Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Greetings from J-List March 20, 2002

Hello again from Japan, where having kids means never getting to take a bath by yourself.

Tomorrow is a big day for many of the Japanese gaijin community, the annual Macworld Expo in Tokyo, a day to head out to Tokyo Big Sight and see the new Luxo Jr. iMacs and whatever Apple will have for us. For many of my friends, it's an excuse to spend a night on the town in Tokyo, bouncing from bar to bar in Shibuya and Roppingi, and this year will be no different. For whatever reason, frozen margueritas are impossible to find in Japan, however the T.G.I. Friday's in Shibuya has some frosty ones.

Japan has had a decade of bad economic news, with no less than three separate recessions during the ten years I've lived here. As bad times continue, a more or less "official theme song" for the Japanese recession has emerged -- "Ashita ga aru sa" (There's always a tomorrow) by Kyu Sakamoto, the talented singer who also sang the famous Sukiyaki Song. A happy, uplifting song about keeping your chin up so you can enjoy the happier days ahead, it's found its way into numerous TV commercials and is played on the radio quite a lot here. You can hear the song and see a picture of Sakamoto at this site: http://www.manasepro.co.jp/kyu/tomorrow.html . See the lyrics, in romaji (roman character) and Japanese, at http://www.japankiku.com/lyrics/Ashita_ga_aru_sa.html . Sakamoto was killed in the most famous plane crash of Gunma Prefecture, where J-List is based -- it was one of the only ones, too, as there are no airports anywhere in our prefecture.

The uncommonly warm days have done their work on Japan, and the millions of cherry trees around the country have officially started their blooming for which they're famous -- the season of the sakura has once again come to Japan. Sakura season is very short, usually about a week, and during that time Japanese make any excuse possible to go to a park with cherry trees and engage in "hanami" or "flower viewing" to enjoy the beauty of the sakura before their fleeting existence is over. We'll be holding our annual J-List flower viewing, as we always do.

For the middle-of-the-week update, we've got some great new items for you, including:

  • First, we've got new magazines, including the great new Urecco (filled with tons of positively beautiful women), as well as some popular amateur magazines for your enjoyment
  • If you like value, enjoy the new DVD Perfect Guide, which brings you a whopping 3 video CDs of MPEG "quickies" spanning a great range of amateur and professional adult video from Japan
  • We've got some great photobooks for you, including the hardcover and light bondage photobook of Minami Kurihara, and more
  • We've got a great update of erotic hentai manga for you, including some dynamite works by Action Comics, Toen Comics, Hot Milk Comics and more -- check out the very nice items we've added for you
  • We've also restocked several volumes of the popular Paradise Lost, the excellent "doujinshi anthology manga' which compile the best Evangelion adult parody doujinshi in a keep-forever manga volume
  • Also: Trans 3, a "hard boy's love adult comic anthology" for yaoi fans
  • For fans of Japan's very special erotic DVDs, we've got some nice items for you, starting off with a fantastic new Maiko Kazano erotic soft porn presentation from Bauhaus
  • There's a great new "No Cut!!" series DVD, featuring a massive 180 minutes (3 hours) and three complete video productions for a great low price
  • For fans of the high fetish Milky Stop M's Video Group, we have a very rare bukkake video offering
  • We've got a great 2-in-1 Tekoki Series Special featuring dynamite Japanese hand-job fetish material
  • Tomo has restocked several popular DVD titles, including our popular Anna Ohura DVDs and erotic Adult Video Wrestling DVD that has been such a hit
  • Also, look for reduced prices on many DVDs and videos, and with included free shipping, too!
  • We have many great Japanese candy and snack items in stock, including Good Stone Choco (a chocolate snack that looks like stones), Jersey Milk milk-flavored hard candy, and the limited edition Kit Kat Orange flavor from Nestle
  • Also, fresh stock of the Green Tea hard candy and chocolate covered sunflower seeds (which are really good!)
  • We've seen a lot of interest in our Tomica Japanese mini-car toys, so we've posted some more: the Toyota Celsior (sold as Lexus 400 in the US), the Prius, and the Hilux Surf, all very cool
  • Japan is very big on cute hamsters, and we've got some cool items for you, including hamster message stamps that say "Konnnichi wa" in hiragana, a Hamutaro "free note" (meaning a notebook that you can do anything you like with), and a deluxe stuffed Hamutaro stuffed toy complete with sunflower seed in his little hands
  • One of the most popular items in our history has been the Hamster Club bento boxes, but we keep selling out of them whenever we get some in -- well, we've got 20 in stock now, so they should last a little while
  • We've got fresh stock of some "kawaii" (cute) items, including Hello Kitty mayonnaise cups (which you can use as contact lens cases if you're so inclined), more Hello Kitty toilet paper, and more!
  • If you want to add a touch of Japanese to your room or house, we've got some nice Japanese signs and message boards for you, some of which are very wacky
  • Finally, look for other fun items, including a marijuana wristband ("good fit!"), fresh stock of some great tools to help you study Japanese, new health and fun items, and much more!

