I often look back on my years of teaching English as a Second Language to Japanese students with fondness. Besides being a good way to interact with a lot of interesting Japanese people (including gorgeous girls), teaching ESL allowed me to learn my own language in ways I'd never expected. They say that the way to learn something is to teach it, and I agree completely. You never think about the structure of two-part verbs in English -- words like turn on, turn off, turn up, work out, take in, speak out, -- until suddenly you need to explain it to ESL students. As a native speaker, I know when something is right or wrong just by hearing it, but as a teacher, it's important to be able to present the rules of English to your students in a clear manner. I remember trying to explain the nuance between the words "another" and "other" (as in, "another book" vs. "the other book") and being stumped for weeks trying to explain it to them so that they could understand.
As Japan's economic troubles continue, I've started to realize that the real problem Japan is up against is one of leadership, and lack of it. Despite the high expectations of Prime Minister Koizumi (Japan's first "cool" leader, who listens to rock bands like X-Japan), the consensus is that none of the painful reforms Japan needs to take are happening. Yet there is one man who is kicking ass and taking names: Shintaro Ishihara, the mayor of Tokyo and author of the book "Japan that can say No." When he took office four years ago, the Tokyo Municipality was bleeding red ink everywhere, but he turned things around with many reforms, including cutting the salaries of high level city officials (including his own salary), renting out his office in Tokyo's massive city office, and passed special taxes on hotels and trucks that pollute as a way of generating income for the city. Although he's a little right leaning politically (he angered the foreign population of Japan by warning that, in a disaster such as an Earthquake, foreigners living in Japan would riot and commit crimes), you can't argue with results. His son has used his father's popularity to his advantage, and has become quite a popular actor in TV commercials and in dramas.
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For the pre-weekend update today, we've got a very nice selection of items for you, including:
- First, we've got some nice magazines for you, including new amateur and kogal magazines, as well as reduced prices on many of our in stock items
- We have two fabulous hardcover photobooks for fans of Russian nude idol Yulia Nova, the only woman who looks like the girls in Blue Eyes
- Also, for fans of lovely Race Queens, we've got a killer "first and last" photobook featuring Yinling, Miho Yoshioka and Ran Enoki
- The Yellows series by photographer Akira Gomi captures the grace and beauty of nude women from Japan, China and America -- we've restocked all of these books now
- If you are a collector of hentai manga, we've got some excellent volumes in stock for you, including works by AV Comics, Megastore and more
- Also, fresh stock of many great items, including Yui Shop 1, G-Taste, and great manga by the famous Chattaro
- Also for hentai manga art lovers, a beautiful erotic illustration book featuring the best hentai artwork of the Tsukasa Manga Studio
- We've added to our popular new Adult Toys page, with an interesting "side swinging" Japanese vibrator and new variations on the classic "pink rotor" -- great for those who like that they see in Japan's erotic videos
- For DVD fans, we've got some nice items for you, starting with a super 4-in-1 Zenra (all nude sports) DVD, with 230 minutes of start naked Japanese girls for you to watch (region free)
- For fans of anal sex, see some interesting "torture play" with the lovely pro AV idol Karen (region free)
- We have another great Milky Cat erotic bukkake video for fans of this rare high-end fetish studio (VHS)
- Also for bukkake lovers, another excellent M's Video Group offering directed by Kazuhiko Matsumoto
- For fans of bold indies adult video, we've got a slick DVD featuring the sex of Ruri Ikenouchi, shot almost entirely from erotic angels between her legs (region 2)
- Also very erotic, Miss Semen Mania, a bukkake fetish DVD featuring three gorgeous AV idols (including my own fave Mirai Hoshizaki) (region 2)
- Finally, we've got a really cool psycho-erotic soft porn image video, which features the lovely Mai Gotoh stripping and posing erotically with a black man (region 2)
- There are cool items from Japan, and then there are really cool items. We've got stock of the popular Sushi Light series of rubber sushi which light up when you squeeze them -- so convenient!
- For our anime and toy fans, we've got some cool new items, including a drop-dead awesome die-cast recreation of the Yamato from Yamato/Star Blazers, cool Laputa figures, and more
- Also: a much requested item, the very popular DigiQ miniature remote controlled cars, which are just 5 cm long but are highly advanced R/C cars -- see our newly created Car Related Toys page for more information on this great item
- Also posted on the Car Toys page, fresh stock of some of the most popular Japan-only Hot Wheels toys (including the Delorean and the very cool Thunderbird Hot Wheels)
- If you are a fan of Japan's lovely swimsuit and Race Queen idols, check out the newly posted items (including some nice DVDs)
- We've done a great update to our snacks page, with Snoopy, mango flavored Pocky, new Japanese animal crackers, super-strong caffeine candy, and Meiji Banana Chocolate (candy bananas with chocolate inside, they're great), as well as fresh stock of other items
- Also: fresh stock of one of the most popular food items in J-List history, Sushi Gummi!
- We've added a huge amount of stock of some popular Hello Kitty items, including the legendary Hello Kitty Vibrator (which is of course a shoulder massage), and the makes-a-great-gift-for-someone, Hello Kitty toilet paper
- Finally, find cool ways to help you study Japanese, new bento and chopstick items, Socks Glue for Japanese loose socks, fresh stock of the very cool Ultraman rubber mask, excellent Zippo-style lighters with beautiful Japanese images on them, and more!
We've updated the "Top 5" links today, and added two new categories, so you can easily see what the most popular magazine, manga, snack, DVD, and bishoujo CD-ROM items were for the past week.
Remember that J-List carries some fun items to help you learn Japanese, if you're so inclined. For learning hiragana and katakana, the two syllable based writing systems used in Japan, we suggest the practice notebooks we carry. We've also got Japanese vocabulary cards for practicing vocabulary, and even fun Japanese notebooks with silly English on them. Much of these products we carry because I remember what it was like to try to learn Japanese back in the 80's without any of these cool products available to me. If you are interested in learning Japanese and want to get a head start, I've got a general article on the language posted at my personal homepage (http://www.peterpayne.net).