Friday, September 06, 2002

Greetings from J-List September 6, 2002

Hello again from Japan, home of cars with names like Bongo Friendee, Nissan Bluebird Sunny and Mitsubishi Thanks.

It's interesting to observe the balance of technology between Japan and the U.S. The Japanese are way ahead of us when it comes to anime, miniature electronics and toilet seats that wash your butt then dry it, but in the market of clothes dryers, which did not exist in Japan until the past 15 years or so, they're way behind. In Japan most housewives hang clothes out to try, and don't use a dryer at all, but in summer when it's very humid, and during Japan's month-long rainy season, clothes don't dry at all outside. I bought a dryer for my wife, but it's not really up to par with some of Japan's other technology. For one thing, it doesn't have an outdoor exhaust vent, and releases all the moisture from the drying clothes inside the house, which can't be very heathy. Dishwashers are also just starting to catch on in Japan, although since Japanese kitchen are not very large, the dishwashers have to be very small to fit. As a result, most Americans would probably have trouble identifying a Japanese dishwasher if they saw one.

Most people know that in Japan, shoes are removed before you enter a house. This is done because to the Japanese, there's nothing dirtier than feet, and shoes belong outside. Japanese houses always have a lowered section near the front door called the "genkan," a convenient place to leave your shoes so they'll be there when you need to go out again (we built one into our house in America). Japanese know that Americans leave their shoes on inside the house from watching American television, and it looks very funny to them. Last night, I was watching Shrek with my son, and he was amazed to see the Princess in bed with her shoes on. Inside the house, Japanese usually wear slippers, and if a gaijin goes to a Japanese person's house, the Japanese person will give him slippers to wear, even if they're much too small for his feet. Although we try to "live like Americans" when we go to the U.S., most of my Japanese family (including myself) quietly leave our shoes near the front door when back home -- it just feels to odd to walk on carpet with shoes.

Tomorrow is a happy day at J-List: Harumi-chan is getting married. In accordance with Japanese wedding customs, I must give a speech in Japanese, because I am Harumi's boss. Giving a speech in a foreign language is always a challenge, but I'll take the bull by the horns and do my best. If you want to learn more about what goes on in a Japanese wedding, see the "Two Weddings, No Funerals" article on my personal webpage (http://www.peterpayne.net). You can see pictures of Harumi and other J-List staff members by clicking the "about J-List" link on our website.

We're happy to announce two new designs for fans of our world-famous Japanese T-shirts: an alternate version of "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" (our most popular shirt) and a matching "Looking for a Japanese Boyfriend" for girls, our first Baby Doll T-shirt! Both feature a very simple styling and a pleasant brush-stroke Japanese script, and they go great together, too. Both are in stock and ready for you to order!

For the pre-weekend update we've got an extra-special bunch of items for you, including:

  • For toy collectors, we've got some nice items for you, including more only-released-in-Japan Hot Wheels (two new vehicles), as well as fresh stock of some popular Godzilla items
  • Also, we've restocked the smash hit Amalie Kubrick figures, from the excellent French film
  • For fans of the Japanese anime Ojamajo Doremi (Troublesome Witch Doremi), we've got extremely limited stock of large soft vinyl figures that are way cool
  • Also for fans of toys, we've got a rare item, a super photobook of the most famous tin toys of the first half of the 20th century, including robots made by Japanese toy makers of the era
  • One of the most popular toy items in the past year or so has been the Captain Harlock toy series, a very cool item. We've posted the last full sets of these toys that will be available, six of them, so if you're looking to get the full set of these cool toys, hurry
  • For Japanese snack fans, we've got melon flavored caramel corns (yes, you read correctly), new fried rice and ramune candy, and "candy bubbles" that you can really eat (fun!)
  • We're down to just two of the Studio Ghibli region 2 DVD players, so if are a collector of rare items from Japan and would like to get one of these players, we recommend that you hurry!
  • If you love Hello Kitty, check out the Kitty "melody camera" and several other fun items we've added
  • For fans of Hamtaro and cute hamsters, we've got a fun pack of hamster goods you or your kids will love
  • We've got more Japanese eyedrops which customers can't seem to get enough of, and fresh stock of our "Times simply to very important..." funny English notebook
  • Finally, look for new Japanese chopsticks, a handy "soft pack" for storing just about anything, a great item to aid cooking with oil, and much more!

