Friday, April 05, 2002

Greetings from J-List April 5, 2002

Hello and TGIF from all your friends at J-List!

One reason I love living in Japan is that I love the food. Someone once told me that if you don't like the food in a certain country, it's impossible to be happy there -- well, I've got no problems with the food in Japan, that's for sure. Our favorite restaurants include Ran Ran, a local ramen and gyoza (aka "pot stickers") restaurant, Gin (Mediterranean pasta and fish), Tsukiji Sushi (conveyor-belt sushi, it's really good), and Soba-gura (a traditional Japanese soba and udon restaurant we frequent). But my family's favorite restaurant hands-down is Mahatama New Delhi, an Indian restaurant in the neighboring city, where I happened to take my wife for our first date. Indian curries are really delicious, and the soft, warm nan bread of Mahatma is the best I've tasted in all my travels around Japan. Somehow we come up with an excuse to drive to Maebashi and eat Indian food just about once a week. My own favorite is the pumpkin and chicken curry Kaduh Murgh...

Part of Peter's Unified Theory of Japan is that everything that can be different between the U.S. and Japan, will be different. In America, you make an emergency call by dialing 911, but in Japan, it's 119. Green is blue in Japan -- when the Japanese see a green traffic light, they call it blue (ao) despite all the protests of gaijin living here that the light is really green. There are very few lawyers in Japan -- a couple of years ago, the Japan Bar Association had to dispatch lawyers to several rural parts of the country where there were no lawyers at all, so that people living there could have access to basic legal services. When you buy a house, it doesn't go up in value as it does in the States, it goes down to zero almost immediately -- since no one would want to live in a "used" house, only the land retains value in Japan. Finally, when you want to lose weight in America, doctors often tell you to drink eight glasses of water a day to help flush food out before it's totally absorbed by the body. In Japan? The one thing you must not do if you want to lose weight is drink water, otherwise you'll become a "mizu-debu" (water-fat, i.e. bloated from water). Who is to say which way is right?

We've made some improvements to the J-List website, improving the ways you can search for products. Now, searching for both Aika Miura and Miura Aika will bring up results, regardless of word order. If you want to find both Madoka Ozawa and Aika Miura items, just search for "Madoka Ozawa or Aika Miura" (no quotes). To find an actual string, just put what you want to search for in quotes. As always, please let us know if you experience any problems with the new search system or the site in general.

For the big pre-weekend update, we've got some nice items for you, including:

  • First, new magazines, including the great new Dela Beppin, filled with Japan's hottest AV idols for you
  • For fans of amateur magazines, we've got several nice items for you, showing various fetishes from Japan
  • Also, a new issue of Best Video Super Document, which shows many very interesting behind-the-scenes shots of Japan's famous AV idols working hard at their jobs
  • For fans of Japan's unique hardcover glossy photobooks, we've posted some excellent works for you to check out
  • Japan also boasts some of the most incredible high-end bondage photography in the world, and a new photobook featuring Mayumi Sawaki is just wonderful for S&M fans
  • If you are a collector of Japan's popular erotic manga comics, check out the new and restocked items for you in time for the weekend
  • For fans of DVDs from Japan, we've got some great items for you, starting with a new concept from Soft on Demand: four girls are put in a glass room with several heaters. Outside it's cool, but a throng of men await to take them sexually of they leave the box... (region free)
  • In another unique Soft on Demand creation, Semen Bus, a group of four sexy "bus guides" actively service all the passengers on the bus (region free)
  • From SOD's Natural High label, the lovely Kurumi Aoyama (star of the Moodyz title Black Zamen) challenges the erotic "Buukake Circle in the Blue Sky" (region free)
  • Swimsuit idol DVDs are a staple of Japanese pop culture -- but Sayaka Hijiri plays an extremely horny idol, who has sex with the cameramen and more (region free)
  • We've got another super bukkake fetish video from M's Video Group and Kazuhiko Matsumoto, not to be missed by bukkake lovers (VHS)
  • Also, we've got a nice update of many DVD items, with fresh stock of The Best Oral Sex and Fellatio, Kurumi Morishita's Tekoki, The Highest Class Soap Lady, Nao Hirosue's best Selection, and several leg fetish DVDs!
  • If you love slender, sexy Japanese ladies, than we suggest you check out the excellent Race Queen 2001, a superb DVD from Pioneer that features 120 minutes of the sexiest RQ's (including Toko Ushikawa and Yinling!)
  • Also, for fans of Japan's sweet swimsuit idols, check out several newly posted photobooks and other idol items for you
  • For anime toy fans, we've got some great items, including a new Macross Valkyrie/Battroid from Bandai (it will go fast, we fear), and two great new figures in the "SkyLuv" Love Hina series
  • Also for Love Hina fans, a great trading card collection that is just beautiful
  • Our Japanese snack and food items have been selling in record quantities, we're doing a major update -- look for delicious "soba-meshi" fried rice, more green tea hard candy, my own favorite Tomato Pretzels, and several flavors of Mousse Pocky (including the very popular Green Tea Pocky)
  • Also: in addition to the new Japanese Bubblicious (very different from what is sold in the States), we have fresh stock of many kinds of Japanese gum, including Black Black, Free Zone (won't stick to your teeth), and the only-the-Japanese-could-have-thought-of-this Azalea flavored gum
  • We've got new bento boxes, chopsticks, and other fun lunchtime items, including bento boxes especially for girls
  • We have some cute items for you, including Hamutaro furikake (sprinkle it over rice) with little plastic hamster mascots, a Hello Kitty item for flower growers, cute origami, and more
  • Finally, look for Japanese square scrambled egg pans, Japanese portable ashtrays, a traditional Japanese teacup with saucer, and other fun items from Japan!

