Friday, January 24, 2003

Greetings from J-List January 24, 2003

Hello and "Happy Weekend" from all of us at J-List.

An era in Japanese Sumo history has ended, with the retiring of Takanohana, one of the most popular wrestlers in the history of Japan's national sport. The son of a popular wrestler who is now the stablemaster of Futagoyama Stable (for some reason, the dojos that train Sumo wrestlers are translated as "stables" in English), both he and his older brother Wakanohana have had spectacular careers in the sport, attaining the highest rank of Yokozuka (Grand Master). Unfortunately, age and constant leg injuries had taken too much out of Taka, who made the decision to quit the sport after suffering a crushing defeat by Asashoryu, an up-and-coming wrestler from Mongolia, this week. Takanohana's retirement leaves just one wrestler with Sumo's highest rank, Hawaiian wrestler Musashimaru.

It's college entrance exam season in Japan, as students finish their year of intense studying and take tests that will determine much of their future happiness. Students will generally select a first choice university and one or more easier schools (called "suberi-dome" schools, a word that means "stop the slide"). Students usually go to jukus (evening prep schools) and study for their university exams for all three years of college, but the last year is when they really hit the books. It all pays off when they wake up early and go to their university one cold February morning and look for their number on the board indicating if they've passed the test. If they don't get into a school, they have to be a "university ronin" (a word originally meaning "masterless samurai") and try again next year. Japan's "test wars" are quite interesting, and the drama of taking the most important test of your life are often captured in TV dramas, and in anime like Maison Ikkoku or the Orange Road Movie.

High school students going to college aren't the only ones who have to study for entrance exams -- junior high school students must also take an entrance exam to go to high school, since high school is not part of compulsory education in Japan. Students choose the school they think they can get into and take that school's test. In some cases, students who aim too high don't get into a school and become "high school ronin," fifteen year olds who don't go to school for a year, although it's rare. Japan has a problem with students who choose not to go to high school at all, the equivalent of a high-school dropout, although high school is optional here -- these people are called "chu-sotsu" in Japanese, which means "only graduated from junior high school." As Japan's population of children drops, many new pressures are being applied to Japan's unique education system, including decreased competition to get into popular schools.

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • First, for fans of the super-cute Kubrick figures, we've got in more cute To-Fu Kubricks, characters whose heads are block of tofu
  • Through an error, the Hamster Club blankets weren't posted on Wednesday -- sorry about that. We've posted these beautiful and very soft blankets for you today
  • Also, we've gotten the new 2003 Hello Kitty large blankets, very colorful and incredibly soft, and in stock for you now
  • For fans of Japanese candy and snacks, we've got new items in, including more tasty Gravel Choco, tasty Fujita chocolates that are sold only in winter, delicious pork ramen snacks, and more
  • Also, one of our favorite items, delicious curry flavored Curl (but this is special "Lucky Curl" specially made to help you pass your college entrance exams
  • Also, we've got a great Hamtaro plush bag filled with snacks, the very cute Ribbon-chan from the TV anime
  • Look for cute sticker items, including glow in the dark stickers that you can use to label things in your home, as well as dynamite Hamster stickers and more
  • We've got great items for your kitchen, including very stylish and easy-to-use wooden chopsticks, new Pop Animal cute items, fun dishes for kids to use, fresh stock of bento boxes and more
  • For Godzilla fans, an extremely rare and cool item -- a rubber Godzilla base don the 1954 original, but with a Medicom Combat Joe figure inside, with dozens of points of articulation
  • We love Hello Kitty and rare Sanrio items only sold in Japan, and have some nice items for you, including Kitty puffy stickers, a Kitty pencil sharpener that's really well designed, and more
  • Finally, look for various new and restocked health and beauty items from Japan, including unique Japanese ear cleaners, more furikake and other Japanese food items, cute pencil cases with French on them, and more

