One thing I can say about Japan: I really love the food here. It would be quite difficult to live here for nearly ten years if I didn't. Just as Japan has taken elements from various other countries as it modernized itself over the past century, the Japanese palette has been influenced by many parts of the world. Some of the most common Japanese food, such as ramen and one of my favorite foods of all time, gyoza ("pot stickers"), are really from China. If the Japanese have a single staple food that everyone eats, it has to be "curry rice" which is a mild, thick curry based on British versions of Indian curries. Spaghetti from Italy is popular, of course, and yakiniku (Korean Barbecue) is another popular food. The Japanese also imported many dishes from Europe (since the Japanese secretly wish they were a part of that continent), including doria, gratin, and hamburg steak (which we'd call Salsbury steak in the U.S.). Other foods, such as udon, sushi and sashimi, are completely "made in Japan."
Do you know what year it is? I often don't. In additional the Western calendar, the Japanese have a unique system of counting years based on the reign of the current emperor. The current era is the 14th year of the Heisei era (Heisei means "peach and prosperity"), when the Emperor Hirohito died and was succeeded by his son, so this year is Heisei 14. Before Heisei was the Showa era (from 1925 to 1988), before that was Taisho, and Meiji, and so on -- Japanese students have to memorize them all. Incidentally, the current Emperor of Japan is 125th in an unbroken line of emperors going back 2000 years. His name is Akihito, but since he's always called "Emperor Heisei" in Japan, it's quite common for Japanese to not know the name of their own emperor (Yasu didn't when I just asked him).
J-List carries unique anime, manga, fashion, JPOP and other magazines by "reserve subscription," allowing you to get the current issue each month sent to you automatically, until you tell us to stop. We're happy to report that we've gone through and lowered our prices for all of these magazines, allowing you to get the fun and unique magazines you want each month and save some money, too. And we've added three new magazines: Model Graphix, the excellent magazine of anime models and toys that is a real treat to read each month; Dengeki G's, a magazine that follows all the pretty girls from Japan's bishoujo games and anime; and S Cawaii, a new Japanese fashion and kogal culture magazine for those who want to follow Japan's fashion trends.
For the pre-weekend update, we've got some great items for you, including:
- First, we've got some nice new magazines, including the new issues of amateur and kogal magazines such as Mini Teen, Yo! and the bukkake magazine I'll Love You
- Also: more discounted magazine items for those looking for bargains, although our stock is always selling out fast
- For fans of indies AV, check out the new issue of MPEG Indies, a spiffy magazine that comes with not one but two Video CDs full of sample AV for you to watch -- a great bargain!
- We've got several beautiful new photobooks in stock for you, including Akane Souma's wonderful sexy photobook, a new offering from Queen of the Race Queens Fumika Suzuki, and a great new hardcover photobook from Yoshino Sally!
- We've got several nice issues of Japan's newest adult comics for you, including the excellent "Immoral Maria"
- Also, a restocking of some classic comics, including the popular Electric Fighting Daughters series (all hentai game girl comics), as well as (limited) fresh stock of the damned-cool "Irodori"
- We have some great new DVD offerings for you today, starting off with a first for J-List and Japan: Korean adult video, published by Deep's to commemorate the upcoming Japan/Korea hosted World Cup -- it's as different from Japanese AV as Japanese is from American, and very beautiful to see (region free)
- Also from SOD, we've got a fantastic new erotic performance by Sally Yoshino, as she hunts down male virgins and steals their cherries (region free)
- We've got another volley of the fast-disappearing SOD Memorial DVDs, including bondage, under-skirt fetish, "first lesbian" and more (region free)
- We've got a beautiful new soft porn offering from Bauhaus, with a powerful lineup of lovely stars: Aoi Minori, Sally Yoshino, Rio Sannomiya, Rin Tomosaki and Akira Watase! If you buy no other Japanese cosplay DVD this year... (region free)
- Finally, for region 2 collectors (including J-list customers who have purchased the region free players we now sell), the lovely Airi Niiyama's 180 minute erotic performance "The Idol" (region 2)
- As mentioned up, see the great new magazines available by revolving subscription: Model Graphix, G's Magazine and the super-cute Super Cawaii!
- Also, a great new direction for J-List, we're going to start carrying the beautiful "character clocks" by citizen, and we've got a cute dancing Hello Kitty wall clock and one of the coolest items I've ever seen, a deluxe Totoro Cockoo clock that is truly amazing. Our initial stock of these clocks is limited but more are on order already
- Another great new category of item at J-List, we now carry inexpensive Japanese fans which are both beautiful to look at and useful for keeping yourself cool this summer!
- For Japanese snack and food fans, look for some nice new items including a smooth and delicious coffee candy from Japan, new "raw type" miso soup mix, plum flavored sesame seeds (which taste better than they sound), Sakuma mint candies, and fresh stock of the popular Japanese Mugi-cha (barley tea) that's great for summer
- We've got some nice Hello Kitty items for you, including Hello Kitty cookies, a nifty tiny tupperware container,
- J-List customers tell us they want Maneki Neko, the cute "inviting cat" who invites good luck, love and money into your life, so we've obliged with several new items
- If you're a fan of our Japanese Race Queen and idol items, be sure and see what we've got in stock for you today!
- We've gotten in fresh stock of the Spirited Away color film comics, for fans who want to collect these beautiful all-color anime books, by Hayao Miyazaki
- Finally, look for more wacky stickers from Japan, a useful took for cutting your children's hair, a super all-purpose canvas bag with many uses, and more!
J-List customers tell us that word-of-mouth and recommendations from friends is the #1 way they've heard of us. This makes us very happy. If you've got a friend who might appreciate the unique Japanese pop culture and "slice of life" we bring you from Japan, please tell them about us!
Well, that's all for now -- we hope you have a very nice Golden Week, and we'll see you on the web!