A bout of colder weather here in Japan has caused us to perform our "bringing out the fan heater" ceremony earlier than usual. Since there's no central heating in Japan, people use small "fan heaters" to heat rooms. A tank full of kerosene is burned to heat the room, while a computer inside the heater controls the flame to keep the room temperature where you want it, and beeps every three hours to remind you to open the windows for ventilation. There are two downsides to heating your home with these Japanese heaters, though. First of all, they can be quite smelly, especially when you accidentally kick your heater when walking past it, causing the unit to turn off and fill your room with partially burned kerosene fumes. Also, the fuel in the removable tank invariably runs out at the most inconvenient times, requiring someone (usually me) to go outside into the shivering air to refill the tank with a small plastic pump, all while trying to keep from getting kerosene all over his hands. You can see a picture of what these heaters look like here: http://www.mitsubishielectric.co.jp/home/f_heater/ (page is Japanese).
It's not easy for a San Diego boy like me to live in a place like Japan. San Diego is, if you haven't been there in the winter, blessed with warm desert winds that keep the weather quite balmy when the rest of America is shivering with cold. Blessed, or cursed, I should say, since those same Santa Ana winds were to blame for turning huge areas into a tinderbox last month. Gunma Prefecture, right in the center of the main Japanese island of Honshu, is famous for three things that start with K: konnyaku, aka conjac, a very firm gelatinous food made from boiled yam flour; kakaa-denka, particularly strong-willed women like my wife; and kara-kaze, the freezing winds that whip down from the mountains that run through the middle of Japan into the Kanto region, where Gunma and Tokyo are located. Despite the cold, Kanto winters rarely get much snow, which is kind of bummer for me, since if it's going to be cold I'd like some pretty snow for my trouble. To survive winter in Japan, I always wear my "momohiki" (Japanese for long underwear).
Oops -- earthquake! Right in the middle of my update, too. Like California, Japan is earthquake country, and it seems that every third day we're feeling one shaker or another, but the one that just ended seemed to be stronger than most. According to NHK's news site, it was a 6.5 magnitude quake centered somewhere around Izu Peninsula, about 150 km south of here. As with living in California, you just learn to be at peace with the occasional shakes. In 1994 a terrible earthquake in the Kobe/Osaka are killed over 5000 people. Because strong quakes don't usually happen that far south the building codes were much more lenient than the ones for Tokyo.
Because J-List is based in Japan we're able to get many products for our customers that wouldn't otherwise be available. We've loved the wacky character Domo-kun, the spokesmonster for NHK's "BS" (broadcast satellite) channels, ever since he came out, and we carry over 40 really cool products for Domo-kun fans around the world, including plush toys, towels, keychains, and Domo-kun objets d'art for your home. Since Domo-kun items are among the most popular for Christmas, we've stocked up on virtually all items for you, with over 20 items restocked. Enjoy the great items!
J-List sells our original wacky Japanese T-shirts with messages like "I'm Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend." We have so many designs in stock that we're always closing out older ones to make room for new shirts, so don't wait too long to get the shirt or shirts you want. Are you a big guy? If so then you're in luck: several of our closeout shirts are all sold out except for the larger sizes, 2XL and 3XL. Take advantage of the great prices and get a cool shirt, or give them for Christmas!
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, Japan's tradition of highly detailed anime figures, models and cold-cast statues is wonderful, and we've got two excellent issues of Figure Maniacs, special photobooks that are filled to the brim with incredible pro-painted anime figures
- Also, Gothic & Lolita Bible is a fabulous encyclopedia of all that's goth in Japan -- we've gotten in back issues for fans who want to experience this fabulous item (each issue comes with a complete sewing pattern inside, too)
- For fans of Japanese candy toys (aka shokugan or gashapon), small but highly detailed toys that usually come with candy inside the box, we have a special reissue of the best-selling Thunderbirds vehicles from Konami, with limited stock of full sets available
- Also for fans of meticulous Japanese replica toys, we've restocked the Local Gift Goods, incredibly detailed replicas of the gifts that Japanese people give to one another during the summer (ochuugen) and winter (oseibo) months (full sets are available)
- Karaoke is a national pasttime of Japanese, and dogs are very popular in Japan too -- so Takara created the super-fun Singing Dog Story toys, doggies that sing real JPOP songs and even harmonize if you put them together!