In addition to the other rare and fun things J-List makes available to you from Japan, we sell "revolving" monthly subscriptions to dozens of anime, JPOP, hobby and other magazines. One of our favorites is Megami Magazine, a wonderful anime magazine filled with posters, pull-out cards, calendars and other amazing extras, all great for fans of beautiful Japanese anime and game characters. (A recent issue had 14 posters in it!) We think that great magazines like this from Japan, and we hope you will check out our Reserve Subscription pages and see which items you'd like to get sent to you each month.

Unfortunately the link to my son's preschool graduation got corrupted by our email listserver. If you want to see the pictures of the graduation ceremony, access directly and search for "graduation" (or see the "pictures from Japan" link). Sorry about that.

Thinking of buying a region free DVD player? J-List will be offering them to our customers soon, so if you are planning on getting one, hold off and see what we're able to get for you

Monday, April 01, 2002

Greetings from J-List April 1, 2002

Greetings and salutations from your friends in Japan, at J-List!

Whenever you go to live in a new country, you're bound to have your share of culture shock. I experienced much when I came to live here nine years ago. A wide range of professions, from the men who guide you past road construction to the men who work in train stations, have uniforms that looked to my eyes like police uniforms, so I was constantly wondering why there were so many police walking around in Japan. Every gas station, it seemed, had a big flashing light that looked like police lights, which are really there to attract customers -- but I kept thinking there were accidents ahead of me on the road when it was just a "gasoline stand." I was amazed at the beautiful ceramic tiles on Japanese houses, which made them look, well, very Japanese. And the vending machines -- you couldn't drive a kilometer without passing twenty or thirty of them on either side of you. But one of the biggest shocks was that all but the largest streets in a Japanese city have no names. To give directions in Japan, you tell someone to turn left at the beauty shop, go straight, then turn at the pachinko parlor, or you draw them a map. I distinctly remember wanting to get my other gaijin friends together and name all the streets in our city.

English that the Japanese have invented themselves is quite famous all over the world. They're also quite good at coming up with new words based on initials of English words. If you visit someone's home in Japan, remember to take your shoes off by the front door or it will be NG, a Japanese word that means "not good" and refers to any kind of general screw-up (bloopers on TV are also known as NG). To get on a Japanese freeway, you must drive to the nearest IC, or "inter change," the freeway onramp. If you get tired of driving, pull off at the nearest SA ("service area") and get some canned coffee to wake yourself up. TV commercials are known as CMs, and a direct mailing sent out by a company is called a DM. Finally, whenever you do something, consider the TPO of the situation -- that is, the time, place, and, er, whatever the "o" is supposed to stand for (we think it means object, but that's just guessing). In other words, consider the overall situation you're in before taking any action.

There's a really useful phrase in Japanese that can be used in a variety of situations, either to be polite or to really surprise some Japanese people you may know. The word is "okage-sama de" (oh-KA-gey-sama-deh, with a hard 'g' on 'gey', as in 'gay") which literally means "thanks to you." For some reason, the Japanese often respond to compliments by turning the thanks on the person doing the complimenting. For example, if someone were to compliment me on my being able to write a certain kanji character, I could say "Okage-sama de" to them -- "Yes, thanks to you." This seems to imply that I'm thanking that person for teaching me the kanji, even if I'd never met the person before, but that's the way the phrase is used. If you want to have fun with Japanese people, pull the phrase out suddenly and watch how they react.

