Saturday, December 28, 2002

Greetings from J-List December 28, 2002

Hello again and Happy Holidays from J-List!

We're having fun in San Diego, relaxing and generally recharging our batteries. The weather has been great, as is not uncommon in America's Finest City -- it's balmy outside right now, and I'm not cold at all in jeans and a T-shirt. Later today, we're going to go bicycle riding along Mission Bay with the kids. Doing outdoor sports around Christmas is great fun, and not something you'd find people doing in Japan. San Diego's population is always steadily on the rise, as people come here once and find out what a great place it is, and make plans to move here.

It's always funny to see little differences between America and Japan. My daughter has a little problem with lazy eye, and we've taken her to several Japanese doctors to see what can be done about the problem. Just for good measure, we took her to an American doctor, who showed her some pictures and asked her to identify them, so he could check her vision. The pictures included basic objects like a telephone, a shoe and so on, but they looked so odd, at least to my daughter, that she couldn't identify them, making the doctor think her vision was seriously impaired. Turns out, it was just a case of difference in culture and upbringing, and her eyes are fine.

Recently I was asked how Japanese feel about black men. It's an interesting question, and quite a complex one. Because most black men in Japan are there with the U.S. Armed Forces, I would say that some of the characteristics of military men in general may be unfairly attributed to black men as a group. In one of the translated interviews on J-Mate (www.jmate.com) Mai Hagiwara had written something about a black man hitting on her in a bar. "Should I be happy about this or worried?" she had written. I've received mail from a black reader who was offended by this, but I think Mai-chan's response is quite representative of most Japanese of her generation -- she was thrilled and a little nervous at the "mystique" of having a black man take interest in her, and maybe a little scared at the extra "foreignness" of the man over, say, a white gaijin. Of course there is some racism in Japan, as in all countries, and it's true that there might be a barrier for a black man wanting to marry into a Japanse family -- but as with all things, it depends on the individuals involved. It's always good to keep in mind that you're not dating/marrying the country of Japan itself, but an individual, who has her own set of beliefs and values.

For the new update, we've got many special items from Japan for you,
including:

  • First, we've got some nice items for Hello Kitty fans, including new items for babies, a cute all-purpose Kitty bag, fun Kitty body stickers, and more
  • For anyone wanting to learn to draw like Japanese illustrators we've got a fun "how to draw funny character" book
  • For collectors of high-end Japanese figures, see the great Oni Musha samurai figure in stock -- very cool!
  • Also very cool, we've got new BE@RBRICK toys in stock for you
  • For Lupin III fans, we've got stock of the dynamite Lupin the Third high-end figures with dozens of poseable joints
  • If you loved Ultraman as a child, we've got the ultimate set of super Ultraman figures, including a staggering 28 different toys to play with
  • Sun Arrow makes the very best plush and other toys from Japan, and we've got new Spirited Away and Totoro keychain we've gotten in stock -- see these before they sell out
  • J-List loves the Tomica toy cars from Japan, excellent die-cast metal replicas of famous Japanese cars. See the new toy Japanese police car
    we've got in stock for you
  • Like rare things from Japan? We've got a plush Japanese train keychain that's really unique and cool
  • Also for Tokyo Mew Mew fans, we've got a great new figure series, a very nice item for you to collect
  • For fans of Japanese candy and snacks, enjoy Choco Baby, delicious Gundam cookies with stickers inside, tasty Rock Choco, as well as freshly restocked delicious treats from Japan
  • J-List carries great region free DVD players from our San Diego office, and we've got limited stock (exactly two) of the great high-end player from Sampo with Progressive Scan (but they will go fast)
  • Finally, see more Japanese New Year's items which you can use to decorate your home in traditional Japanese style.

