Friday, November 22, 2002

Greetings from J-List November 22, 2002

Hello and TGIF from Japan, where it's believe that if you cut your fingernails at night, you won't be able to be with your parents when they die.

Rice is the staple food of Japan, and it's eaten pretty much two or three times a day here. Japanese usually eat rice their rice white, steamed in electric rice cookers that are owned by virtually every household (we have two or three in our house). Rice is usually eaten as a side dish to other foods (hamburger steak, sashimi, etc.), and the food you eat as a main course along with your rice is called "okazu." Supposedly, the idea of eating a small amount of a main dish with a lot of rice comes from Japan's wartime past, when everyone was poor and had very little to eat except rice. The best rice in Japan comes from Niigata Prefecture, on the Sea of Japan side of the country (the Snow Country in Kawabata's famous novel). It's called Koshi-Hikari, and restaurants proudly boast of serving only this type of rice to their customers. The Japanese have a couple of different words for rice, depending on what form it's in. "Genmai" refers to rice in its natural state, and "kome" (KOH-meh) is processed, uncooked white rice. Rice in its cooked form is "gohan," and this word is also used to refer to all food, not just rice. (Similarly, "sake" refers to all alcoholic beverages, not just sake.) Eating rice is supposed to firm up your stool, and eating too much rice makes you constipated. With all the rice they eat, it's no wonder that many women in Japan are constipated all their lives. Maybe they should eat a little less rice?

If you've ever been to Tokyo, it's likely you've gone to Akihabara, the so-called "Electric Town" region of Tokyo where you can find hundreds of shops selling all kinds of electronic goods, computers, DVD players and more. Akihabara (or "Akiba" as it's often called) is a great playground for shoppers, and whenever the train stops there you can be reasonably sure any gaijin on the train will get off at that stop. Unfortunately, while there's a lot of cool stuff to find in the various stores there, the high cost of land in Tokyo even a decade of recession keeps prices quite high. When we are looking for new computers or a new "air-con" (an air-conditioning unit that also heats rooms), we know we'll find lower prices in our own city, 100 km from Tokyo.

Whenever you learn a language, one of the first things you generally learn are the "bad" words -- that's just plain human nature. What many students of Japanese are surprised to find are, there are almost no really bad words to learn -- if you define bad as words that kids aren't allowed to use. "Kuso" (shit) is used regularly on children's anime in Japan, and most kids use it normally while playing. "Baka" (stupid) is the catch-all insult, although my daughter takes it a step higher by saying "baka-jijii" (stupid old man), usually to strangers or to inanimate objects. The various applications of the "F" word don't translate into Japanese at all -- although virtually all Japanese know the English word, along with the English word "sekkusu," and use them in English. What defines "bad" language in Japan is often not the words themselves, but the tone and style of speech -- I forbade my kids to watch Gingaman (aka Power Ranger Galaxy) on TV in Japanese due to the rude yakuza-like tone of voices used by the villains. The only really "bad" word in Japanese is "manko" (referring to a woman's reproductive organ) -- a word as embarrassingly close to a famous tropical fruit as election/erection for Japanese speakers of English.

By the way, despite the notes on our website, we often get questions from customers asking if there's a way they can buy from J-List if they don't have a credit card. J-List accepts all major credit cards, and we also happily accept other payment options, like Paypal, check or money order through our P.O. Box in San Diego, and if it's the only option open to you, cash sent carefully through the U.S. mail. If required, we can also accept Western Union. When you check out through the J-List website, select the proper payment method. As always, email us if you have any problems.

Recently we've started adding pictures to products below the product descriptions as well as above. For some users, these images were not appearing properly because the height and width of the pictures were not specific by our site. We've fixed this problem so the image links should work for everyone now.