- We have the new DVD of the too-cool-to-miss Ghost in the Shell TV series by Shirow Masamune, which features a new box to put your other discs in and a cool ID card holder
- For fans of our famous Japanese snack foods, we've got some fun items, including Hello Kitty cookies, cute chocolate mini doughnuts and more
- Look for various restocked snack and gum items, too, like real miso soup, Chocolate Mountain Mushrooms (they're cookies that are fun to eat), Meiji Fran (a luxurious stick snack like Pocky), Koala March (famous cookies that look like koala bears) and so on
- Also, we've restocked several cool Japan Hot Wheels (like the Speed Racer Mach 5 and Stingray), as well as the Tomica Nissan Skyline, very nice
- For Blythe fans, we've got fresh stock of the cute Every Blythe vol. 2 small figures
- Also, we've restocked the popular Panda Z robot figure with pilot -- damn this is cute!
- Want to learn how to draw manga? We carry all the great English-language How to Draw Manga books for you, and we've just added stock of some popular books that had sold out
- Aya Matsuura, aka "Ayaya," is the hottest force in the JPOP scene these days, and we've got a dynamite new photobook for her fans
- We have some cool new straps for your keitai, er, your cellular phone, which happen to match the phone strap on Lucy Liu's phone in Kill Bill
- We love the Kubrick toys from Medicom Toy, not just because they make wacky figures, but because they're so well designed -- perfect for all collectors. We have a new "military" Kubrick series that's really cool
- Japanese women are very hygienic, and they regularly trim facial hair such as eyebrows to match the style they want to project -- we've got some of these cool facial hair removers in stock for you
- Finally, enjoy more wacky Japanese badges with funny messages in English and Japanese, more wacky signs in Japanese, and other cool wacky items from Japan!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- We've got a great new "mook" (a cross between a magazine and a book) dedicated to the lovely Emiru Momose, a sweet and charming girl who will delight you with her first nude appearance
- Then enjoy the great new "love and eros of street girls magazine" Meets Girl, featuring real sex by erotic Japanese amateurs aged 18-22
- We've got some great new sexy swimsuit idol photobook items for you, including the lovely new offering by Manami Fuku and the super sexy hardcover photobook of Yuki (Yuuki) Etsuko
- For hentai manga lovers, we've got some excellent books for you, including Colorful Love by talented erotic illustrator Setsuna, maid fetish in Doki Doki Suru Koto, Sweet Sweet Voice by Hirohito Tokie, and more
- Also, a major restocking of other popular manga titles, including Beautiful and Talented, various dick girl comics, and the super-cool Ghost in the Shell 1.5
- For yaoi lovers, we've got the very cool vol. 2 of Gush Mania, too, featuring erotic works by ten yaoi artists
- We've got some great DVDs for you today, starting with a super 3 hour selection of great sex by new face Marimo Asoh, who has a 100 cm bust and an I cup yet a tiny, slender body (region free)
- For fans of our new leg fetish DVDs, we've got the dynamite new Leg Moment featuring the slender stocking-clad legs of Miyu Nagase and Meri Sakikawa -- yum (region free)
- For fans the stylish sexual style we've come to call "girls in Underoos" (because it includes sexy Japanese girls wearing too-small cute underpants), enjoy a great foray into lesbian love from SOD's Chujitsudoh label (region free)
- The erotic AV star Kay looks great getting fucked every which way from Sunday in a new release for her fans (region free)
- We're big fans of the dynamite Mirai Hoshizaki and her sizzling sexual style -- enjoy her great new release on the Wanz Factory label (region 2)
- Finally, we've even more adult DVDs with girls from Romania, Moscow, Vienna, Czech Republic and more, as well as Bukkake Dream Party, Semen Bank and the popular Clothed Female Naked Male series.
Remember that J-List stocks three great region-free DVD players that allow you to play DVDs from other regions, such as region 2 DVDs from Japan and Europe. They also support PAL/NTSC conversion and are loaded with spiffy features. We recently reduced our price on these players for people who want to order them for Christmas -- enjoy these three great ways to watch DVDs, which ship out of our San Diego location. Best of all, you can't beat the prices -- start at just $88 for the transportable Lasonic DVB-8092!