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

  • First, for fans of adult Japanese magazines, we've got some great items for you, including Harem King
  • Also for fans of rare American, European and Russian gals, enjoy the new issue of Bachelor
  • For photobook collectors, enjoy several new hardcover photobooks, including the nude loveliness of Mai Haruna, Fuuka Sakurai's lovely erotic offering, the erotic body of Noriko Midorikawa, and more
  • Also, a superb erotic work for fans of Anna Ohura, a great item for fans of Japan's bondage themes
  • If you love Japan's erotic comics, we've got some very nice new ones in stock for you -- please check the newly posted items
  • For DVD collectors, J-List has some excellent items for you, starting with a dynamite new erotic offering for fans of Rio Sannomiya with lots of fantasy cosplay for your enjoyment (region free)
  • Then, enjoy the erooy the erotic performance of Mina Moroboshi, a startlingly beautiful AV actress, in a new Blue File release, with 3 hours of her best work for you (region all)
  • Another great erotic release, Ultracrazy for Tail, featuring more "sex in the dark" filmed with special night vision cameras, from SOD (region free)
  • Also from Soft on Demand, enjoy a new exploration of masochism starring the lovely Nanami Nanase (region free)
  • The Romanian gymnastics team has a unique treat for you -- a soft porn DVD offering that J-List has received many requests for (region free)
  • From Moodyz, see the excellent and very erotic Sex Wars, an interesting release of bukkake and leather play, great for fans (region 2)
  • For fans of Mirai Hoshizaki and Nao Oikawa, enjoy a new VIP Shower bukkake release from Waap (region 2)
  • Finally, we've got fresh stock of some excellent adult DVD titles for you, so check out the great items today.

Remember that J-List sells virtually all English-language bishoujo games (interactive love simulation games) from companies like Peach Princess, G-Collections and more. Several titles are available for preorder, too, allowing you to reserve the game and be one of the first to get it when they are released. And you get free shipping (half price shipping for international customers), too! If you pay with credit card, we'll hold the order until the game you've ordered is ready to ship out to you -- of course nothing is ever charged to any credit card for preorder or out of stock items until the item is in stock and ready to be shipped.

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!

Tuesday, December 24, 2002

Greetings from J-List December 24, 2002

Holiday greetings from J-List! It's Christmas Eve, and we're set to have a great Christmas, as we've hopped across the Pacific and are now home in San Diego. We hope everyone is having a happy and warm holiday with friends and family. We've got a nice Christmas greeting card for you, courtesy of manga artist Tohru Nishimaki and White Lightning Publishing, who bring us the English-language Blue Eyes comics that we stock. See it at this URL: http://www.wlpcomics.com/images/christmas-02.jpg . Of course, while we're here on our vacation, the hardworking J-List staff will make sure everything goes smoothly in Japan.

When you're an expat living in Japan, it's always a pleasure to come home again -- something about living outside your home country makes you appreciate home even more than if you'd never left, which is one reason we advise young people to do homestay in other countries whenever possible. From American TV to Golden Grahmes to fast, wide California freeways, there's a lot to really appreciate about America. Our kids love America too, and are really happy to be in their second home. They're also happy to see Georgie and Goldie, our Beagle and Cocker Spaniel that we have in our house in San Diego.

Before I started J-List back in 1996, I was an English teacher, and spent several years teaching ESL -- that's English as a Second Language to us teacher types. Although teaching English was often very challenging and difficult, it was fun because I got to meet so many Japanese people of all ages, and learn from them as I taught them. I was immediately surprised by the strong impression by Japanese that America was a "free" country, supposedly unlike Japan -- although none of my students had much idea what free really meant. One of my students wrote, "Japanese teachers always want children to be the same. But America is more free. They don't have school uniforms and strict, strange rules." By far the biggest question I was asked was, did I have a gun when I lived in America? Of course the answer was no, but Japanese were interested in America's fixation with guns. I remember struggling to explain English grammar in ways that were useful to my students. They wanted explanation of gerunds and particles and infinitive verbs, and me saying "Mm, that sounds right to me" is not what they wanted to hear, so I had to hit the books and learn how to explain grammar in a way that was useful to them. If you are interested in seeing some of the collected (and silly) writings of my former students, I've posted some on my personal homepage at http://www.peterpayne.net/

