Friday, November 15, 2002

Greetings from J-List November 15, 2002

Hello again from all of us in Japan!

The cold weather has begun in Japan, and we can feel real winter right
around the corner. Because Japanese homes lack central heating found in
most American homes, it can be hard to keep warm, especially for a San
Diego boy like me. In general, rooms are heated one at a time in Japan --
which is good, since you don't spend energy heating rooms you're not using.
We have a kotatsu at our house, which is a low table with a blanket over
it, and a heater inside; put your legs inside the kotatsu and you'll be
toasty in no time. (My daughter and our cats love to go to sleep inside the
kotatsu, which is not healthy, however.) Since electricity is expensive in
Japan, most people use kerosene heaters, either stand-alone heaters called
"stoves" (sutoobu) in Japanese, or electric-kerosene heaters that blow
heated air (called "fan heaters"). These are economical, but smell bad (the
kerosene fumes give you a headache after a few hours, and you must open a
window to ventilate), and whenever the tank inside the heater runs out of
fuel, someone has to go outside and freeze while they refill the tank from
the kerosene jugs kept outside. Heating pads, called "kairo" (which we
happen to have in stock), are also ways of keeping warm when you're cold.

In Japanese, the English word "convenience" refers to convenience stores,
also called "conbini." Japan is very big on convenience stores, and several
chains -- 7-11, Lawson, Sun Every, Thanks, Yamazaki Daily Store -- compete
to bring the best products to their customers. Japanese convenience stores
always offer a large selection of bento (Japanese boxed lunch), onigiri
(rice balls wrapped in nori seaweed), bread (which includes things like
sweetened chocolate bread, bean paste bread, and so on), as well as other
items you might expect, such as drinks (Coke, Pepsi, oolong tea and Calpis
Soda). You can send packages from any convenience store, and if you're
going to fly out of Narita Airport, you can send your suitcases ahead for
about $20 per suitcase -- very handy when you want to travel but don't want
to lug suitcases. Japan is a completely check-less society, with no concept
of personal checks. To pay your phone or electric bills, you can just them
down to the local conbini and pay them in cash (the bills have bar codes on
them so the girl can process them quickly). They say imitation is a form of
flattery, and it must be true. Two convenience store chains in Gunma sport
names "borrowed" from American chains -- Save-On and K-Mart. Alas, the
Golden Age of the Conbini might be over for good, though. In the early and
mid-1990's, it was unheard of for a convenience store to close its doors,
but now with the economy bad for so many years, convenience stores closing
and turning into laundromats, used book stores or even used car dealerships
are very common.

Announcing lower prices on calendars! We've got loads of 2003 calendars in
stock for you, with many incredibly beautiful and rare items ready for you
to order -- no waiting! Because we want you to enjoy these great items,
we've lowered prices on almost all of our great calendars. You'll be
helping us, too -- the calendars have taken over the J-List kitchen, and no
one can get near the refrigerator until we sell the calendars. You will
love spending your year with the really cool character, idol, anime, JPOP
and other calendars available from J-List.

We're all hooked on a bizarre TV show in Japan, a "mannequin drama" OH!
Mikey, which is filmed with outrageous looking fashion mannequins in place
of actors. It's the story of the Fuccon family, father James, mother
Barbara and son Mikey, who came from America to start their new life in
Japan. In each episode of the show, the Fuccon family undergoes new trials
and tribulations as they learn about Japan. It's a kind of parody of
foreigners living in Japan, and the fact that expressions on the faces of
the mannequins never change adds to the bizarreness of the story. We're
happy to report that we have the box set of OH! Mikey in stock, and it
comes complete with English subtitles and many extras.