For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products, including:

  • For magazine lovers, we have the new magazines for you, including the beautiful new issues of Penthouse Japan and Penthouse Special, featuring all-Japanese models shot in Penthouse style!
  • Also, several new and reduced priced amateur and other magazine items, as well as fresh stock of the excellent issue of Karami dedicated exclusively to Izumi Morino
  • We have the new issue of DVD Soft Catalog, a great magazine and dual video CD featuring 2 hours of samples of great Japanese AV for you, for a great price
  • If you love Japan's leg and stocking fetish photobooks, we've got Eri Fukazawa's excellent new offering
  • Also, enjoy new hardcover nude photobooks by Natsuki Okamoto and a super pocket-size photobook of Bunko Kanazawa in San Francsico!
  • Bishoujo game fans might know about Forget-Me-Not, a beautiful erotic hentai game that's popular in Japan right now -- and we've got the art book in stock for you
  • For hentai manga fans, we've got another volley of new books in stock for you, including hentai artist Fuuga's excellent new work, as well as a general restocking of popular titles including Chataro and others
  • Also, good stock of two great hentai doujinshi, Rock DOA (parodying Dead or Alive) and Tropical Princess 8 (parodying King of Fighters) -- both excellent!
  • For DVD lovers, we've got another excellent selection of items for you, starting off with Soft on Demand's newest "zenra" ("stark nakedness") production, Zenra Orchestra, featuring 20 girls who play a full orchestra piece in the nude (region free)
  • Also from SOD, Nozomi Momoi and Kyoka Usami go all around Japan to relieve the pressure and stress of their fans in the Magic Mirror Bus, in the newest Fan Thanks presentation (region free)
  • We love Hikari Kisugi for her innocent smile and beautiful girl-next-door body, and now she performs for you in a super new release from Sexia (region free)
  • Enjoy the lovely soft porn of Sola Aoi, e.g. "Blue Sky", in a new release from Eichi (region free)
  • From Waap Entertainment, a huge sampling of all that is Waap, performed by the beautiful Harumi Hirose (region 2)
  • We've got the dynamite new Nao Oikawa "Super Angle of Manko" in stock for you, featuring 90% of footage shot from the point-of-view of Nao-chan's pussy region (region 2)
  • Finally, look for many restocked DVD items, including the Amateur Bukkake series, Man's Juice, Street Fucker, and more!

The J-Mate site has been updated yet again, with a new review of Nao Oikawa's lovely DVD "Black Date." You can read about dozens of Japanese products (DVDs, Japanese love sim games, photobooks) with lots of pictures, and also read English reviews with famous AV idols from Japan. J-Mate is our way of saying thanks to everyone for making J-List a success. The URL is http://www.jmate.com/

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Greetings from J-List September 4, 2002

Greetings from all of us at J-List!

With the Japanese recession continuing for so long, it's become quite common to see companies suddenly go out of businesses. It seems that taking a trip to the next town will always bring some new discovery of a new business here or there that has closed its doors. Even establishments that never used to go out of business in the "old" Japan, like convenience stores, now close regularly. While there are many reasons why business is bad in Japan, I have to lay a lot of blame at the feet of Japanese managers and owners who just plain seem to lack inventiveness and fresh ideas. Lack of leadership, especially in areas of management, seems to be the primary challenge facing Japan these days. Some of the things businesses do are just silly, too. We used to shop at a local electronics store called Plug City, but one day they announced a "closing sale" and sold all the products in the store at a deep discount. We were sad that our favorite store was going under, and started buying from another shop (K's Denki). It turned out that Plug City wasn't actually going out of business at all, just closing their store for a month to redo the fixtures. If they had posted this somewhere in the store, we might not have given up on them and found another shop to patronize, but instead, they lost us as customers as we got used to buying from another chain.