For the new update, we've got a bunch of great items for you, including:

  • First of all, we're happy to announce all-new calendars, which have just come in stock -- beautiful 2003 calendars for Ah My Goddess, Love Hina and Ken Akamatsu's Mao-Chan. So cute!
  • Also, we've updated the descriptions and added photos to another two dozen calendars, hopefully making it easier for you to choose which calendars you want. Note that many great items are starting to sell out, so please hurry and see which calendars you would like to get!
  • For fans of Morning Musume, a special issue of Best Shot, the perfect bound photographic magazines -- it comes with a mouse pad too!
  • For Race Queen fans, we've attained more stock of the popular Cool Girls EX, a fantastic photobook featuring all the top stars
  • For bento fans, we've got several restocked bento boxes and bento sets, including related items like sushi makers, and fresh stock of the classic fish-shaped soy sauce bottles that are so cool
  • We carry a wide array of station goods and items to help you study Japanese, and we've gotten in some unique pencils, pens and cute notebooks for you today
  • For fans of Japanese lovely idols, enjoy Mayuka Suzuki's very nice DVD and magazine combination (region 2)
  • For collectors of Hello Kitty items, we've got many new items that are only available from Japan, including two fantastic bento boxes, more of our popular Hello Kitty cups for your kitchen or office and some super-cute Hello Kitty kimono plush dolls
  • We love limited edition toy items from Japan, and we've got a nice new item: a collection of nostalgic items from the Showa period in Japan, which bring you back to the Japanese postwar era -- full sets are available, too!
  • We have some handy Japanese carrying cases that will allow you to carry just about anything from a CD player to an iPod and more, and they come complete with funny English on them
  • A popular food in Japan is "Tako-yaki" which is balls of fried batter with a piece of octopus (tako) meat inside -- well, we now carry delicious Takoyaki flavored pretzel sticks!
  • Also, we've restocked many snack items, including furikake, Meiji's Choco Banana, fresh stock of the popular edible Candy Bubbles, and more!
  • For Tomy mini-car fans, we've got a cool item, the official bus of Japanese pro wrestler Noah -- we didn't know what it was either, but it's cool and very Japanese
  • Finally, look for a bracelet that emits "negative ions," more Japanese hot spring powder, onigiri makers so you can make Japanese rice balls, and more!

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

  • First, a red-hot special issue of Gokuh Gold, a square-backed Photoshot-format magazine featuring just about every major AV idol in Japan today
  • Also, enjoy very beautiful Japanese girls in love hotels in the new issue of Yo! as well as some very sultry "beautiful wife hackers"
  • With her 101 cm bust (I cup), Anna Ohura is an incredibly amazing naturally busty Japanese woman -- enjoy her beautiful new hardcover photobook!
  • Also, enjoy a very artistic look at Japanese bondage themes in an erotic photobook featuring Yu Kinoshita
  • We've got another nice volley of items for hentai manga fans, including a superb hentai cat-girl comic from Lei Nekojima, and a very realistic erotic manga about sex and discovery
  • Also, look for restocked hentai comics, including Chobits hentai, Puri Puri Mermaid, Very Satisfied with Five Body Parts and more
  • Also, we've got a great item for Yaoi fans, including an erotic manga based on the relationships in Prince of Tennis
  • For DVD lovers, we've gone through and reduced the prices of a bunch of overstocked items, bring them way down and also giving free shipping (SAL) for these items -- so check out these bargain items
  • Then, see the Leo Best Girls Collection, with 200 minutes of excellent AV by 20 fabulous amateurs (region free)
  • From Glay'z comes a superb collection of Lesbian XXX, with beautiful women making tender love to each other (region free)
  • Also, the sultry "swimming girl" Sanae Mizushima will thrill you in her erotic swimsuit as she performs boldly for the camera (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand's Natural High label, Asuka Sawaguchi performs a great bukkake performs in St. Semen School (region free)
  • See a solemn and beautiful girl, Chisaki Aihara, performs beautiful sex in her first hardcore release (region free)
  • Finally, enjoy a great hardcore performance by the mature and lovely Miki Tachibana, a mature and elegant professional AV actress (region 2).