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

  • First, a truly dynamite item for Jun Kusanagi fans, a magazine/photobook devoted entirely to her, with all-new photos
  • Also very cool, two extremely beautiful huge photobooks that capture lovely Japanese models in great photographs -- but these are all uncensored, and extremely, ahem, detailed
  • For fans of high school uniforms, we've got fresh stock of the popular Pictorial Pocket Book series for you
  • For fans of Japan's excellent hentai manga, we've got some great items in for you, including a new offering from Kazuki Kotobuki and several new erotic anthology comics, which compile the works of dozens of artists around a central theme
  • Also, fresh stock of many popular titles, including Wholesome Hentai Girl and Jet Boss
  • If you love erotic doujinshi, we've got the excellent Kinpatsu Ace Gold, an all-adult Mobile Suit Gundam hentai comic that's fantastically detailed
  • Also, from the excellent "Androgynous only circle," enjoy the new Elixir CD-ROM, which wonderful erotic artwork graphics and Flash movies for you
  • If you love DVD, we've got a bunch of great items in stock for you today, starting with Shy Super Cup, featuring three hours of the best AV performances of three AV queens including Nao Hirosue (region free)
  • For fans of the old Immoral Angel video series, we've got a great compilation DVD with 180 super minutes of erotic AV for you (region free)
  • We love the beautiful Ran Asakawa, one of the hottest adult video idols in Japan today, and you can see her in great new erotic DVD from Soft on Demand (region free)
  • From SOD's IEnergy, explore the word of anal sex with eleven beautiful Japanese amateurs (region free)
  • For fans of Akira Watase, we have her parody on Drunken Master 2, creating a new fetish for erotic, lewd women who are drunk off their asses (region 2)
  • Look for another fabulous lesbian DVD from the famous U'K, a new exploration of tender, erotic lesbian love for you (region 2)
  • Finally, look for fresh stock of many DVD items, including items included in our "buy 4 get 25% off" January Sale. Newly stocked are Bukkake Angel, Anna Ohura's lovely DVD, a great work by Mirai Hoshizaki, and more!

J-List carries two excellent region-free DVD players that allow you to watch DVDs from around the world, regardless of their region code. For those who want a great player with all the features you want, including region free playback and "VCR friendly" DVD viewing, we recommend the small-footprint OITO Technologies player, which is made of very high quality materials for years of satisfying DVD playback. For bargain hunters, we recommend the very solid Sampo DVE612, which supports very solid features at a great price (including "VCR friendly" viewing via a firmware hack). Both players are fully compatible with media like Video CD and SVCD, MP3 and audio discs, and more, and support both PAL and NTSC discs. We stock these great players in our San Diego office and ship daily for your ordering convenience.

At J-List, we're proud of the unique range of great products we sell. Remember that we offer price matching on certain items (photobooks, manga, doujinshi). If you see identical items sold on a Japan-based site that sells to customers outside of Japan, please let us know and we'll gladly match their price. See our "How to order" page for more info.

Greetings from J-List October 24, 2003

Hello and TGIF from your friends in Japan!

Living in Japan means being at peace with standing out in a crowd. Wherever I go in Isesaki (pop. 140,000), I am reasonably sure I'm going to be the only gaijin I run into all day. Last weekend my daughter, who is in Japan Girl Scouts, participated in a huge festival which also included all the local Boy Scout and Cub Scout troops in our city. As usual when I'm around Japanese kids, I instantly occupy center stage, and everyone wants to talk to me, or show me something, or pull at the hair on my arms. (I have lots of blonde hair on my arms, which fascinates Japanese kids no end.) Being the focus of so much attention is not always easy, and I've had foreigner friends who couldn't take being stared at all the time and went home. They said it was like living in a fishbowl. I never felt that way about it -- standing out is just something you have to get used to, or even use to your advantage if you can. Whenever I'm around kids, I take my sunglasses off, even if it's quite bright outside. Japanese don't usually wear sunglasses, and having them on might make me look scary to the kids. It sounds corny, but I try to represent America and make a good impression on my Japanese hosts whenever I can.