Something that makes Japanese people happy no end is when Japanese become famous outside of Japan. Nothing tickles Japanese more than having baseball players like Nomo and Ichiro, writers like Kenzaburo Oe and Yukio Mishima, and directors like Akira Kurosawa and Hayao Miyazaki hailed in the international community. In a recent issue of Time, my wife was reading about the popularity of plastic surgery throughout Asia, and saw SMAP member Takuya Kimura (the "Brad Pitt" of Japan) and Norika Fujiwara in the issue. She was overjoyed to see two Japanese stars in such a famous magazine as Time! Sadly, she was reading the International Edition of the magazine, which is of course loaded with articles of extra interest to people living outside the U.S., which aren't necessarily printed in the U.S. version of the magazine. I didn't have the heart to tell her...

If you ever visit Japan, it's good manners to bring a gift, called "omiyage" (oh-mee-YAH-gay), to Japanese you will be visiting. Some items, like boxes of chocolates, beef jerky, and macadamia nuts from Hawaii, are so famous that they're almost cliched. Some other items you might want to consider include vitamins (they're incredibly expensive in Japan) or a carton of cigarettes from your home country (find our of the intended recipient smokes first, of course). I've noticed a lot of expensive high-end toothpaste that's sold in the U.S. is available through mail order in Japan, often at laughably high prices (three tubes of whitening toothpaste for $60, etc.), so maybe some high-quality toothpaste might be a nice gift. And with the popularity of Starbucks in Japan these days, one of our favorite gifts for Japanese friends are the large 10 lb bags of coffee. You can't go wrong with something like this.

We have some great products for you today, starting with:

  • For fans of one of the best-selling items in J-List history, the Hello Kitty vibrating shoulder massager, we've got a great new version -- a deluxe large-size massager great for massaging your back, neck and various other places
  • If you love Japan's Race Queens, we've got a special item, the brand new Top GT Race Queen Guide for 2002, featuring the hottest RQs, including Toko Ushikawa (!)
  • For fans Japanese lovely swimsuit idols, we've got a super "pocket" photobook featuring the lovely Aki Kawamura
  • Also, a rare item for bikini and swimsuit idol fans, a collection of 106 sexy "fresh talent angels" courtesy of Fuji Television
  • We love cute licensed goods from Sesame Street, Peanuts and so on that are only sold in Japan -- and we've got fresh stock of some cool Sesame Street pens for you today
  • We have fresh stock of the cool "Cup Noodle Mug Cup" that looks like a cup of ramen but is a great coffee cup
  • For fans of our Japanese snack foods, enjoy the delicious chocolate and strawberry Pucca, delicious "fizzy" gummi cola candy, new furikake, and more!
  • For fans of cute things from Japan, we've got little bottles of Japanese "drinks" that contains cute little erasers -- very cute and wacky
  • If you love Domo-kun, the scary monster that is the spokesman for Japan's NHK broadcasting network, we've got limited stock of two cool plushes
  • One of the most popular anime series in Japan today is One Piece, a bizarre anime show about pirates -- we've got Bandai's deluxe Going Merry ship (that's also a game you can play) in stock now
  • We also have a bizarre figure series based on Marilyn Manson and designed by a talented Japanese sculptor -- very freaky
  • Finally, look for fans to keep you cool, new Hello Kitty items for your little ones, a deluxe new bento box set, and more!