The J-Mate site has been updated again, with new reviews (with lots of screenshots) of two great productions by Akira Watase, one of our favorite indies idols from Japan. You can see dozens of reviews of DVDs, love-sim games, and other items, as well as read English interviews with famous adult video idols, allowing you to learn more about what makes them dick. J-Mate is sponsored by J-List as our way of sayin thanks for making us so successful! The URL is http://www.jmate.com/

Work continues on the upcoming JAST USA Memorial Collection and Milky House Memorial Collection, sets of three previous released classic bishoujo games. The JAST collection features the first three JAST USA games -- Three Sisters' Story, Season of the Sakura and Runaway City, in great updated versions for modern Windows machines. The Milky House collection gives you Nocturnal Illusion, May Club and the original Borderline Collection. We're really excited about these two products, and think that you will be too -- they're going to be great. You can preorder them from our website and get free shipping when they ship (by January 2003, we're sure).

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Greetings from J-List November 20, 2002

Greetings and salutations from Japan, where it's said that if your middle toe is longer than your big toe, you'll go farther in life than your parents did.

The social phenomenon known as "kogals" -- Japanese girls who wear outrageous fashions, with blonde-dyed hair and silly elevator shoes and over-tanned bodies -- was one of the keywords of the late 1990's in Japan. Kogals themselves owe their origins to the fashion-conscious teen movement of the mid 90s called "Amulers," when every high school girl wanted to dress up like JPOP singer Namie Amuro. But nothing is as constant as change, and the concept of the classic kogal slowly morphed into other versions: mago-gal (literally "grandchild-gal"), a label used for junior high school girls who wanted to dress up in ridiculous fashions too; "gals," a softer, less brash version of the original kogals; one-gals (oh-NAY-gals), basically ultra-fashionable girls in their low to mid 20s; and yamanba (literally "mountain hags"), girls who tan themselves totally black then wear bizarre makeup. As the sun set on the old Kogal boom, even the trademark of their movement, the "print club" digital photo stickers, called "puri-kura" in Japanese, has faded: game centers in Tokyo which stocked nothing but the print club machines are hard to find, and you no longer have to wait in line to get use them. Every once in a while you see a remnant of the old kogal phenomenon, the "gal mama" -- girls who got pregnant in their kogal days and are still dressing up in outrageous furs and false eyelashes, even though they're pushing baby carriages now. Seeing two "gals" exchanging child-rearing tips while they put on their thick make-up can be quite a sight, and is a uniquely Japanese experience.

It sometimes seems to outsiders living here that Japan is a very death-oriented society. Don't give gifts in multiples of four because the number four is read "shi" in Japanese, which also means death. Don't put you chopsticks straight up in your rice, since that's only done as part of a ceremony for the dead. Likewise, don't sleep with your head facing north, as bodies about to be cremated are laid facing this direction. Yes for all the customs that have to do with death, nearly all of which spring from Japan's various versions of Buddhism, the Japanese have almost no concept of estate planning. As far as I can tell, virtually all the things we do in the States to prepare for the event of one's death, from writing wills to making living trusts to investigating how to avoid death taxes are not practiced here in Japan at all. Since my parents have some land that will be transferred to my wife's name at the time of their death, I brought the topic up with them once, but it seem like something you just don't talk about. Likewise, I asked our accountant to recommend some options we might want to keep in mind, but he said no one really did anything to prepare for death estate-wise. Even the concept of drafting a will is not really practiced here. Because all Japanese have strong "common sense" built into them, a natural sense for the "way things should be," wills are not necessary here. If I were to die, common sense dictates that my wife and children would receive my property, and this logic is rarely contested here.

