When learning Japanese, it's always fun to learn the "gitaigo," a group of words similar to onomatopoeia, very descriptive words that describe the state of objects. Because they consist of repetitions of words, they are very cute and fun to use. If you're really hungry, the Japanese would say that you're "peko peko," a word which describes the way you feel when your stomach is very empty. Alternately, "kara kara" describes your throat when you're thirsty. If you get soaking wet in the rain, you're "bisho bisho," and if you get indigestion, your stomach is "muka muka." If your skin is especially smooth and clean, someone might say it's "sube sube" (a word which comes from suberu "to glide"). And if you're a little on the plump side, you might be described as "puyo puyo," a word which sounds cute to the Japanese. In Chinese, nouns are written in plural by repeating the same character twice, and this has spilled over into some everyday Japanese words, such as "betsu betsu" (the character for "to separate" repeated, meaning separate or different), or a word you hear in anime a lot, "ware ware" (the character for "I" repeated, expressing the word "we").
I remember first coming to Japan back in 1991, totally dazed at everything around me as I struggled to find my "gaijin legs." I met many people who helped me out and showed me the ropes on living in Japan, including a famous American man who is kind of the "First Foreigner" in Gunma Prefecture, a man who came to live in Japan during the Vietnam era as a conscientious objector and has stayed here ever since. When I met him he'd lived in Japan for sixteen years or so, and at the time I was amazed that anyone could live away from his home country for so long -- of course, now I've been in Japan for eleven years myself. He's quite a local personality, and has written regular articles in the newspaper and also had a local radio talk show, mainly because he'd been here so long. A key element to understanding the Japanese psyche is that they always want to be well thought of by Westerners, and having foreigners fall in love with Japan so much that they live here all their lives makes them feel happy and proud.
You've been in Japan too long when you get a 'nihongo ga jozu' and feel really insulted. It's an odd fact of life in Japan, but foreigners who are learning Japanese strive for that magic moment when Japanese will stop complimenting them on how good their Japanese is. Being told "Your Japanese is very good" ("nihongo ga jozu") is a sign that your Japanese is good, but not quite "good enough" for the person you're talking to just shut up and talk to you as if you were a native. After studying Japanese for four years at San Diego State University and living in Japan for eleven years, I am hopefully as fluent as I will ever need to be, although there are still occasional difficulties. I went to KFC to get our standard chicken dinner for Thanksgiving last week, but for some reason, I couldn't make myself understood by the girl taking my order. It turned out that she was a foreigner herself, a university student from China, and hadn't understood my American Japanese accent.
Our region-free DVD players have proven very popular items, and hundreds of customers have purchased the units, which play DVDs from all countries (include the hard-to-play RCE discs), support both NTSC and PAL, play MP3, VCDs, and are very inexpensive, too. Our DVD players are so popular, in fact, that'd we'd been sold out of both the Sampo units for several weeks. We've finally got more stock of the popular DVE-612 player in for you, and our new price is just $98! These units are stocked in our San Diego office, and we ship daily, so why not order one of these great DVD players now? (Unfortunately, the 681P has been discontinued by the manufacturer.)
For the weekend update, we've got an extra-special collection of items for you, including:
- First, we've got great new toy and other items that are very suitable for Christmas, including some deluxe Hamtaro toy items that are really fun to play with
- We've got some cool Totoro and Sun Arrow items in stock, just in time for Christmas, including Totoro backpacks, new stock of popular Ghibli music boxes, and more
- Also, fresh stock of the super-cool Princess Mononoke large sized soft vinyl figures, featuring Ashitaka atop Yakuru, arrow in hand
- J-List carries authentic Japanese loose socks, and we've gotten in more stock of our extra-long, extra-baggy 120 cm socks for you
- For fans of top-notch Japanese Race Queen, JPOP idols and more, enjoy the new NoWon, just filled to the brim with lovely Japanese idols
- In Japan, anime statues using the "cold cast" resin manufacturing technique are popular, and they are really beautiful -- we've got some killer Sailor Moon statues in stock for you now
- We have some dynamite snack and food items for you, including delicious banana chocolate, wasabi rice crackers that are just great, and new furikake and miso soup items in stock
- Also, for fans of Kamen Rider (Masked Rider), enjoy tasty Kamen Rider gummi treats
- J-List carries the Bandai Hot Wheels, a great only-availale-from-Japan item, and we've got some new items in stock for you to check out
- Sanrio stuff is always fun, and we carry lots of items you can't find outside of Japan, including new Bad Batz-Maru and Kitty bags, a fun Kitty ice cream toy, Shinkansen toothbrushes for little ones, and several other items
- We love cute things from Japan, and we've got some new items, cute cork message boards with animals characters
- Astro Boy is a cornerstone of Japanese animation, and we've got fresh stock of the popular Collectors Figure World toys
- For fans of the undying My Neighbor Totoro, we've got the 2-DVD release featuring full English soundtrack and subtitles (region 2)
- We're regularly amazed at how popular our Japanese bento boxes are, but they keep selling out, no matter how many we buy -- look for fresh stock of several bento boxes and sets, chopsticks, sushi makers, and more
- Finally, look for cute Japanese pouches for carrying things (complete with funny English on them), traditional Japanese items for your kitchen, a spiffy way to remove oil from your face, and more!
The J-Mate site has been updated again, with a review of the excellent Back Mirukuru starring Mai Hagiwara, featuring many screenshots. The URL is http://www.jmate.com/
Looking for a great and unique gift from Japan? We suggest The Dog, the super-cute plush dog that's taken Japan by storm. We're giving 25% off all The Dog items this month only, so check out the excellent items we've got for you! Order three or more The Dog items and enter THEDOGSALE in the coupon field at checkout. Order by EMS if you want to get the soft pets by Christmas.
Another great gift for friends or family are our unique funny Japanese T-shirts, with all kinds of wacky messages in Japanese. Our shirts are all 100% cotton, printed in the U.S. and are full American sizes -- no worries about calculating Japanese T-shirt sizes. We ship daily and can get your order out to you very quickly. Let us know how J-List can serve you!