futari ni Omakase" -- and they are just too cool
  • Also for Japanese toy fans, we've got the first-ever stock of the brand-new Kubrick Tron figures, with very cool figures and vehicles from the classic movie
  • For fans of lovely Japanese idols, we've got a very nice idol card series, the HIP Virtual Photocard Collection (features Yuka and others)
  • For Japanese food and snack fans, we've got several items, including tasty Ramune candy, "Vitamin C in Candy," Lotte "Crunky" chocolate and almonds, crab pilaf, Japanese "Matcha Milk" mix (green tea milk), and orange soda flavored Hi-Chew Kids
  • Also: a major restocking of our unique Japanese chewing gum, including Black Black, No Time (toothbrush gum), Plum Gum (Ume), Blue Berry and Sweetie (Grapefruit)
  • For Hello Kitty lovers, we've got several fun new items, including a very cool "Kogal Kitty" set of bad-girl Hello Kitty plush dolls, as well as fresh stock of toilet paper, chopsticks, straws and other items
  • If you like cool Japanese monster movies, we've got a dynamite "Perfect Analysis" of Gamera, one of my own favorite movie monsters
  • Finally, fresh stock of onigiri makers, sushi molds, bento boxes, Japanese vocabulary study cards, funny signs in Japanese, Licca-chan memorabilia, and much more. Check out all the new items!

J-List has many unique products for fans of Japan, and one of the most wacky are our own Wacky Japanese T-shirts, which contain funny messages in Japanese like "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" or "Hen na Gaijin" ('m a Strange Foreigner). Wearing these funky shirts are great ways to shock Japanese people you run into, who will wonder why you got a shirt like that (they may want to take a picture of you). Please note that we're always closing out our current stock of shirts to make room for new designs, so most of the shirts we have in stock now won't be available in the future -- so you should get yours now while we have the design and sizes you want. The shirts are all printed in the USA and all sizes are American sizes, and we have size M through XXL in most of the shirts.

Monday, March 04, 2002

Greetings from J-List March 4, 2002

Greetings from your friends in Japan!

Poor Kaori. Some evil person broke into her husband's car and stole an expensive CD player and "car navi" (those nifty navigational computers -- I've lived in Japan so long I'm not sure what they're called in English). He also broke the glass in Kaori's Nissan Cube before fleeing the scene. During the past five years, as the Japanese recession has continued, we've seen more and more instances of crime, and the liquor store my wife's parents operate has been broken into and/or had money stolen three times. What is happening to Japan?

As the recession continues here, many industries are brought down as some others flourish. When companies vacate buildings in Isesaki, they are often replaced by "sara-kin," high-interest loan companies like Acom and Takefuji Yen Shop and Lake (which is owned by General Electric venture capital arm, by the way) that lend money to individuals -- perhaps Scott Adams would call them "induhviduals" -- at up to 30% per year. These companies spend millions on advertising on late-night TV to get consumers to use their money-loan machines, which let anyone borrow up to $3000 with just a drivers' license. In the New Japanese Economy, the growth of these high-interest loan companies has been incredible, and many of the founders top the roles of Japan's wealthiest businessmen.

One area that I'm glad to see booming are Japanese onsens and bath-related entertainment, a uniquely Japanese way to enjoy yourself. With the opening of Yura no Sato ("Land of Hot Water and Comfort"), I now have two great hot springs within 10 minutes of my house. Yura no Sato sports at least twenty different indoor and outdoor baths, several saunas, a traditional Japanese "pot bath" (tsubo-buro), and more. My son and I have already been several times, since we are just baka for springs.

Do you have a cat's tongue? If you can't eat hot food, then Japanese would say that you do. Cat's don't like to eat hot food, and a person who likes to cool his food before eating is said to have a "neko-jita." It's totally different from the English phrase "Cat got your tongue?" but an interesting area of confusion between English and Japanese.

For the start of the week update, we've got a great selection of items for you, including:

  • First, we've got new magazines, including the new issues of Penthouse Japan and Penthouse Special, filled with lovely Japanese models shot by Japanese photographers
  • Since our bargain magazine pages are quite popular, we've posted fresh stock of our low-priced magazines
  • For MPEG (video CD) fans, check out the new EX CD-ROM, featuring a magazine and 70 minute sampler CD-ROM for your enjoyment
  • We've got great photobooks for you, including the hair nude photobook of Airi Hoshizaki, fresh stock of several other very nice photobooks and more
  • For manga fans, we've got several excellent new volumes for you, by some of Japan's most famous studios, as well as a major restocking of popular past issues that had been taken off the manga page -- look for about twenty new and back-in-stock items
  • If you're a fan of yaoi comics, we've restocked several of the popular b-Boy Zipz anthology mangas (270+ pages per volume)
  • For DVD fans, we've got some great new items for you, starting with two of the popular "No Cut!!" DVDs from Kuki, featuring 180 minutes of AV (3 complete video releases) per disc (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand, more erotic fun with "Shiritori Samurai" in which girls agree to be raped if they lose a famous Japanese word game (region free)
  • For indies lovers, rare offerings from Dream Quest, featuring Ai Nagase in some of her best fetish performances (region 2)
  • Finally, an incredibly cool item from MVG, Kazuhiko Matsumoto's M's Video Group, a super new Semen Champion Carnival in which four beautiful AV idols complete in a bukkake championship (VHS)
  • For region 2 DVD fans, we've got limited stock of the very nice Ah My Goddess motion picture, which was shown in Japanese theatres in 2001
  • For fans of "The Dog," the very cute plush line of little furry dogs, we've got two new items -- the Shuh Tzu and the Poodle, both of which should be very popular (so get yours before we sell out)
  • For fans of our Japanese snacks and food, look for several nice items, including a delicious (?) corn-flavored caramel treat, fresh stock of our best-selling miso soup with wakame and tofu, and fresh stock of Black Black candy (which sold out in record time) and Strawberry Pocky
  • Also, we've got fresh stock of various Japanese gum, including the fun and bizarre blueberry flavored "Fruit of the Bubble" bubblegum
  • For collectors of anime statues made using the "cold cast" production method (for beautiful detail), we've got a great new one -- Vampire Hunter D, rendered in beautiful 1/7 scale polyresin
  • Also for anime lovers, many cool new additions to our recently redesigned anime ' toy pages, including Lupin III keychains, a cool soft vinyl figure of Cobra, and the brand-new Kubrick Planet of the Apes toys
  • Also: a super-soft, super nice "stuffed plush mascot" of Jiji, the black cat from Kiki's Delivery Service
  • For JPOP and idols fans, a very special item -- the dynamite hardcover photobook of the lovely Maki Gotoh, of Morning Musume
  • We've got fresh stock of the Kubrick-like Tinibiz figures of famous characters from the Doraemon universe, one of the most popular long-running anime shows ever
  • We've also got some new cute items on our "Wacky things form Japan -- cute items" page, including new Hello Kitty items for collectors of "kawaii" (cute in Japanese)
  • Finally, look for cool double-ended pens with beautiful colors, unique Japanese cotton swabs with hooks on the ends, super cool sushi erasers, and other fun items!

One of my own favorite hentai/bishoujo games, which I still find myself playing late at night despite my own busy schedule, is Hentai Anime Poker. Featuring five different games of strip poker, including Texas Hold 'Em, the game allows you to "plug in" other anime opponents, so you can play for hours. As a special thanks to our bishoujo game customers, we're offering our "POKERPACK" (the Hentai Anime Poker CD-ROM with all four downloadable packs of opponents) for an even better price, just $24.95, half the price of buying the game with the download packs separately. The offer ends this month.