For the mid-week update, we've got a great lineup of products for you from Japan, including:

  • First, for fans of our Japanese snacks, we've got the delicious Melty Kiss, a limited edition chocolate fudge snack sold only in the winter in Japan -- it's great
  • Also, fresh stock of a popular item, Candy Bubbles, bubbles you can blow like soap bubbles, but these can be eaten!
  • Cosplay is a national past time in Japan, and we've got a special two-volume cosplay photobook set that's extremely cool
  • For fans of high-quality anime statues, we've got a superb cold cast statue of Maetel, from Galaxy Express 999, an incredible item from Epoch
  • For fans of Japan's charming swimsuit idols, go to Rome, Italy with the lovely Yumiko Shaku in her new photobook with DVD (region 2)
  • See a great photobook by former child idol (now grown into a "sexy idol") Yumi Adachi, a rare and special item
  • For bento fans, we've got a new deluxe bento set (everything you need in one package), as well as fresh stock of some other popular bento box items
  • If you love Doraemon, the most popular anime character ever according to a recent Japanese poll, we've got a great alarm clock
  • For fans of our Totoro music boxes, we've got another one for you, this one based on a picture from the ending credits of the famous film
  • We've got a dynamite Hello Kitty mug that's beautiful, as well as fresh stock of some cool Hello Kitty products available only from Japan
  • Finally see many other nifty items from Japan, including a wood tissue holder, a funny pencil case,

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

  • For fans of beautiful Japanese women with large breasts, we've got the new Gal's Dee, featuring many fabulous women, D cup and larger
  • Other popular magazine items include love hotel and amateur magazines featuring authentic Japanese amateur kogals and "hitozuma" (married women)
  • For fans of our discount magazines, we've added several new items to our "Under $7" page -- check out these reduced price items
  • For fans that want AV samples with their magazines, enjoy the new issue of MPEG Indies, which features a full color magazine and two Video CDs (playable on computer or in most DVD players), a great bargain
  • For photobook fans, some great items, including fresh stock of Anna Ohura's best-selling iNude, and Maiko Yuki's super hardcover photobook "Maiko"
  • For hentai manga fans we have another great selection of new works for you, including beautiful large breast fetish, female teacher, tentacle sex, bukkake and other fetish themes
  • It's a great day for Mai Hagiwara fans, because we have not one but two killer new DVD releases by her -- the first is Front Mirukuru, and allows you to go on a virtual date with Mai to the beautiful island of Saipan (region free)
  • Then enjoy Back Mirukuru, another fantastic soft porn erotic release featuring Mai at her all-time sexiest, an incredible sight to behold (region free)
  • We've got the final installment of Blue, the beautiful underwater fetish, featuring Takako Nagashima giving you a "sweet kiss in the water" (region free)
  • For Ami Ayukawa lovers, enjoy a staggering 4 hours of her best performances in a new Max File presentation (region free)
  • Ryo Aihara and Chika Kobayashi battle it out to see who has the most beautiful breasts in a super "coupling" by Soft on Demand (region free)
  • Enjoy the mature eroticism of Miyuki Hourai in a great offering from SOD in which she shows her extreme experience for you (region free)
  • Finally, a great restock of DVDs, including Ai Kurosawa and Hitomi Hayasaka Re-MIX (3 hours each), the popular Temptation Lesbian 2, and more!

Remember that we're having a "free shipping sale" on the G-Collections games this month (half price for orders outside the U.S. and Canada), making it a great time to complete your collection of these great games. And a little bird has told us that the newest game from the company, Private Nurse, will be coming in any day now. Preorder it now and be one of the first to get this super new Japanese love-sim game!

J-List sells wacky T-shirts with message like "I'm looking for a Japanese girlfriend" (our most popular shirt ever), "Your mother has a protruding navel" and so on. They're funny and wacky, and make great gifts, too. Why not browse our selection of T-shirts today? Because your satisfaction is important to us, J-List goes the extra distance for you, stocking a wide range of sizes (from small to XXXL for most shirts), so everyone can enjoy our fun Japanese T-shirts. They're printed in the USA and all sizes are full American sizes.

