Friday, January 10, 2003

Greetings from J-List October 10, 2003

Hello again from your friends in Japan and, er, Europe!

We've enjoyed our two days in Frankfurt, short though they were. During our time here, we catalogued many differences between Germany and Japan that caught our eye. One thing my wife noticed were many elderly couples walking and shopping together. In Japan, when a husband and wife get past a certain age, they don't spend that much time together outside -- older ladies hang out with their "obasan" friends, and men play golf or pachinko with their "ojisan" companions. (Obasan and ojisan mean "aunt" and "uncle" but also refer to middle-aged women or men in general.) My wife also fell in love with the incredibly cute children we saw here, with blonde hair and adorable faces. If a Japanese female sees a beautiful child, she will utter the words "Ningyo mitai!" ("Looks just like a doll!") 100% of the time, and my wife was saying these words every 20 seconds or so. And as in our last trip to Germany, we were relieved and grateful at the number of people who could speak English here, since my German is limited to what I gleaned from Hogan's Heroes reruns as a kid.

Germany is a very efficient place, though. All the trains ran on time, and there was no waste anywhere that we could see. Virtually every time we ordered a cappuccino, it was made by a machine with the press of a button, not by hand by a barista as in Italy. We also love the convenience of having the Euro to pay for items all over Europe.

In our absence, the J-List staff have added many great new products to the website for you. Included are new Blyth dolls that are so cool, more How to Draw Manga books for you, deluxe new Pocky with extra-creamy, extra-delicious chocolate covering, new Hello Kitty and other cute items, cute peripherals for your computer, new Totoro stuff, a cool case for your iPod or cigarettes, fresh stock of cool miniature food toys, and other cool and wacky things. For our adult customers, check out new adult magazines and new and restocked hentai manga, great new "dick girl" doujinshi from Behind Moon, great new adult DVDs including bondage, lesbian, bukkake and more, great new photobooks, and other wonderful items for adults. Please check out all the new items!

Well, now it's time to go back to the airport and catch our 13 hour flight back to Japan. I'm fully loaded with charged Powerbook batteries, a full iPod and the latest George Martin paperback, A Storm of Swords. We'll see you when we get back to Japan!

Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Greetings from J-List October 8, 2003

Hello again from your friends at J-List!

It's time for us to say arrivederci to Roma and hello to Germany, where we'll be peeking in at the Frankfurt Book Fair before taking our flight back to Japan. We're in Frankfurt now (it's much colder here than in Italy!) and are about to go out for some great beer, as soon as I post this.

Rome was great, and we got to see a lot of the city, both the famous parts frequented by tourists and some of the less well-known areas, thanks to friends who were able to show us some places known only to locals. If you ask one hundred Japanese girls what their favorite film is, a large number will tell you the 1953 classic Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. Audrey Hepburn is especially popular with Japanese women because she was the first actress of her era that became famous despite having a small bust. It was fun to go to the places featured in the film, eat gelato at the Spanish Steps, and so on.

All countries have what the Japanese call a "kokumin-sei," a set of characteristics that make up what could be called a "national personality." There are some traits that make Germans very German, Americans very American, and so on -- learning what makes people from each country unique is part of the fun of traveling. It was interesting to make observations on the "kokumin-sei" of Italians we met, too, during our time in the city. We were surprised to find that most of the people we met were very "about," which is an English term that the Japanese use to describe someone who is very laid-back or vague about things, e.g. "Ano hito wa abauto na hito desu" ("That man is very laid-back"). I hope we'll be able to come back to Italy soon!

For the new update, our staff has posted many great new items for you, including a cool new miniature food replica series, new Hello Kitty items (including some cool items for Halloween), new "minus ion" products for you, delicious snacks and other foods from Japan, new Totoro items, more How to Draw Manga guidebooks, more cool Japan-only Hot Wheels, Melon Gum, and more. For our adult customers, we've got some great items too, including DVDs, magazines, photobooks, bondage-related items, many new and restocked hentai manga, doujinshi, a new issue of the excellent Hip & Lip, and more. Please see all the great stuff our staff has posted to the site!

Remember that J-List offers a stagging 2000+ products from Japan for you, with ever possibly kind of product covered. Looking for a one-of-a-kind Christmas gift for the Japan otaku on your list? We've got hundreds of great ideas. What about some cool kitchen or interior items for your house? Want to try some authentic bento boxes from Japan, or try a romantic dating-sim game? Something cool for Halloween? Remember that you can browse newly updated products through the handy link on the J-List first page -- you can even view all products at once using the "view all products" link in the upper left-hand corner, too.