Well, I am back in Japan after a long but generally pleasant flight -- it was more pleasant than usual because I was playing with my new 17 inch Powerbook G4 the whole way. I've made the jump from one side of the world to the other so many times that I can slip from American to Japanese mode pretty easily. I was happy to see that the construction work on the J-List office had been completed while I was in the U.S. -- we now have nearly double the storage and working space than we had before, and we'll be putting the new area to good work, bringing more great products to you from Japan!
You probably know that Japan can be a very expensive place. I'll never forget taking my mother to Kyoto and finding a small fruit shop that had a honeydew melon for sale for $30. Now, this wasn't just any melon, it was a perfect melon, sold in a specially padded gift box and intended to be given as a gift during Japan's summer gift-giving season (Ochugen). Still, $30 is an awful lot to pay for a melon, no matter how perfect, and my mother couldn't resist snapping pictures of it for posterity. That was back during the mid-90's, when the Japanese economy was healthier than it is now. Over the past five years or so, Japan has seen the prices of many products, from long distance rates to some foods to land and rent, fall noticeably. I'm sure there are still places where you can buy top-of-the-line fruit at outrageous prices, but in general, things are a lot more reasonable -- for example, a Yoshinoya beef bowl that used to cost 480 yen can now be had for just 250 yen.
The Japanese language has got to be one of the most vague, nuance-filled languages that exist in the world. Japanese is an SOV language (the word order is subject/object/verb, not subject/verb/object as English is), and it's related to Korean, and possibly Turkish and Basque (go figure). When speaking the language, it's very common to omit the subject, since it's usually known to the speakers, and often other parts of the sentence are cut as well. When my wife says to me, "Iku?" at noon, I know that she is saying "Shall we go to lunch now?" even though all she actually said was "Go?" There are many words and phrases that communicate meaning in ways that are very subtle. For example, the word "chotto" means "a little bit" in Japanese, but if you ask someone if they liked the taste of some food and they said "Chotto..." the implication would be that the food didn't taste good, but that the person wanted to say this in a more subtle and polite way. A common area where Japanese is so vague even Japanese can get into trouble is the word "ii" (pronounced like the letter "E"), which means "good." If someone asks you if you want milk in your coffee, "ii" as a reply can mean either "yes, I'll take some" or "no, I don't need any." When telemarketers ask if they can sign you up for services they're selling, you have to tell them no in specific terms; using words with vague meanings is just asking for trouble.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- We're big fans of the small figure + candy sets that are so popular in Japan, and we're announcing preorders for a great new series: five PVC figures from the fabulous Macross series, and you can preorder yours right now!
- If you love Totoro and the works of Hayao Miyazaki, we've got some cute new items for you, including Totoro and Jiji mini knapsacks
- Also, we've restocked the cool Totoro toilet paper holder, which will make visiting the bathroom something special for your guests
- For fans of Japan's sexy idols, enjoy a super-supreme Miwa Ohshiro (Oshiro)
- We love realistic-looking anime figures made of soft vinyl and other quality materials -- see a great new figure from the G-on Riders series
- Did you miss the excellent Space: 1999 toys we carried last year? We've gotten in several full sets of the Premium Pack of space vehicles, so you have a second chance!
- Enjoy great snacks from Japan, including nori wasabi ochazuke (pour it over rice, yum), Baby Star's famous ramen that you eat right out of the can, and more
- Love Hello Kitty? We've got some great new Kitty items including Kitty shaped pasta, a Kitty coin purse, super cute reflective stickers, and more
- For fans of the Shinkansen, the famous high-speed Japanese trains, we've got fresh stock of the Star Train series, featuring some of the most famous trains in Japan
- For Yu-Gi-Oh fans, we've got a great new card series from Japan, great for collectors and fans
- For Evangelion fans, don't miss a great new soft vinyl deluxe figure that will look great on your desk!
- Also, a really high quality Eva card game that features superbly printed cards and great card design
- Love Pixar's films? We've got a full set of 7 Monsters Inc. keychains in stock, but only one set is available so hurry if you want to get it
- For fans of authentic Japanese bento we recommend the Noble Homme extra-large bento box, which comes loaded with features -- we've got fresh stock of this item for you
- For Cardcaptor Sakura fans, a rare treat: figures from an long-past keychain series that we found
- For fans of cool die-cast metal cars from Japan, we have a series of six popular cars from Japan's past, including the Subaru 360 and Nissan Skyline -- very cool
- Finally, look for handy items for your car, more wacky Japanese signs, super reflectors for all purposes, great soft cases for your laptop computers, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of Japanese hardcore magazines, enjoy several new items, including the new issue of Yo! which shows kogals having sex in love hotels
- Look for many new items added to our low-priced adult magazines page, magazine page 3, from just $5, too
- The thrill of catching a glimpse up a pretty woman's skirt is always fun, and you can enjoy it in a new photobook in stock
- For photobook fans, enjoy the sweet nude of the sexy Ai Nanase and the beautiful and busty Yuko Moriyama
- The elegant and glamorous body of Noriko Aota comes alive in her new photobook, too, a great item for fans of Japanese women
- We've got lots of great hentai manga for you, including the new XTreme Beach Volleyball comic anthology, superb sex in "Tokyo Pop" and a great manga exploring what you'd do if you were invisible
- Also, for yaoi fans, enjoy a great new comic anthology of fantasy-themed yaoi artwork, a great item for you
- If you love the erotic "dick girl" doujinshi of Behind the Moon, be happy, because we've restocked all these popular books for you
- For DVD lovers, enjoy many great titles we've got for you, including sex from around the world as erotic amateurs from many different countries perform for you (region free)
- See the erotic sex of Japan's ninja women in "Shinobi II" (region free)
- We love the beautiful Asuka Sawaguchi because of her wonderfully fuckable body and clean sex -- see her in an erotic and playful new DVD from Natural High (region free)
- Explore the erotic and pure body of AV idol Momo Hoshino in a new 120-minute "The Idol" release from Kuki (region free)
- For fans of womens' asses, we've got a great new ass-fetish DVD that captures the best of beautiful bums (region free)
- We've restocked several of the incredibly popular Mai Hagiwara DVDs that had been out of stock for so long due to the incredible popularity of this fabulous woman
- Finally, look for some other restocked DVD titles including International Lesbian, Black Swap in LA, World Wide Fuck in Hungary, and more!
Remember that J-List offers great discounts for bulking up on our products. Order 4 or more manga volumes and get 15% off. Pick up 4 or more of the 750 different DVD titles we've currently got in stock and also get 15% off. Want some Japanese dating-sim games, which J-List stocks dozens of? Just choose any 4 or more titles and get a whopping 20% discount. All discounts are applied automatically at checkout!
Also remember that J-List carries that great symbol of Japanese wacky pop culture, the Hello Kitty Vibrating Shoulder Massager, which is of course intended as massager for your neck and shoulders, although some would call it a Hello Kitty vibrator (imagine!). A licensed Sanrio item sold only in Japan, the unit features high and low massage modes, and a beautiful image of Kitty and her rabbit friend. It looks just great, in or out of case -- display it as a wonderful pop culture icon. Why not get a few, and give them out as gifts? (If you get 3 or more you get a 15% discount through the J-List shopping cart.)