Monday, November 18, 2002

Greetings from J-List November 18, 2002

Hello from Japan, where the word for violence is "rambo."

Some customers have told us of problems loading some pages of the site, including some or all of the "Wacky things from Japan" pages. We're looking into the problem, but if you experience problems viewing the site, please let us know. Meanwhile, the "three days" link and product searching should work at any time, so you can use this method to view products.

Each language is unique, with its own set of interesting features. Romance languages, for example, have nouns that come in male and female genders, which is very different from English, and potentially confusing for English learners of those languages. In Japanese, there are other interesting features unique to that language. For example, the subject and object are often left off of sentences if the speakers know what is meant. Thus a girl might say to her friend "Iku?" which literally means "Go?" Who is going, and where are they going, and when are they going, are all implied. Also, there's a highly developed system of "keigo" or polite Japanese used in formal and business settings. Often, you choose extra-polite verbs and nouns (called sonkeigo or "honorific language") when talking with, say, a company you do business with, to raise them up to a higher level than you. At the same time, you choose other words when referring either to yourself or your own company to push yourself a lower level (called kenjogo or "humble language"). Many basic verbs such as to eat, to go and so on come in three versions, a normal version, an honorific version and a humble version.

Simple concepts like "you" and "I" can get quite complicated in Japanese, too. The basic word for "I" is "watashi," and this is what is used in formal settings (also pronounced "watakushi"). Girls get a cute version of this word -- "atashi" -- and good boys are supposed to use a boy's word for referring to one's self. "boku." Rough and tough boys, as well as men who want to project their manliness, will use the men's word "ore" (oh-rey) for "I." Kenshiro, of Fist of the North Star, uses this term. For "you," the formal word is "anata," but "kimi" (a familiar word for use among friends) and another rough man's word, "omae" (oh-MAH-eh), are used depending on the situation. A person's choice of what words he uses for "I" and "you" reveals much about his personality and self-image. A cute little girl will use the term "atashi" or "watashi" and play with Licca-chan dolls; a girl who is a rebellious tomboy might use the boy's word "boku" to the disdain of her parents; and young boys, such as my son, will experiment with acting tough by using the word "ore" (think of young Simba from The Lion King, bragging about his nonexistent mane).

Have you ever spoken to a Japanese person and wondered why they make noises of agreement while you're talking? This is aspect of Japanese speech called "aizuchi," basically "agreeing sounds" that speakers make when having a conversation. In Japanese, I could be explaining something that happened to me, and the person I'm speaking to would say things like "ee" (yes), "so" (that's true), and "ne" (a general word of agreement) constantly as I spoke. It may sound funny in English, but in Japanese it's necessary to show that you're listening attentively to the other person -- not making these noises shows you're not paying attention, and the person you're talking with is likely to stop talking and ask what's wrong. The trouble is when you carry aizuchi into English, and butt into what the other person is saying with "that's right" and "yes." It's sounds very strange when done in English.

Our price reductions over the weekend on nearly all our 2003 calendars have has a good effect, and we saw more than 100 of them go out the door today. We've still got many hundreds of super Japanese calendars for fans of famous anime shows, beautiful Japanese idols, cute characters and more, and we've added detailed digital pictures of several more dozens of calendars so you can choose the ones you want. (Of course, please keep in mind the pictures are being taken quickly, sometimes with poor lighting, and that the real calendars are much nicer in real life.) The prices are great, and the calendars are beautiful, printed on large sheets of high-gloss paper right here in Japan. Check out what we've got for you before the calendars you want are gone!

