Despite receiving six years of English instruction (more if they go on to college), most Japanese don't get the hang of English. There are many reasons why this is, including an odd stress on performing on written tests in the Japanese educational system, constant use of Japanese in English class, and the fact that most of the teachers of English aren't very competent at speaking English naturally. Unlike Europe, English is not used in daily life here at all, and even Japanese who like English have little chance to practice it. Another problem for Japanese trying to speak English is that the phonetic systems of the two languages are very different: all sounds in Japanese are syllables, with no consonants appearing by themselves (except the letter N). Forcing English words through this "katakana strainer" is what gives Japanese people their famous accents. (If you want to see more about Japanese phonetics see my overview of the Japanese language at my personal homepage, http://www.peterpayne.net)
Yes, English is a very difficult language. American English may be especially hard, with our wide variety of dialects and our tendency to speak fast and be in a hurry all the time. Some words seem to be made just to torment Japanese learners of English as a Second Language (or "ESL" as we former English teachers say). First, L and R are not separate concepts to the Japanese, so they spend their lives trying to master the difference between these two sounds (very dangerous with words like "election"). Consonant clusters like the "pl" in "please" are also difficult, and the strong "r" consonant in words like girl, world and dirty is a challenge, too. My five year old daughter, who is selectively bilingual (she forgets her English when she wants to, which is usually when I want to speak English with her), is a savant when it comes to pronouncing these hard-to-say English words. Sometimes when my daughter is in a bad mood and wants to push her mother's buttons she'll "correct" her mother's English pronunciation. Then the sparks really fly...
There can be a world of difference between the social customs of Japan and countries like the U.S. Business customs like bowing and the giving and receiving of business cards, which are very important in Japan, can be confusing to visiting foreigners. A J-List reader found an interesting article that may help you if you're coming to Japan on business. The URL is http://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/17/business/17CUST.html .
At J-List, we love to bring you delicious and unique snack foods from Japan. One of our favorite items are Glico's Pocky, a fantastically delicious chocolate stick snack. Because of the heat and humidity in Japan, we can't carry Pocky during the summer. But now that the heat is past, Pocky is returning to J-List! Check out the new flavors of delicious Mousse Pocky new for Fall 2002!
For the pre-weekend update we've got an extra special bunch of items for you, including:
- Mentioned above, we've got several great flavors of this year's Mousse Pocky in stock (and see the link to the new TV commercial on the product page, too)
- Also for snack fans, a new flavor of Mill Make, a delicious milk flavoring that's been enjoyed in Japan for decades
- Do you love Japan's cherry blossoms? We've got a neat book that shows the 23 best places to see 'sakura' in Japan
- Licca-chan is a cute fashion doll from Japan's toy maker Takara, and we've got some spiffy "retro Licca" keychains based on dolls sold in the 1960's and 70's
- For Totoro fans, we've got fresh stock of the super-popular Totoro backpacks that sold out so fast last time
- Also, we've gotten in cool new Japan Hot Wheels, including two vehicles from Ultraman: great toys licensed and sold only in Japan
- Also: an Ultraman phone strap/keychain that is to die for, it's so cute
- Retro things are popular in Japan now, and there's a wacky and cool item: a little robot figure made out of a box of Meiji Fruit Drops, very cute and fun
- We have two new trading card sets in stock: cute idols like Miho Yoshioka in the Media Project series, and a new Inu Yasha trading card series that's also very cool
- We love bento boxes from Japan, and bento culture in general, and we've posted several new high-end bento boxes for you to enjoy
- For Macross fans, a new die-cast metal 1:144 scale model of the CG-19A from Macross Plus, very cool indeed
- For Hello Kitty fans, some new items, including a cute way to make coffee
- For swimsuit idol fans, we've got fresh stock of Yuko Ogura's dynamite hardcover photobook (but stock will go fast)
- For fans of cute Japanese waitress uniforms, we have an authentic book that presents information and pictures of famous restaurants and cake shops around Japan
- We love the high-quality pre-painted resin statues available in Japan, and we've got a cool item for you: a 1/6 scale statue of Sakura Kinoshita from Cardcaptor Sakura
- Finally, check out Hamutaro bento boxes, more Japanese noodle trays, cool onigiri makers that help you make authentic Japanese rice balls, and more!
- For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. The new items include:
- For fans of Japan's unique adult magazines, we have the new oversized Bejean, as well as several other nice amateur magazines and more
- We have great photobooks in stock, including the hardcover photobook of Kaoru, as photographed by Aida Garo, and other items as well
- Another special item, a tripple-thick issue of Photoshot DX, filled with some of the best girls in all Japan (23 of them to be exact, with 224 pages)
- If you like Japan's leg fetish photobooks, check out the new Fetish Venus, it's cool
- For bargain hunters, check out the newly posted DVD Dash, which features a magazine and full 120 minute DVD full of great Japanese amateur AV (much of it subtitled in English and Chinese)
- For hentai manga collectors, another volley of good erotic comics from Japan, including some nice works from Masaki Makitou and more. Also, a new issue of Electric Fighting Daughters that's filled with sexual parody of "game girl" characters
- Also, fresh stock of some popular books, including the manga of Yui Toshiki (of Yui Shop fame)
- For fans of doujinshi, we've got new stock for you: two great new books by Team IBM, with incredibly good erotic artwork and more
- Also, a new yaoi offering for fans of Japan's famous homosexual comics
- For DVD lovers, we've got another selection, starting with "The Testicles Kick of Amateur Girls," featuring pretty girls who kick men in the balls (region free)
- A nice 2-in-1 release from SOD, see female orgasms (shiofuki) and male cum-shots filmed in super slow-motion -- another very interesting (region free)
- We've stocked some of the popular and much-requested Aroma DVDs, including Temptation Lesbian and The Hill of Pussy (female pelvic arch fetish) (region free)
- A good item for fans of "lesbian kissing," a new Obscene Kisses of Amateur Girls release, which asks female friends to experiment with their first lesbian deep kiss (region free)
- For fans of Bauhaus and their beautiful soft porn DVD releases, enjoy Misao Aikawa's beautiful new release (region 2)
- A super item for fans of Wanz Factory, see their best works, starring 16 top-notch AV stars! (region 2)
- Also, a super selection of erotic AV from Moodyz, get 240 minutes (4 hours) of their best works from 2001 (region 2)
- Finally, see many newly restocked items, including the popular Violent Shoot starring Yuuna Akimoto (region 2) and more!
The J-Mate page has been updated with another review, this time the popular "Nanami Nanase Answers the Flagrant Requests of Semen Maniac with Smiling Face." In addition to reviews of Japanese hentai games, DVDs and more, read interviews with Japanese AV idols in English, allowing you to understand what's going on inside the minds of these girls. The URL to J-Mate is http://www.jmate.com/ J-Mate is our way of saying thanks to our customers for making J-List a success. Reviews of products are most welcome, too!
J-List carries many unique items from Japan. One popular category of items are the "loose socks" that high school girls wear, which we sell in 80 and 120 cm lengths. You can also get "socks glue" to hold your socks up. Great for cosplay at anime conventions, or just to wear for that authentic Japanese style.
Finally, the top 5 list has been updated, so you can see what other people are buying at J-List. Check it all out!