For the new update, we've an extra large selection of cool things from
Japan for you, including:

  • First, we've got the fun and bizarre boxed sets of Oh Mikey! in
    stock for you, containing all episodes of this bizarre and fun series --
    and it's fully subtitled in English (region 2)
  • We love Japan's cute JPOP idols, and have restocked several
    excellent photobooks of Morning Musume members, including Kaori Ida, Risa
    Ishikawa and more!
  • For fans of delicious snacks from Japan, we've got a bunch of
    new items, including Cafe Latte flavored "Crunky" (we just love that name),
    Glico's delicious Chocolate Mousse Macadamia nuts, a cream and delicious
    Almond Pocky, and a new flavor of Mill Make, a tasty milk flavoring that's
    enjoyed by all Japanese kids
  • Also, fresh stock of various snack items, miso and other soups,
    salmon furikake, and more
  • We carry all the excellent anime films of Studio Ghibli, and
    we've restocked several popular titles, including Laputa, Princess
    Mononoke, Kiki's Delivery Service and Spirited Away (all are region 2)
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we've got some nice new items, including
    another Kitty and Daniel "Wedding Plush" that is the perfect gift for
    soon-to-be-newlyweds
  • In time for winter, we've stocked up on Japan's amazing "Kairo"
    heating pads, cloth pads which get very warm when exposed to air, great for
    those who hate being cold (like me!)
  • Also, a fun item for your bath: Japanese "Bub" onsen tablets,
    which turn an ordinary bath into a Japanese hot springs
  • We have a super cool plush "Neko Bus" (cat bus) mascot for your
    car, who comes with suction cups on his feet, and is, ah, anatomically
    correct
  • For Disney fans, two rare items sold only in Japan: soft vinyl
    keychain figures of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, both very cool and
    licensed only for the Japanese market
  • For fans of the super-cute Hamtaro, we've got a new deluxe
    keychain set that's incredibly fun to collect
  • For Star Wars fans, we've got a positively incredibly "Marmit"
    figure, a highly-poseable high-end figure that's great for real collectors
  • Finally, look for other great items, like a soft plush cover
    for your folding-type cellular phone, a happy all-purpose "smile ball,"
    more wacky Japanese signs you can stick anywhere, and more!

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

  • First, for fans of Japan's excellent adult magazines, we have
    the sassy new Urecco Gal, filled with beautiful fashionable kogals and some
    of the best erotic photography found in Japan
  • We've got some excellent erotic photobooks, too, including new
    hardcover works by Kaori Shimamura, Jun Kusanagi and many more (stock is
    limited on some items)
  • Also for photobook fans, we have an exhausting restock of
    popular items, including sexy and erotic photobooks by Suzuki Fumika, fresh
    stock of Megumi Osawa's dynamite Last Dance photobook, and more
  • We love Japan's fetish for legs, stockings, mini-skirts and
    panties, and have some nice items for leg fetish fans, as well
  • For hentai manga fans, we've got several all-new volumes of
    great erotic comics, including a superb "virgin special" anthology manga,
    and a DVD that comes with a hentai DVD inside!
  • Also, see fresh stock of some very popular hentai manga works,
    including Irodori (one of the most popular hentai parody comics in J-List
    history), Total Bio Chemical Laboratory, and more
  • For fans of the English-language Blue Eyes comics, we've
    restocked the entire series in our San Diego office -- they're all in
    stock, waiting for you to order
  • Remember that J-List stocks dozens of volumes of yaoi comics,
    the very beautiful male/male love manga, and we've added stock today
  • Also recently restocked: Japanese condoms, which are great for
    anyone who wants to try the thinner, slightly smaller Japanese products
  • For DVD lovers, we have some great new erotic products for you,
    starting with another popular volume of "Blue," which features the beauty
    and grace of Yukiko Misawa -- "You make me air bubble." (region free)
  • Then, enjoy the erotic and lusty "oneesan" (a word which means
    older sister, but in this case implies an experienced, older woman) Ran
    Asakawa, in a superb offering from Dogma (region free)
  • There's a new The Idol series with 150 minutes of prime AV,
    starring Megu Anrai (region free)
  • For bukkake fans, see Reika Midou in Deep's great new offering
    -- and it's dubbed over with a professional voice actress for an extra
    bizarre feel (region free)
  • Yuna Akimoto tries her hand at lesbian sex and pretending to be
    a man, with some great "lesbian fucking" with a fake male members (region
    free)
  • Then, from Aroma Planning, enjoy the super indies presentation
    of "Everyday life of Breast Fondling" as women have their breasts touched
    while doing their normal daily activities (region 2)
  • Finally, see fresh stock of many new items, like Madoka Ozawa's
    classic DVD works, fresh stock of "Japanese girls vs. Black men" DVDs by
    Moodyz, more copies of the very detailed Russian Girls Manko 2002, the
    best-selling Very Best of Million, and more!