For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products, including:

  • First, we have some nice new and reduced magazine items for you, including new magazines on the "under $7" page
  • For fans of Japan's lovely hardcover nude photobooks, we have a great 4-book set of photobooks featuring famous nude idols from Japan
  • If you love the uniquely Japanese vibrators and sex toys we've added in recent months, check out the very cute "Rabbit Rotor," a little vibrating bunny that has many protruding parts to bring much pleasure -- and it's so cute
  • For doujinshi fans and collectors, we've got a super volley of limited stock doujinshi for you, with two dozen all-new books posted including some very rare and cool items
  • Also, we've got great hentai manga items for you, including new books by Angel Comics, AV Comics and more
  • Also, freshly stocked comics including more volumes of the famous Pururun Seminar series
  • For DVD lovers, we've got another huge list of new offerings, including the new "Jun Kusanagi," the lovely Cocolo, who has a beautiful body and sexy "Kubire" (the name for the dip in a woman's body between her breasts and hip) (region free)
  • There's more "Amateur Bukkake" fun from Soft on Demand, as cute, naive girls go into the Magic Mirror Bus and receive semen from men (region free)
  • Enjoy the lovely performance of Sayaka Tsutsumi, the hottest star in Japan AV today, in "Lovely Semen" (region free)
  • For region free DVD player owners, enjoy a new erotic "Black Date" with Shinobu Rei, the erotic indies AV idol (region 2)
  • From Moodyz, a new release from the Moodyz Musume idol group, who perform hardcore love for you (region 2)
  • Finally, a bunch of newly stocked DVDs, including Love Semen (a special bukkake item), Adult Video Wrestling, Do Lesbian, and more!

Remember that for the rest of the month of September, we're offering free shipping on all Peach Princess games. It's a great opportunity to try out the games you haven't played yet, or if you're new to Japanese love-sim adventure games, try your first.

Monday, September 02, 2002

Greetings from J-List September 2, 2002

Hello again from your good friends in Japan!

Japan has many nice customs, and one of my favorites are the hot towels restaurants give you when you sit down to order. Similar to the hot towels they hand out in airplanes, the steamed towels are just the ticket to make customers feel pampered and positive about the meal they're about to enjoy. Almost all eating establishments from ramen houses to finer restaurants hand out the hot towels (called "oshibori" in Japanese), although some restaurants to give you a slightly cheaper towel made of paper. This is a great custom, I think, and I often think it'd be nice to see it catch on in the U.S.

Do you want to go to Kentucky? In Japan, going to Kentucky means going to KFC, one of the most successful American businesses to enter the Japanese market (they opened here in 1971). While American food chains like McDonald's usually make a lot of changes to the menu to make the food appeal to local tastes (Teriyaki Burger, etc.), KFC in Japan stays pretty close to their U.S. menu, offering original recipe and extra crispy chicken, popcorn chicken and one of our favorite menu items, the Twisters, a large chicken strip in a flour tortilla, just about the only thing approximating a burrito you can find in Japan. They do make some "local" menu items, of course -- during the World Cup, they had a Korean version of their Twister that was really good. The company that runs KFC in Japan also operates the successful Pizza Hut chain, however we're not sure where Pepsi enters into the equation, as they sell Coke at both restaurants. McDonald's has been putting a lot of price pressure on all competing restaurants over the past years, making KFC's products look expensive by comparison. They combat this by emphasizing that they use Japan-grown chickens, whereas McDonald's imports all its beef and chicken from Australia. KFC restaurants in Japan are always fun for visitors because they have life-size statues of Colonel Sanders in front of them (dressed up as Santa around Christmas), and sometimes you can spot foreigners posing with the Colonel in pictures. If you want to see what he looks like, here's a picture: http://www.bigempire.com/sake/images/kfc2.jpg. Since turkey is almost totally unheard of in Japan, gaijin like me often get KFC on Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

We've added a new feature to our DVD listings by adding a "DVD (all titles)" which allows you to browse all our DVDs in stock in one category. We hope this makes it easier to find the titles you want in our excellent selection. At J-List, we love DVD, and stock over 600 different titles for you at any given time, so we've always got lots of cool things in stock ready for immediate shipping. Feedback on our site and its ease of browsing is always appreciated!