For the first update of the month, we've got some great items for you, including:

  • First, we've got several nice new magazines for you, including the excellent new Gokuh, crammed full of dynamite Japanese AV idols for you
  • We've got a few more back issues of popular magazines posted, as well as new discounted magazine items, too, for fans of our $5 and up magazine pages
  • For photobook fans, we've got some really nice new swimsuit and nude photobooks, both hardcover and softcover
  • We've got another great volley of newly published hentai from Japan, by some of the most popular hentai manga studios
  • Also: a major update of back-in-stock hentai manga, including a dozen volumes that had been sold out-- check out the newly restocked items!
  • For DVD collectors, we've got some super new titles for you, starting with the Soft on Demand Cosplay Best Selection, featuring the very best costume play (nurse, waitress, bus guide, teacher) in the history of SOD (region free)
  • For fans of anal themes, we've got the great DVD release of Anal de Fuck DX ("DX" means "deluxe," see above), featuring a full range of AV, from anal virgin to CCD camera plan and more (region free)
  • The beautiful and busty Megumi Osawa is an up and coming AV model, and in her latest soft porn release from Bauhaus you can enjoy her pure loveliness -- and with no censorship to get in the way! (region free)
  • For fans of lesbian love, we've got a great new release: Lesbian Maniax, a super *240 minute* lesbian release featuring the "abnormal pheromone performanced by 32 lecherous ladies" (region free)
  • For fans of the very popular Milky Cat, another extremely bold and erotic bukkake race queen performance, with one girl taking on an incredible 130 men! (VHS)
  • For indies fans, we've got the debut DVD of a girl who was scouted in a cake shop, whose name is Monbu Ran (the Japanese pronunciation of Mont Blanc, a famous French dessert). This is an MVG production so it's highly recommended to bukkake fans (region 2)
  • For fans of the lovely Madoka Ozawa, enjoy her latest new production from Moodyz, in which she assists your masturbation with a variety of fresh and interesting costumes and tekoki play
  • Finally, we've gotten fresh stock of many DVD and video titles, including excellent titles featuring the busty Emily Yoshikawa, Miki Sawaguchi, and more!
  • For anime fans, we've got some excellent toy items for you, including a rare fully posable Rei Ayanami doll from Evangelion, a super Totoro coin purse that is really cool, and more
  • Also: two lovely anime figures from the Angelic Layer universe for you (only 1 of each, though)
  • We've restocked some of our most popular Totoro items and also gotten in more of the sold out "The Dog" cups and pens
  • Fans of CLAMP, the creators of Card Captor Sakura and Magic Knight Rayearth, we've got the *excellent* X TV Animation cards from Cardass in stock
  • We've restocked our surprisingly popular Japanese miso soup, with several new varieties in stock for you
  • Other newly added snack items include delicious gummi Doraemon candies, a unique traditional Japanese hard candy known as "salt candy," and "Mogi Mogi Fruits," a little gummi tree with little gummi fruits hanging from it
  • Also: if you've ever wanted to taste the famous Calpis, we've got a delicious Calpis Soda candy in stock!
  • If you want to try your hand at various fried rice dishes, we've got some nice easy to prepare mixes on the snacks page, too
  • For fans of beautiful Japanese idols, we've got new idol photobooks and other fun items for you
  • The Japanese "Maneki-neko" ("inviting cat") is famous all over the world, and we've got several nice Inviting Cat piggy banks for you
  • We've added stock of several cute and fun Hello Kitty items, including cups, erasers, toilet paper, and a major restocking of our runaway seller, the Hello Kitty vibrators!
  • Also, a special item: a real Japanese flower that unfolds into silk panties!
  • Finally, look for more chopsticks, including chopsticks recommended for fathers (?), a funny Japanese ice cube tray, Japanese "days of the week" magnets (great for use on white boards), delicious dried, shredded ika (squid) which goes great with beer, more cute Licca-chan stickers, Japanese food erasers, and more!

Besides thousands of great items from Japan, J-List also stocks some U.S. released manga and comics in our San Diego location, including the excellent AG, the magazine of "art, sex and CG culture." A great English-language manga magazine that features great hentai artwork and stories. Also, some of the most popular Japanese artists at J-List will be appearing in AG, along with articles by yours truly. We certainly hope you'll support the publisher's efforts! AG is available via single issues as well as by resolving subscription through J-List.