Religiously, Japan has interesting history. The original religion of Japan is Shinto, an animalistic religion that worships the "spirits" (kami) in natural objects like trees and rocks. Buddhism came in through Korea and was "grafted onto" Shinto, so that the two are often inseparable, and Japanese often don't know if a certain ceremony they're performing is one or the other. True to human nature, there are many, many sects of Buddhism, with differences so minor that I can't tell them apart at all -- Japanese get equally confused when trying to tell what's different about Catholicism and the many Protestant churches that exist. As a rule, Buddhism is a quiet part of Japanese life, and you never encounter "evangelists" trying to spread their flavor of Buddhism to others. The exception is the church of Soka Gakkai, an interesting evangelical sect of Buddhism that was founded in 1930, and even has their own political party (the Komeito). I've happened to know several members of this church, and they've always been very forward about their religion, actively trying to tell others about it and spread the word about their beliefs. Their website, if you want to see more about them, is here: http://www.sgi-usa.org/ There are many Christian churches in Japan, too. Two of my early surprises when I came to Japan back in 1992 were being invited to mass in a friendly Baptist church that was no different from any you'd see in the U.S., and talking with Japanese Jehovah's Witnesses who were passing out copies of the Watchtower in front of the train station. It was not what I expected to find when I came to Japan, to say the least.

We're right in the thick of 2004 Calendar Season right now, a time when you can order from our extensive list of hundreds of Japanese anime, idol, character, sports and other calendars. This is the Year of Shirow, and Shirow's 2004 calendar is in first place sales-wise, followed by other popular anime calendars like Studio Ghibli, Inu Yasha, Spirited Away and More Blue Than Indigo. The Joy of Sushi is extremely popular, as is this year's Domo-kun calendar. And calendars that capture a unique part of Japan, like Tea Room Prints, Road (showing aesthetically beautiful kanji), and Noriko Sakai in kimono, are also among the top sellers. Remember, we can't guarantee calendar preorders past the first week of November or so, so we highly recommend that you get your calendar order in as quickly as possible. To help you browse our stock, we've added a "view all calendars" link which shows all items (except for the nude calendars).

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • First, for fans of Shirow Masamune, we've posted his deluxe new poster book, which includes twelve large posters in a beautiful box, for preorder -- it's due to be released in December
  • Also, we've got the wonderful Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex, a DVD that compiles the best of the GitS new anime series, adds director and artist comments, how CG work was done, and more
  • Also, we've finally got stock of the dynamite Shirow 2004 calendar, don't miss out on yours!
  • Also, the delightful photobook of swimsuit idol Nozomi Takeuchi which shows you "all about Nozomi"
  • We have some great toy items for you, including a soft vinyl Tony the Tiger from Kellogg's, a famous icon here in Japan
  • Also, the super cool Panda-Z, a really great panda robot piloted by a panda, modeled after the famous Mazinger Z (aka Tranzor Z in the US)
  • For those who collect cool trading cards from Japan, we've got some great Morning Musume cards for you
  • For fans of the sexy G-Taste, we have dynamite "trading figures" that look great, created by Hiroyuki Yagami
  • Also, a really unique series of miniature candy toy figure, the Great Mystery Museum Collection, featuring detailed replicas of bizarre artifacts from all over the world -- just to cool!
  • Look for fresh stock of the popular completed figure of Aoi Sakurada from More Blue Than Indigo, a really special anime figure
  • Also, for Totoro fans, fresh stock of several popular toy plush toys and other items
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, enjoy great new varieties of "spicy" miso soup, seaweed onigiri mix, and more
  • Also, a delicious new flavor of Pocky, rich chocolate with cocoa powder to give it a unique taste -- only sold in the winter months in Japan
  • Fans of the unique flavors of chewing cum from Japan will enjoy the return of Green Gum from Lotte, the gum with the fresh taste of, er, being in a forest
  • We've restocked our Canon Wordtank electronic dictionaries, the best tools for serious students of Japanese
  • Also, look for fresh stock of the popular Chobits Bilingual Manga, which feature both English and Japanese text in a beautifully printed manga volume
  • If you're taking medicine or vitamins regularly, we've got a really handy medicine organizer from Japan
  • For fans of cute stuff, we've got some very happy slippers for your feet, some cute Sanrio pocket tissue, wonderful hot springs powder, and more.