J-List carries three excellent region-free DVD players that allow you to
watch DVDs from around the world, regardless of their region code. We have
three in stock: the Sampo DVE612 and small sized Lasonic DVB090, both
priced as just $109; and the ultra-cool high-end Sampo DVE681P, which
features many pro features. Please note that Sampo has discontinued the
681P, so our currently stock is all we'll be able to carry. If you're
looking for a great region free DVD player that's got high-end features and
quality, hurry and grab one.

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Greetings from J-List November 13, 2002

Greeting from all your friends in Japan!

All modern languages contain confusing and archaic elements of past languages, English not in the least. Japanese also has many interesting characteristics as a result of its history. The biggest change in the history of the Japanese language came with the introduction of kanji (Chinese characters), which entered the country along with Buddhism through Korea in the 6th century. Before this time, the mound-building civilization in Japan had no written language at all. As with the invasion of the French language into England in 1066, the introduction of kanji brought many changes. Because the Japanese already had Japanese words for the things around them, they shoehorned the kanji writing system into their own language, creating two ways to read each Chinese character, the original Chinese reading and a second Japanese reading -- but many characters have several more readings, which can be very confusing. The result is that, although Japanese uses only about 2,000 characters compared with many more in Chinese, knowing how to pronounce a given word correctly can be a very inexact science, even for native speakers. Place names are especially bad -- the only way to know for sure how to pronounce many place names correctly is to ask someone who lives there, and even then it seems there'll be room for argument.

Part of the problem is that Japanese is a phonetically impoverished language, with only 46 syllables that can be used to express words. Often, words created with the normal kanji system have pronunciations that are identical due to phonetic accidents. For example, the words for "science" and "chemistry" are the same in Japanese (kagaku, although the characters used to write them are different), forcing people to laboriously explain which one they mean if there's a chance the meaning won't be clear from the context. Similarly, the characters for "public" and "private" have the same reading (shi), thus the words for "public school" and "private school" are exactly the same (shiritsu), despite the fact that the meanings are opposite. To get around points of confusion in cases like this, the Japanese use euphemisms, or sometimes import English words to take over one of the two confusing terms.

Late-night TV in Japan can be interesting, a repository for all kinds of television concepts that aren't viable at other time slots. One kind of show that's been popular in recent years are Asian music shows, usually coproduced between Japan and Hong Kong, which keep fans of other Asian music updated on what's happening on the music scene in Korea, Taiwan and other countries in the region. Another thing that's been popular lately are slightly low-budget anime series which couldn't compete against major anime being shown at prime time, but have no problem finding a niche after hours. Late-night "variety" shows which feature cute bikini-clad swimsuit idols like the ones you can find on J-List are popular, and many of the "gravure" (French for "covergirl" we think) idols start their careers on shows like these. And then there are American infomercials, dubbed over in Japanese -- yech. One thing that you won't see very often is reruns. Although Japan produces tens of thousands of hours of interesting dramas, anime and documentaries each year, it's rare to see a show rebroadcast once it's been shown once. As the number of channels available through cable and satellite TV grows in Japan, perhaps this will change.

Some late-night TV shows are brashly sexual, like the now off-the-air Gilgamesh Night, one of the great sexy TV shows from the golden age of 1990's AV and Japan's answer to Benny Hill. Every week AV queen Ai Iijima and the busty Fumie Hosokawa hosted the show, which featured all kinds of sexy shenanigans like "mini-skirt sumo wrestling" (girls have to pull each others' skirts off to win) and "get the diamond ring" (girls had to melt a phallically shaped piece of ice to get a diamond ring frozen inside, using only their mouths). There was an episode where Ai Iijima went to America and asked men "Kyonyu suki?" which sounds like "Can you ski?" in English but means "Do you like large breasts?" in Japanese. Then there was Yuki Hitomi's famous cooking show in which she would wear only an apron and nothing else. The men on the show would ask her to get ingredients down from high shelves while the camera ogled her bare bottom. It was just a little too demeaning to the women, even for Japan, which is not always a bastion of political correctness. The show went off the air in a teary farewell episode on March 28, 1998. Now there are no "T and A" TV shows on the air in Japan at all.