Remember that J-List carries many fun items from Japan. One of the most fastest sellers in recent memory has been the Hello Kitty Vibrators, long rumored and thought to be an urband legend, but made by Sanrio for limited distribution in Japan. We've got about 100 in stock right now, so check this cool item out -- makes a unique and thoughtful gift, too.

Monday, March 18, 2002

Greetings from J-List March 18, 2002

Hello again from your friends at J-List!

One thing you learn when you learn a language like Japanese, is that a meaning in one language will not necessarily match up with meanings in other languages perfectly. In English, there is one concept for cold, but in Japanese, there are two, one for coldness in the air (samui) and one for something that's cold to the touch (tsumetai). When you learn very basic word like "life" in another language, you realize how difficult it can be to match meanings of some concepts up with their counterparts in other languages -- some of the words used in Japanese which correspond with the English word life include "seikatsu" (which means a person's life, as in, a new life in a new city), "jinsei" (which is a person's life, from their birth to their death), and "seimei" (used, say, to refer to life on other planets, and also life insurance). Implementing the Chinese character for "life" was evidently difficult for the Japanese, too, and as a result, this character has many possible pronunciations, compared with most characters, which have two pronounciations (one Japanese and one Chinese). To see this character for yourself, click here: http://www.jlist.com/c2/life.jpg

The Japanese have an interesting sense of things sometimes, which never fails to impress me. A balding man with a comb-over and lines of hair on the top of his said is said to have "bar code hair," which is certainly an interesting way to look at things. (On one Japanese TV show I caught, they touched a bar code reader to men's hair to see what amount came up on the register, then they gave that amount of money to each man.) Opening a bag of potato chips at the middle, so that it opens out to be a single sheet for the chips to sit on, is known as "manko-ake" (MAHN-ko AH-keh), or "opening as a woman's sexual region" ("manko" means the woman's sexual organ, and is the only truly "bad" word that exists in Japanese). And I never thought that Tic Tacs came in "toothpaste flavor" until I Japanese pointed it out to me -- now I can't eat Tic Tacs anymore.

I learn something new every day I live in Japan. Last weekend, my son and I were headed off to Nikko to see the temples and the resting place of Ieyasu Tokugawa (the third of the three unifiers of Japan), and the day before, we were worried if the weather would be good for us. So my son took off his shoe and threw it on the ground. It landed upright, so he knew it would be a nice day the next day. If the shoe had landed upside down, it would have meant rain. It didn't rain while we were in Nikko, so who knows, maybe there's something to Japanese children's weather prognostication.

Peach Princess's upcoming sci-fi bishoujo game, Critical Point, is being printed right now, and should be back from the duplicators very soon. This is a great game, with many different unique game endings and excellent graphics. The story for Critical Point was written by Kenichi Matsuzaki, who was heavily involved with Macross (Robotech), the original Gundam series, Orgus and Bubblegum Crisis, and it has the "look and feel" of classic 80's anime series. You can preorder the game still, and get free shipping as soon as the game ships. Each copy of the game comes with a spiffy numbered Moon Base ID badge, too!

