One thing I've learned from my years in Japan is that the Japanese are greatly concerned with child-raising and education. All around the city I live in you can see signs with slogans of wisdom from the local PTA, like "Weak-minded children come from over-protective parents" and "Children learn respect for their parents by watching how their parents respect their own parents." (One of my goals is to find a list of all of these slogans and post them, translated, to my personal homepage.) Often Japanese parents care too much about education, and push their kids too hard to study so they can get into the best universities. Mothers who do this are a kind of caricature in Japanese society, making their kids study at after-school cram schools (called "juku"), take English conversation lessons, and study with private tutors. They're called "education mamas" (kyoiku mama), and I've met more than a few during my years as an English teacher in Japan.
I think, however, that all that has passed in the past fifty years of Japan's educational system is heading for a change. With a rapidly aging population and very low birth rate of 1.35 babies per woman, the number of children under the age of 15 at a postwar-low, just 18 million or 14.3 percent of the population here. This amounts to a "famine" of young people which currently affects much of Japan -- including educators in Japan's after-hours juku schools as well as companies that make things that kids want to buy. In parts of Japan, they have had to close public school and combine school districts because of the shrinking number of kids. In Japan, kids are made to study harder to prepare for entrance exams for high school and college, a policy that has been very good for the Japanese in the past. However, I worry about a long-range degradation in the quality of education here, as the standards of Japan's high schools and universities are lowered as more school chase fewer students. As far as my wife and I are concerned, we're planning to send our kids to school in the U.S. whey they reach that age.
I've spent the week testing out my own Lasonic DVB-090 DVD player, which J-List currently sells, and I've added to the description on our website. It really is a nifty player, with many nice touches, such as separate fast forward/fast back and chapter forward/back buttons on the remote, a screen zooming option, reliable "set and forget" region free feature which is fully reversable, and all major remote control buttons replicated on the player itself, so you can use it even if you don't have the remote handy. If you're interested in viewing all the DVDs from Japan and are looking for a great buy, we recommend the DVB-090, but if you're interested in a region free player that's a little higher-end, please wait a little while. We plan to expand our line of DVD players to include ones with more features, such as progressive scan and Dolby/DTS sound support, soon.
For the pre-weekend update, we've got an extra-special update for you, with some really nice new products, including:
- First, we've got some very nice new magazines in stock, including Pink Labyrinth, a very stylish erotic amateur magazine featuring kogals in love hotels
- The double-thick bukkake magazine Gal's Shower remains one of the most popular magazines in our history, and we've got the great new issue for you
- A beautiful item for sexy swimsuit idols, the new Scholar DX features a great look at Japan's most lovely girls
- A rare and special treat for photobook collectors, we've got two deluxe works featuring Bunko Kanazawa and Reina Muragami, which feature incredibly beautiful nude photos -- and they're, ahem, very, very detailed!
- We have other new photobooks for you, too, including the beautiful photobook of Mayu Koizumi (107 cm J cup, wow!), photobooks by Rin Tomosaki and Aya Otosaki, the erotic Shinobu Kasagi, and fresh stock of some older items (Aida Garo)
- We've got a good offering of erotic hentai manga, with some excellent new books this time, including Body Language, the fantastic illustrated manga with 32 color pages!
- For DVD fans and collectors, we've got some very nice new items for you, starting off with another four 2+ hour releases in the oh-so-popular SOD Memorial series, with Bunko Kanazawa, Mai Kazama, an erotic psycho-drama, and more (region free)
- Also, by happy fortune, we were able to restock the full sets of the SOD Memorial DVDs -- you can own ALL 40 of these fabulous titles, over 8 days of constant AV viewing, for a very low price! (region free)
- Dogma, the label of famed AV director, has gone independent, splitting off from their parent company Soft on Demand -- see a great new "female bukkake teacher" performance starring Kurumi Morishita commemorating their independence (region free)
- Also from the new Dogma, a super lesbian performance, Do the Lesbian Act! (region free)
- We've got a super "Private Observation of Female Body" performance by the excellent Wanz Factory, allowing you to learn everything about the erotic Yuka Igarashi (region 2)
- Finally, we've got fresh stock of several titles, including the highly recommended Yinling of Joytoy and several other titles
- For anime fans, we've got some nice new anime toy and other items in, including a really cool new My Neighbor Totoro wooden alarm clock,
- Also, we've gotten in fresh stock of the popular Kiki's Delivery Service 2-disc set DVD, truly the best release of this film anywhere in the world
- Newly added Hello Kitty items include Kitty sushi makers, Hello Kitty chopsticks, Hello Kitty savings banks, and more
- Also, we've got some really nice new bento-related items in, including a deluxe new 2-section bento box, more of the complete sets of bento boxes and other items, and just in time for Hamtaro to be broadcast on American TV, more cute "Hamster Club" bento box sets
- For your kitchen we've got some nifty items, including a great way to cook fish or mochi (rice cake), a bowl-and-chopstick set, a spiffy cutting board from Japan, and a really cool Hello Kitty coffee cup!
- For collectors of Licca-chan, the cute fashion doll by Takara, we've got a very cool "Major League Baseball Licca" series in stock for you
- For snack and candy fans, we've got fresh stock of furikake, including red salmon for making onigiri with, delicious soft candy with cherry gummi inside, and a cool item, Lord of the Rings chips
- Finally, look for spiffy Japanese pens that write in many colors, Japanese play money, some very cool plastic hiragana letters for learning Japanese, and more!
Did you know that Kanazawa Bunko is named after a train station in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Yokohama? If you read J-Mate, you would -- you can read interviews with her and with dozens of lovely adult video idols from Japan on J-Mate. And the site has been updated, with new interviews (Rio Sannomiya and AV director Turbo Muigo), as well as reviews of many great DVDs, English bishoujo games and more!
When you order something from J-List, you don't just get service with a smile from Kaori, Harumi and the rest of our Japanese staff, you also get Japanese advertising tissue. J-List includes a pack of advertising tissue (which are handed out in front of train stations in Japan) with every order. If you want to get more, we sell a box containing 12 packs of our special pocket tissue at our cost, just $1.60. Then you can give this fun and unique Japanese pocket tissue out to your friends! Just search for 'tissue' on our website to find this item.