For the new update, we have a great line-up of products from Japan for you, including:

  • First, we've been very happy with the response from our Hello Kitty soft blankets from Japan. Now we've got another great item, two sizes of beautiful and soft My Neighbor Totoro blankets from Sun Arrow!
  • For fans of charming swimsuit idols, enjoy the first photobook of Miri Nanazono, a wonderful Japanese girl
  • We love wacky things from Japan, and now we've got a fun "hamburger eraser set" with hamburger, drink, and fries!
  • We have another fine Japanese film on DVD for you, complete with English subtitles -- Versus, an amazing film of combat and danger (region 2)
  • We have some nice traditional items, including a great miso soup dish and plate set, beautiful i.Kotoba cotton bags that are great for carrying your bento, and more
  • Also, fresh stock of several chopsticks for kids and adults, including the cute Hello Kitty chopstick set, a long-selling item
  • For fans of Hayao Miyazaki's films, we've got a rare and special item, a ceramic music box of the cat from "The Cat Returns" (also from If You Listen Closely)
  • Also, a fantastically cute Totoro plush "ball" figure that's fun to hold and play with, and incredibly cute, from Sun Arrow
  • New only-available-in-Japan Hello Kitty items posted today include a new stylish Demitasse Cup and Saucer that's fabulous, a Hello Kitty cake kit, funny Kitty chocolate, and more
  • Also, a fantastic Hello Kitty doll that sings a great Hello Kitty song, which you won't be able to get out of your head (we can't)
  • Restocked wacky items include more days of the week magnets in Japanese, more deluxe sake cups for drinking sake as a Japanese does, and cool umbrella covers (referred to as "umbrella condoms" by the gaijin community in Japan) used for covering a wet umbrella
  • For Japanese snack fans, see a "secret flavor" of Hi-Chew, the delicious "chewing candy" from Japan, as well as fresh stock of furikake and miso soup, and more
  • Finally, look for a super massage device for your back, neck and feet, a cute "wiener cutter" for bento fans, refreshing bath powder, a cute Sanrio Pom Pom Purin water bottle, and more!

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

  • For bukkake fans, the bold new issue of Gal's Shower, one of the most popular magazine items at J-List
  • Enjoy love hotel sex and anal play in the new issue of Peach Hip Development, as well as E-Jan, a Photoshop-format photobook of amateur hardcore
  • For fans of Japan's highly developed S&M and bondage culture, enjoy the new MPEG Aido (Love Slave) club, which comes with two Video CDs, too
  • For lovers of Japan's leg and stocking fetish photography, we've got a new photobook in stock for you, starring two dynamite girls
  • If you enjoy the hardcover photobooks of Japan, we've got several nice ones for you, including sexy actress Rieko Miura's first nude photobook, the "Cuty and Sexy" photobook of Hitomi, age 19, and more!
  • Also, fresh stock of Yuko Ogura's excellent "Love Heart" photobook and new "Chinkame" small-format photobooks that are loads of fun
  • We love the inflatable "love pillows" (Dutch Wives) featuring real Japanese AV stars, and we've restocked several, including Hitomi Hayasaka, Ai Kurosawa and more
  • Also, enjoy fresh stock of some uniquely Japanese adult toys, including all sizes of the Japan Rotor (small and efficient egg-shaped vibrator), the popular Rabbit Rotor, and the Hello Kitty deluxe massager
  • For hentai manga fans, enjoy excellent adult comics from Japan, including a superb new Peach Breast series from Chosuke Nagashima, an erotic anthology of maid fetish works, and more
  • Also, fresh stock of popular hentai manga works, including top-notch works like Erotic Heart Mother, Gehenna, Free as a Bird, and the excellent "Electric Fighting Daughter" game-girl hentai series
  • For DVD fans, enjoy many new offerings starting with the beautiful "underwater world" with the lovely Momoko Tabata, great for fans of the Japanese underwater swimming fetish (region free)
  • Kurumi Morishita is an erotic "magical girl" in a new offering from Dogma that's just great (region free)
  • Ruri Anno is a self-confident and erotic AV idol from Soft on Demand, and she really shines in her new "Temptation of White Juice" DVD (region free)
  • Ai Nagase is an erotic female teacher in a new production by SOD's IEnergy label, very nice (region free)
  • Enjoy two superb "Les Room" releases from Wanz Factory, with excellent performances by real amateur lesbians (region2)
  • Then, we've got fresh stock of some excellent works, including busty Kimiko Matsuzaka's "The Complete," Ryoko Mitake's "Crazy Love," the long-selling Akira Fubuki Special (the *only* Akira Fubuki DVD release), Miho Fukuda's No Cut, and more!