For the new update to the J-List website, we've got a bunch of great items for you, including:

  • First, we've got another volley of new calendars in stock, including some of the popular anime calendars that had not come in yet including the Akira and Chobits calendar items -- check them out!
  • For Star Wars fans, a very cool item, a sold-in-Japan-only pre-painted soft vinyl model of Mace Windu and Yoda in full fighting mode from Star Wars: Attack of the Clones, made by Kotobukiya for the Japanese market only
  • For fans of rare Hello Kitty good only sold in Japan, we've got a super tea cup, a nifty holographic sticker set, and deluxe hair dryer set for girls and more
  • Japan's sexy Race Queens are famous all over the world, and we've got a great photobook of the beautiful Yasuko Akiba in stock for you
  • For fans of the aesthetic beauty of Japan's high school uniforms, we've got a great manga/illustration book featuring the actual high school uniforms of famous schools around Tokyo, great for costumers
  • For fans of delicious and bizarre Japanese snack foods, we've got the tasty Crispy Pizza Pretz in stock, and it really is like eating a delicious pizza!
  • Also, a super favorite snack item from Japan, Morinaga's Choco Ball, in strawberry and peanut flavor, as well as other unique Japanese foods
  • We were happy with the response to our Japanese "Bub" dissolving bath tablets, so we've posted two new types to the site now
  • For fans of Studio Ghibli's anime films we have a positively fantastic Soot Sprite, from Spirited Away (and also seen in My Neighbor Totoro, sans feet and arms) -- a very cool item!
  • Also, we love the ceramic music boxes from Hayao Miyazaki's anime movies, and have a super new Totoro music box in stock for you today
  • For your kitchen, we've got a cute way to peel oranges, fresh stock of a cute deluxe bento set, and more
  • For dieters, some Chinese "slim tea" to help you lose weight -- a delicious jasmine tea
  • For fans of our bizarre Japanese erasers, a super item: Japanese sweets erasers, featuring classic Japanese "wagashi" sweets like dango, dorayaki, mochi rice cakes and more
  • Finally, find inflatable versions of the American Space Shuttle and Japan's H-II rocket, a keychain that catches the light of the sun and changes color, wacky Japanese pins, and more!

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

  • For fans of Japanese magazines for adults, we've got several nice amateur and love hotel magazines
  • For fans of Japan's hardcover nude photobooks, always a popular item at J-List, we've got some new items, including the first nude photobook of Hana Kojima, a lovely "nud-ol" (nude idol), age 20
  • Also, the steamy idol photobook of the lovely Kazuki Chiharu, sexy idol and kogal from Japan
  • For fans of hentai manga, we have an especially great line-up for you today, with new works from Chosuke Nagashima, a super devil tentacle sex offering, and a beautiful manga about first love
  • For erotic DVD fans, we've got even more fabulous Japanese DVDs, starting with a new "The Idol" series from Kuki, this time featuring the youthful and lovely Riho Kazami in three complete video releases, collected on one DVD for you over 180 minutes (region free)
  • We have another Blue, underwater fetish DVD from Pepper Shop, featuring the lovely Yuri Harada (region free)
  • Enjoy the beautiful Nao Oikawa in a large-breast fetish special with lots of fun breast activities for you (region free)
  • Soft on Demand has made a fabulous new "darkness fetish" DVD featuring AV idols and men who grope through the darkness to find the women and have sex wit them, all while special night camera film the scene (region free)
  • Also from SOD, enjoy Yuka Harajima as she goes to "semen paradise" for you (region free)
  • Then, enjoy a superb lesbian kissing and "tongue fetish" offering from Aroma Planning, the super Japanese indies AV studio (region 2)
  • Finally, Tomo has posted some fresh stock of popular adult DVDs and reduced prices on some other, overstocked items -- please see our DVD pages for all of these items (to conveniently view all DVDs, you can see the "view all DVD" page if you like).

Remember that J-List carries authentic Japanese "loose socks" in two different sizes, and also carries "socks glue" which you can use to glue your socks to your legs to hold them up. Worn by virtually all Japanese high school girls (except those who go to strict schools where they are forbidden), they are similar to the leg warmers worn in the 1980s in the U.S., and look great when bunched up just so. Enjoy a little slice of Japanese fashion culture courtesy of J-List -- they also go great with the authentic high school uniforms we sell, too! Great for cosplay at anime cons.