For the new update, we've got a super selection of products from Japan for you, including:

  • If you're a member of the Star Wars generation, we've got a great item for you: the only-released-in-Japan full size Yoda plush from Tomy. It's really cool!
  • For fans of The Dog series, we've got stock of the two most popular breeds ever, the Pug and Welsh Corgi, in a large, deluxe size (with real leather collar)
  • For Kubrick fans, a super rare and special item: the Tofu People, a set of five cute Kubrick characters whose heads are large blocks of tofu
  • The Japanese are big believers in Feng Shui, and as a result we've got a set of cute "feng shui lucky teddy bears" for you, which you can put on your phone, camera, keys, etc. -- they bring love, respect, self-confidence and more to you
  • For Hello Kitty fans, a really fun item: a child's toy cellular phone that's extremely cute, and features Kitty talking and singing to you when you press the buttons
  • For fans of our snack pages, enjoy a new flavor of delicious Toppo from Lotte, as well as spicy Japanese rice crackers (called "persimmon seeds" since they look the same), with peanuts -- great!
  • Finally, look for other items like a new Hello Kitty deluxe toothbrush for little ones, a "kogal style" jaguar skin picture frame, and more!
  • We love the sexy Race Queens that help promote F1 racing in Japan, and we've got a dynamite new DVD featuring 120 minutes of the most famous RQ's in all Japan (region free)
  • Also, we're happy to announce preorders for the Japanese release of one of Hayao Miyazaki's best films ever, Castle in the Sky Laputa, which will come out in Japan October 4th -- the 2-DVD set will feature both English subtitles and the excellent dubbed track (region 2)

For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:

  • For magazine fans, we've got the new Gal's Dee, featuring beautiful Japanese AV models of cup "D" or over, as well as the dynamite new Video Boy and Best Video, filled with Japanese AV idols for you
  • We've also got new and back in stock photobooks for you, including some nice hardcover works!
  • Also, a new "Chinkame" format photobook, a small pocket-sized collection of lovely nudes of 15 Japanese girls all taken on their birthdays
  • For fans of Japanese erotic manga, we've got some extra special books in stock for you, including the much-requested Chokotto 2, an all-Chobits erotic comic anthology, and great new erotic comics from Angel Comics, as well as restocked items
  • Also, for hentai doujinshi fans, we've got some brand new works, a very hardcore Gundam hentai manga and another book with erotic parody of Chobits and other CLAMP characters
  • For fans of Japanese bishoujo love-sim games who would like to try out some titles on their original form, we've got a few authentic Japanese games posted to the site, including some titles from the original game maker JAST that are quite good
  • For DVD lovers, we've got another excellent volley of rare Japanese titles for you, starting with the very erotic "Man's Juice" bukkake DVD from Soft on Demand, starring Yuka Igarashi (region free)
  • For fans of Japanese lesbian performances, don't miss the new Lesbian Lovers release featuring lesbian fucking, penis play, and soapland and love hotel playing (region free)
  • The lovely Miki Sawaguchi (101 cm, J cup) teams up with beautiful Ryo Ayanami in a superb new huge breast fetish DVD release -- a really excellent item for Japan AV fans! (region free)
  • We love Nozomi Momoi for her erotic body and pure face, and you will too, in her new release from Wanz Factory (region 2)
  • Enjoy a great bukkake extravaganza in Waap Entertainment's latest Dream Shower starring Akira Watase (region 2)
  • Finally, see newly restocked DVD titles including the Do Lesbian series, SOD Best Selection, Study of Man's Penis by Naive Girls, and more!

Remember that at J-List, we carry the whole line of unique Japanese chewing gum from companies like Lotte and Glico. Some of our most popular items are Lotte's "Black Black" (menthol gum with caffeine, it will keep you awake!), delicious Sweetie (grapefruit) gum, and a fun item, Fruit of the Bubble, with "lucky" gumballs hidden in the package. Check out all these items on our Japanese snack pages!