For our first update of the new week, we've got some great items prepared for you, including:

  • First, we have new magazines including some really nice new amateur magazines that feature contemporary Japanese girls aged 18-22 in love hotels with their boyfriends and more
  • For fans of various Japanese sexy uniforms, we've got Seifuku Invitation, featuring many lovely AV idols like Yuna Akimoto, Nao Oikawa and more
  • Also, we've added many new discount magazines for you, posted to magazine page 3
  • We've got some nice newly posted photobooks for you, including the lovely nude photobooks of Minako Fujimoto, Honami Seki and more, as well as restocked photobooks
  • We have a great stock of new hentai manga volumes for fans of Japanese adult comics, including "Sakura Sakura," an erotic celebration of Spring, as well as fresh stock of several new manga items
  • Also: for Yaoi fans, enjoy the newly posted items for your enjoyment
  • For DVD collectors, enjoy several newly posted items, including two great "No Cut!!" DVDs featuring 180 minutes and three complete video productions each (one region free, one region 2)
  • For fans of Deep's unique Holed Panty series, which gets around mosaic laws by cutting a small hole in the actress's panties during her performance, we've got a new "2-in-1" DVD for you (region free)
  • If you are a fan of Japan's bondage fetish DVDs, enjoy the new Bondage Battle ~ Beautiful Soldier (region free)
  • For fans of extremely beautiful lesbian performances, we've got an excellent new DVD by Cinemagic, featuring 12 different actresses, including the very rare and popular Miki Sawaguchi (region free)
  • A special bukkake DVD from Wanz Factory, Semen Love, featuring the lovely Milk Asaoka
  • Finally, we've got another special 2-in-1 Angel DVD release from Attackers/Idea Pocket, featuring the lovely Sally Yoshino and Yuki Tazaki
  • For anime fans, we've got some great items for you, starting with limited edition figures of Capcom game girls shyly giving chocolate to you
  • We get many requests to carry Japanese high school uniforms, and we've got one for you -- a joke item which consists of everything you need to be a wacky high school girl, with skirt, vest, wig, hair flower, and loose socks (both men and women can wear this)
  • For lovers of the terribly cute "The Dog" character goods from Japan, we've got stock of some cute new items, an excellent set of "The Dog" chopsticks with holder, and a very high-quality all-purpose pouch for keeping anything
  • For fans of Mobile Suit Gundam, see the most excellent and most complete transforming Gundam RX-78 we've seen to date, from Bandai
  • We've got new Hello Kitty items, including a great Hello Kitty "congratulations envelope" which you use to bring money to people at weddings (but you can find many uses for it), a really cool My Melody tissue set, and more
  • Japan is far ahead of the West in many areas, one of them being really cute pencil cases -- we've got a cute "Study Bear!!" pencil case in stock for you now
  • The three-tiered bento box, which separate compartments for rice, your main meal and an included water bottle, sold out in record time, amazing all of us -- fortunately, we've got more of this great item for you, in a new color
  • We've got fresh stock of the best ear-cleaning item you will ever find, a cotton swab made of ringed cotton that feels great (I bring them to family members as gifts from Japan)
  • Finally, look for other cool items, such as the ultimate way to grind sesame seeds (or just about anything else), a cute cash book for recording incoming and outgoing money payments in a cash account, fresh stock of our really cute metal Hamster Club pin, and more!

The J-Mate website has been updated yet again, with new photobook reviews, and a great interview with the lovely Hirose Manatsu. The URL is http://www.jmate.com/

J-List customers tell us that the #1 way they heard about our unique little site was through word of mouth. If there's someone you think would be interested in our fun products from Japan, or just in our slice-of-life email updates from Japan, please let them know about us! Thanks very much.