Wednesday, April 17, 2002

Greetings from J-List April 17, 2002

Hello again from Japan, where you never stand your chopsticks straight up in rice (only dead people do this).

In Japan, as is well known, you take off your shoes before entering a house. The foyer of Japanese houses have a recessed floor area where you can leave your shoes, or put them in a "geta-bako" or shoes-box, to store them. For gaijin living in Japan, having to take your shoes off and put them on again means you learn to wear "Japan-friendly" shoes pretty quickly -- no more tightly laced high-top basketball shoes. It's just one more little thing about living in Japan.

A major path to business success seems to be, watch what successful companies do in the U.S., then do it in Japan before they can get over here. In America, eBay may be on top of the hill when it comes to online auctions, but in Japan it's Yahoo, and Yahoo's Japanese auction site is so successful that last month, eBay officially ended their attempts at making a Japanese version of itself. Pizza Hut is another similar success story. After observing the paradigm shift from eating pizza in restaurants to having it delivered, Pizza Hut copied the Domino's strategy in Japan, opening hundreds of franchises and delivering pizza in 30 minutes or less. Pizza Hut (whose motto is "Dynamic and Speedy" by the way) has a strong presence all over Japan, but Dominoes is only available in a few cities.

We're pleased with the reaction we've had to the very unique Daki-Makura ("Hug Pillows"), the huge huggable pillows featuring famous characters from Tohru Nishimaki's Blue Eyes mangas, in larger than life versions so you can feel like the characters are right there in the room with you. We wanted to make one comment about the price -- at $160 and $205 for the medium and large size pillows, they aren't cheap. These are a rare and highly collectible item from Japan that are impossible to get outside of Japan, and they're very expensive inside Japan, too (when you can find them at all). Feedback and requests on our new Daki-Makura page is much appreciated.

J-List strives to bring Japan and Japanese pop culture in all its forms to our customers, we've decided to start carrying Japanese film on DVD. Although it's a very small country, Japanese film has had a very strong influence on the rest of the world. Since there are many Japanese film that are released here in Japan but are not available outside of Japan, we feel it's our duty to make these products available. See our first titles on the newly renamed Japanese Film & Anime DVD page, with some nice titles selected by our resident movie freak, Tomo.

For the new update, we've got some excellent new items for you, including:

  • First, several nice new magazines, including the new issue of Urecco, filled to the gills with beautiful girls for you
  • For classic adult magazine fans, we've got two issues of the venerable Boys, from the mid and early 1990's (see magazine page 2)
  • We've also got some dynamite photobooks for you, including the dynamite Manatsu Hirose's very revealing nude photobook, new leg fetish books, and more
  • Also fresh stock of our photobooks, including Maiko Kazano's dynamite "Memories"
  • For fans of the positively lovely G-Taste hentai and leg fetish art books by Hiroki Yagami, we've got G-Taste 5, an extra-thick and extra-lovely illustration book for you
  • We've also got a grand update for manga fans, with excellent new hentai comics by Japan's best artists and publishing houses, as well as another large update of previously out of stock items for you
  • Also for manga and doujinshi lovers alike, a new "doujinshi anthology" in keep-forever book form containing the best hentai parody of Chobits, the new manga (and anime) by CLAMP
  • For fans of Japan's unique homosexual comics, enjoy another update to our yaoi page, with many of the often-requested b-Boy Zips series books in stock
  • For Japanese erotic DVD fans, we've got another huge volley of items for you, starting with your virtual live-in girlfriend, Minami Asaoka, who wants to play house with you (region free)
  • SOD has a new "Best Selection" DVD for you, featuring the best "horse riding style" sex (i.e., girl on top) with many lovely stars (region free)
  • For fans of Ai Nagase, enjoy the new Ai Nagase Remix, featuring some of her best hardcore performances (region free)
  • J-List also stocks many nice soft porn DVDs, and we've got a brand new Sara Shimada sexy nude DVD, along with a final restock of the out-of-print Maiko Kazano "Pure Heart" (region free)
  • For lovers of the very strong bukkake erotica of the famous Milky Cat, we've got new video offerings for you that are not to be missed
  • As mentioned above, we've got three very nice selections of quality Japanese film on DVD, with English subtitles!
  • We love beautiful Japanese girls, and the beautiful Aimi Nakamura really shines in her sexy idol DVD that we highly recommend
  • For Gundam fans, a really fun item: Gundam robots that really walk, through an advanced battery and cold capacitor
  • We have some beautiful Japanese figures for you, including a new one based on Dark Angel by Kia Asamiya, and more
  • Also, a dynamite series of Lupin III talking figures, and something very cool for fans of the American comic book hero Spiderman
  • We've got some nice newly posted snack and food items, including delicious yogurt "soft candy" with gummi inside, a tasty traditional Japanese hard candy, and new furikake!
  • Also, a major restocking of older items, including sake candy (one of the longest-selling single products in our history), plum hard candy, new caffeine-laced coffee candy, and the last stock of Green Tea Pocky before summer
  • Also: fresh stock of the so-fun-to-eat "Fruit of the Bubble" bubblegum by Lotte
  • We've got some cute items for you, including a Doraemon Pachinko toy and a super bathroom item for fans of Hello Kitty looking for something really special
  • Finally, look for a great items for people on the go, more popular Japanese hot springs bath powder, very nice "wet" ear swabs with alcohol on them, to clean your ears or any other surface well, and more!

Spring has come to Japan, and after Spring comes summer. Summer in Japan is hot and humid, and in addition to causing much general discomfort, it also causes chocolate snacks like Pocky to melt and become very difficult to eat. Since we won't be ordering any more Pocky until the end of Summer, you should order what you want now before it disappears.