The J-Mate site has been updated again, with reviews of some great DVDs, including Ryoko Mitake's beautiful "Prick" soft porn release, and the Japanese film Versus, a spectacular new work. Read recent interviews with top Japanese AV models including Bunko Kanazawa, Nao Oikawa and many more. The URL is http://www.jmate.com/

J-List sells many Japanese manga, fashion, pop culture, toy and hentai magazines by "reserve subscription," allowing you to get the current issues of great magazines sent to you each month, until you ask us to stop. Why not browse our selection of great subscriptions and see if there are any you'd like to try out? You can cancel at any time, and as always, you don't need a credit card to order (check or money order, postal money order, Paypal and cash are all acceptable).

Monday, November 11, 2002

Greetings from J-List November 11, 2002

Hello again from Japan, where basic drip coffee served in coffee shops is known as "American coffee."

For a country that eats as much rice as Japan, they have some pretty interesting bread, too. I remember being happy to see how many kinds of delicious bread was sold in Japan, all very soft and usually baked in sold in small bakeries operated inside supermarkets rather than mass produced. You can buy bread sliced into eight, six or four slices, too, depending on how thick you like your bread to be -- the thick kind is great for making French Toast. There are many kinds of "bread" sold in Japan that would be called doughnuts by an American. Anpan is bread with Japanese sweet beans (anko) inside, which is something that foreigners usually can't stand. Melon Pan (melon bread) is a round, delicious sweetened bread that doesn't really taste like melon, no matter the name. Curry Pan is a delicious ball of bread with curry baked inside it. Japanese bread is so popular here, there's an anime show called Anpan Man, populated with characters that all happen to be Japanese bread products. Unfortunately, bagels are really difficult to find in Japan -- there's just no demand for them by consumers, so no one sells them. Mexican tortillas are similarly impossible to find in Japan.

Japanese companies are very good at coming up with special events to promote their products. The meat industry pushes February 9th as "meat day" because 2 and 9 ("ni" and "ku" in Japanese) make up the word for meat in Japanese ("niku"). On February 14th, women show their feelings for men by giving them chocolate. White Day, March 14, is the designated day for men to return the favor, giving white chocolate or other doilies back to women. Japan's optometrists designate October 10 as "Eye Day" (Me no Hi) because "10 10" looks like two eyes with eyebrows if you look sideways. Today is November 11, or 11.11, and the Glico Confectionery Company has proclaimed that this is "Pocky Day" because the numbers look like little Pocky sticks. In commemoration of Pocky Day, we've stocked lots of different flavors of Japan's delicious chocolate covered pretzels for you!

Time marches on and more and more calendars are selling out. We've gone through and added interior pictures from some more idol, anime, and other calendars, and we hope that you'll find something you like. We have over 250 calendars in stock for you, a huge selection, ready to go out to you with no waiting!