The Chinese writing system, kanji, is a part of the Japanese language, the same way Latin or Greek is a part of Western languages. This relationship with Chinese characters pops up in the language in interesting ways. In Sazae-san, the long-running anime that captures in calming, peaceful tones the happiness of a traditional Japanese family, for example, Sazae and her husband, Masuo, sleep on futons with their son, Tara-chan, sandwiched in between. This is called sleeping in "kawa no ji" style, literally "sleeping like the character for river" since it imitates the three flowing lines that make up the character for river. Similarly, my daughter, rambunctious tomboy that she is, usually sleeps in the shape of "dai no ji" or the shape of the character for "big"," with her arms extended and legs spread as far as possible, the better to take up as much room as possible when sleeping with her mom and dad. See what these two kanji look like here: http://www.jlist.com/c3/kawa.jpg

For the new update, we've got a great selection of new items, including:

  • First, for fans of Japanese snacks, enjoy Morinaga's super big caramels, delicious "Village of Bamboo Chocolate" cookies, Legend of Ultraman Tomato Pretzels (a limited edition treat), mango pudding cookies, chocolate almond treats, and a rare flavor of Kit Kat from Nestle
  • Also, fresh stock of some popular items that keep selling out, like authentic Japanese miso soup, furikake, Japanese diet tea, and more
  • Enjoy fresh "green breath" with a new flavor of Glico's Kiss Mint gum, now in stock
  • We always carry lots of fun Hello Kitty Sanrio products, and we've got some new items, including a Kitty water bottle, new Hello Kitty Mini Town play items, Hello Kitty tissue and toilet paper, and more
  • We've restocked many Hamtaro items, including the popular Hamtaro figure with mini house, a great collection of Hamster fun from Furuta, and the "Hamtaro Cutting Memo" that is so cute
  • For fans of sexy idols from Japan, enjoy the very nice hardcover photobook of Mika Sakamoto, a lovely swimsuit angel
  • Kids love Yu-Gi-Oh, and we've got some unique things from Japan for them, including our fun Yu-Gi-Oh wafer chocolate, little cookies that come with "trading stickers" inside
  • For fans of Kamen Rider (Masked Rider) Kuga, the best-ever in the series (according to my wife, who is a fan), we've got a killer set of trading cards
  • Like Snoopy? There are some great Japan-only Peanuts licensed goods, and we've got some fun music boxes in stock for you today
  • If you're a fan of imported anime DVD from Japan, be sure to pick up the Ghost in the Shell animated series DVD, which we've got in stock for you -- it's really cool, recommended highly by Brent (region 2)
  • Another treat, we've got vol. 1 of Tokyo Mew Mew, for fans who want to get into this great Japanese show (region 2)
  • For Kubrick fans, we've got a couple of cool BE@RBRICK in stock for you
  • We've slashed prices on our excellent 2003 calendars yet again, bringing them way down in price, to such a low price we can't believe it ourselves -- please help us out by checking out our stock of calendars, and picking up a couple (we give free mailing tubes if you get 2 or more). Thanks from all of us!
  • For anyone studying Japanese or another language, we've restocked the cool Campus Vocabulary Books which make it easy to write down words you're studying for later review
  • Finally, look for more cool items, including bento boxes, chopsticks, fun and convenient things for your house, fun ways to massage your body, and much more!

Remember that J-List carries virtually all English-language bishoujo games that are in print, so you can find all the best games in one place. Peach Princess, G-Collections, Hobibox Europe, Himeya Soft, JAST USA and Milky House, we've got them all and all are in stock. Japan's bishoujo games are an interesting kind of interactive love-simulation game that's unique to Japan, and we hope you'll try out some of them. If you're unsure which games you think you'd like, feel free to email us for a recommendation! Our free shipping sale on Peach Princess games ends in a week, too!

Also, J-List's famous Japanese T-shirts, with bizarre messages like "Your mother has a protruding belly button" and "I'm proud of my sexual power," are in stock and available for immediate shipping from our San Diego warehouse. If you buy 3 or more of these cool shirts, you get an automatic 10% off through the shopping cart, too.