Another "just to cool to not pass along to everyone" item, I found an interesting page exploring the inspirations for the Star Wars universe. The URL is www.jitterbug/com/origins/

Monday, April 15, 2002

Greetings from J-List April 15, 2002

Hello again from Japan!

When my wife and I went to Spain two years ago, we were pleased to see how old and beautiful houses were, with many houses being hundreds of years old. Unfortunately, this is something that doesn't exist in Japan -- when a house gets too old to live in comfortably in Japan, you tear it down and build a new one from scratch. What's more, the houses that are built in Japan are really part of this 15-to-20-year rebuilding cycle, are designed so that they won't last beyond a certain point, kind of like the computer you may be using right now. As a result, Japan is a country where you can find very old things as well as very new things, but very little in the middle. Part of the problem is the perceived value of homes and buildings: unlike in the U.S., where real estate goes up in value, homes drop to almost zero in value in a very short time (since after all, who would want to buy a "used" house?). When we bought our home in San Diego, it took me days to convince my wife that buying a house and keeping it in good condition was a sound investment, not just money you throw away, as it is in Japan.

One big different between Japan and America is that Japan is a very cash-based society. When you get your monthly salary, you almost always get it in a big fat envelope of 10,000 yen notes, with a little hand-written slip of paper inside, for tax purposes. Japanese often carry loads of cash with them -- I had a friend who lost $3000 once because she was carrying it around with her -- whereas it's rare to have that much money in the U.S. One reason it's convenient to carry cash with you here in Japan: there is no system of writing checks to pay for things, and the concept of accepting a piece of paper as payment for goods is very alien here. This is the reason J-List accepts check/money payments for orders through our bank in San Diego, although we're a Japanese company. As the Japanese economy continues its painful changing process, more and more consumers are using credit cards for their purchases. There's little fear that the Japanese will give up that national passion for savings, though, just because credit card use is going up: the average Japanese household has well over US$100,000 in cash savings here.

If you're interested in yuri and shoujoai in anime and manga (that is to say, if you are interested in "animated" female/female sex themes), why not check out Yuricon? It's a convention run by AniLesboCon in June in New Jersey. For more information see their site at http://www.yuricon.org. Tell them J-List sent you!

For the new update, we've got a bunch of great new items for you today, including:

  • First of all, Japan is experiencing a boom in a new category of pop art -- Daki-Makura, or "Hug Pillows," massive (120 or 160 cm) huggable pillows that are nearly as big as people, with sexy and nude characters printed on them -- see our new
  • We have some great new erotic magazines for you to enjoy, including the new Urecco Gal, loaded with beautiful pro and amateur kogals
  • We have some dynamite new photobooks for you to browse, both hardcover and softcover, including Erovogue, a beautiful collection of the nudes of six wonderful AV idols from Japan
  • The new issue of A-G, the English magazine of "art, sex and CG culture" is in stock, and ready to go out to you from our office in San Diego
  • For Japanese hentai manga collectors, another excellent selection of new comics for you, including the excellent "Aizen" by Yukio Shijima, and many other nice books in stock for you
  • For yaoi collectors, we've got a great update of several very nice books for fans of Japan's unique homosexual comics
  • Also: for fans of the popular hentai anime series La Blue Girl (Inju Gakuen), we've got a rare and lovely art book filled with information and glossy artwork pages (region free)
  • We've got some great new erotic DVDs in stock for you, starting with Starship Nymphomania, featuring lovely anime cosplay as only Soft on Demand could bring you (region free)
  • The lovely Nanami Yusa looks so sweet and innocent, yet willingly performs in SOD's very erotic bukkake special Idol Semen
  • For fans of the lovely Kyoka Usami (I am one!) we've got an erotic new DVD for you -- We are Crazy about Kyoka Usami (region free)
  • For fans of Kimiko Matsuzaka, the incredibly busty Japanese AV idol, we've got a great offering for you -- 8 hours of her life's best work, a massive collection of huge-busty AV for you (region free)
  • Yulia Nova is apparently popular with J-List fans, since her photobooks sold out in record time (more are on order) -- so we've volume 3 of her fantastic video! (VHS)
  • For Aika Miura fans, we've got the very nice Aika Miura Special Perfect Eternal Edition, finally released on DVD for you! (region 2)
  • For anime lovers, we've got some great new toys in stock for you, including the deluxe Mach 5 die-cast toy for Speed Racer fans, and several new Totoro items, including a fantastic Totoro alarm clock
  • We've added some cool new items in The Dog collection, including loveable alarm clocks and more, and we've put them in a newly created category just for The Dog items
  • For fans of Japan's lovely swimsuit idols, see the newly posted photobook and other items
  • If you love cute things, we've got some for you, including a killer Hello Kitty calculator, more Hello Kitty tissue and toilet paper, and more
  • We've restocked the popular Spirited Away color comics, which are really beautiful recreations of the film in book form
  • There's a really cool Morning Musume collectible figure set out, and we've got stock of them for you (they are cool)
  • For fans of our Japanese snacks, we've got old-style Glico chocolate snacks (with a wooden toy included, traditional apricot flavored hard candy, more Green Tea candy, and a restocking of our very popular miso soup
  • Finally, look for cute hamster colored pens from Japan, a nifty pen that's really a light, new bento boxes, a handy way to de-core an apple, and more!

One of my favorite games is Love Love Show, which is a totally new concept in bishoujo games, as it's a series of fun puzzle and card type games. With some of the best graphics ever seen, and great game play that's a totally new and fresh, we hope you'll pick up the game. The publisher, Hobibox Europe, has many great games in the pipe, including some of the most popular Viper titles, and they appreciate your support!