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

  • First, we have some great plush toy items, including a fantastic plush Catbus and Jiji the cat from Totoro and Kiki's Delivery Service -- they are fabulous!
  • For Astro Boy collectors, we have a great soft pillow that will brighten any room -- trust us, it's cool
  • The cold cast and model magazine All That Figure sold out in record time, but we've got fresh stock for you now
  • For fans of Japanese Race Queens, we've got new items for you, including a super new issue of Cool Girls, loaded with beautiful gals including Toko Ushikawa!
  • Also, a very special magazine featuring Taiwanese Race Queen and super model Yinling, not to be missed
  • For lovely Japanese swimsuit idol fans, we've got Dream Goes On, a photobook featuring some of the top models and idols in Japan
  • For fans of our super-wacky Japanese T-shirts, we've added a new color for our popular "I want to be Japanese" shirt, attractive pink -- great for girls or guys
  • J-List carries Japanese film on DVD that are subtitled in English, for the enjoyment and appreciation of fans outside of Japan -- we've posted Turn, a new Japanese film featuring the lovely Riho Makise as a woman who must relive a bizarre day over and over again in a very thought-provoking performance
  • For lovers of our Japanese snacks, we've got Mousse Caplico (delicious ice cream cones that contain chocolate instead of ice cream), more healthy miso soup, and of course, a big restocking of famous Pocky!
  • We love cute Sanrio goods from Japan, and we've got some nice items for you including new Shinkansen (bullet train) character goods, Hello Kitty snacks and candy, cute Hello Kitty toy cars and more -- check out our items
  • Also, we've stocked the popular and stylish Hello Kitty cappuccino and coffee cups, beautiful items that are great for serving drinks to guests
  • If you dislike sitting on hard benches, we've got a handy portable seat cushion from Japan that allows you to sit in comfort anywhere, in your garden, in the park, at a baseball game
  • We have a neat item, a handy wooden tray for displaying your treasures, or you can use it for serving sushi, we don't mind
  • For Inu Yasha fans, we've got a dynamite character strap -- use it as a strap for your camera or phone, or as a keychain
  • Another wacky item: cute "parody erasers" of Japanese snack foods, which must be seen to be believed
  • Finally, enjoy useful items for your kitchen including bento related items, cool "rocket pencils" with individual pre-sharpened pencil "stages" that you can easily replace, a handy set of all-purpose pouches, fun Japanese play money, and more!

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

  • We love the high-quality English-translated love-sim games from G-Collections, and since we're having a "free shipping sale" on them this month, they're selling very well. We've also posted their newest game, Private Nurse, for preorder on the site -- preorder it now for free shipping when it's ready!
  • For magazine fans, some nice items in stock for you, including Oh! Pai (large breast fetish magazine), the new issue of Do-Up (featuring very, ah, detailed amateur couples in love hotels), and more
    o Also for fans of Japanese amateur sex, we've got "I want you to Look at Me," a nice perfect bound magazine featuring some lovely kogals age 18-22
    o We've got new "sampler" items too, magazines which feature video CDs or DVDs inside, a great bargain
    o We've got some nice photobooks for you, including a beautiful hardcover offering featuring six lovely nudes from Korea, a fantastic item featuring Ami Ayukawa, and more
    o If you love hentai manga, we've got some excellent items for you, including a super all-game girl hentai parody comic, great hardcore comics and fetish comics from Japan's top studios, and more, fresh stock of the popular Pururun Seminar and more
  • For DVD fans, we've got another volley of excellent products, starting with a great "three in one" value pack with hardcore performances from Ami Ayukawa, Mako Takeda and Eri Imai, 3 full hours! (region free)
  • Enjoy a great indies "premium fuck" with Yuna Akimoto in a new offering from Janes Co. Ltd. (region free)
  • We love the exciting and erotic "Adult Video Wrestling" DVD releases from Obtain Future because they're very authentic and enjoyable to watch -- and we've got another great men vs' women sex fest for you now (region free)
  • For fans of lesbian kissing, a major Japanese fetish, enjoy more "obscene kisses of amateur girls" featuring close female friends who explore their first lesbian experience on camera (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand, enjoy a great "cosplay jukujo" (mature woman) performance by Hitomi Yuki in which she tries on her old Gilgamesh Night costume -- so cool! (region free)
  • Enjoy the lovely erotica of Moodyz Musume, the first adult video pop group, featuring excellent erotic sex and more (region 2)
  • Finally, another restocking or reduced prices on some popular DVDs, including Mirai Hoshizaki's "Delivery Fuck," Madoka Ozawa's "Document Private Sex" and more!

One of our favorite magazines here at J-List is Giant Robot, a superbly put-together magazine of Asian pop culture, filled with interesting articles on just about anything you can think of. If you are interested in Japanese anime and Asian culture, why not support this great magazine by subscribing? Tell them J-List sent you. The URL to subscribe is here: http://secure.giantrobot.com/store.php?catid=G001 .