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

  • First, we've got the new issues of Video Boy and Best Video, both brimming with fabulous professional adult video stars from Japan
  • For photobook lovers, enjoy the delightful freshness of "Love Pola" (love Polaroids) of models in real love hotels
  • Also, enjoy the lovely photographs of Mei Kajiwara and the delightful Karin, who really shine in their new photobook releases, too
  • We have great restocked photobooks, too, including High-Leg Venus, Eriko Sato's wonderful Perfectness photobook, and fresh stock of the oh-so-flexible Miki Komori's Straddle
  • For hentai manga fans, we've got some superb items for you, including the new volume of Satoshi Urushihara's dynamite Vampire Master - Dark Crimson, a superb nurse fetish comic from Nikopun Nise, incredibly buxom sluts in the office, and more
  • Also, fresh stock of several popular hentai manga which parody famous anime and fighting game gals
  • For yaoi lovers, a great new manga for you, Momo Can, in a deluxe comic format that features a special cover and color pages inside
  • For fans of great hentai parody doujinshi from Japan, we've got even more all-new books posted for you, including Gundam,
  • Ayumi Hamasaki is the top pop star in Japan, having ruled the music and fashion world for half a decade -- see great sexual cosplay parody of the star in Ayu-Cos 2 (region free)
  • From Dogma and bukkake creator Kazuhiko Matsumoto comes Hassha Go Go Go! featuring three Endless Race Queens in a festival of sex and semen (region free)
  • From SOD, Explore "lesbian enlightenment" with Rua Mochizuki as she has her first on-camera lesbian experience (region free)
  • Then from SOD's Deep's label, six lovely Tokyo dancing girls fuck up a storm for you, in Dance Dace Fuck Total Edition (region free)
  • From Waap, we've got the latest in the Dream Shower installment starring the erotic Nana Kawashima in a great bukkake fetish DVD for you (region 2)
  • Finally, look for a big restock of popular DVD titles, including busty Marina Matsushima's Re-MIX Special, Ran Asakawa's low-price Masterpiece Concentration, Bunko Kanazawa teasing your penis, and Sola Aoi's top-selling Blue Sky.

The top 5 list has been updated on the J-List website, allowing you to see what products are selling well this week. Check them out!

The J-Mate website has been updated after a temporary hiatus -- we were too busy to get anything new up. Newly added are in-depth reviews of Rina Usui's tickling fetish DVD and G-Collections' excellent dating-sim game, Do You Like Horny Bunnies? The URL is http://www.jmate.com

Remember that J-List carries a full line of Japanese snack foods, with many rare cult favorites in stock for you, like Japanese sushi gummi, Black Black caffeine gum, Pocky, and also the delicious and popular Felix the Cat bubble gum, which is famous all the world over (we're not sure why, but based on the mails we get from customers, it is).

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Greetings from J-List January 22, 2003

Hello again from your friends in Japan!

Well, darn it all. When we fixed the site after the downtime on Sunday, the script that updates the individual J-List product pages each hour wasn't properly restarted. This means that all the great products we posted on Monday didn't actually show up on the product pages (although they did if you clicked the "show all products updated within the last three days" link, or used the search feature). Some customers were confused -- where were all the new products we'd posted on Monday? Well, everything is fixed now, and with today's newly added items, there are twice as many great new products for you to check out.

Japanese as a language has many elements not found in English, which can be challenging to students of the language. One of these areas is the Japanese system of polite language (keigo), which is used occasionally in extremely formal situations and in business speech. There are two basic functions of keigo: to raise the level of the person you're talking to (called "exalting" speech); and to lower your own level (called "humble" speech). There are actually different verbs to use depending on the subject in a polite sentence, so if you said, "What will you eat, Sensei? I'm going to eat sushi," you'd use different verbs for the two occurrences of "eat" depending on the subject of the sentence. There's a complex version of this used in business speech. If someone from an outside company calls, asking to speak to your boss, you'd use exalting speech to refer to the caller, but humble speech to refer to your boss, as he's a part of your "uchi" or in-group, compared with the person calling from outside.

Related to Japanese polite speech is the honorific "o" that goes in front of some words, to give them a higher status. Words like money (okane), relationships like mother or grandmother (okaasan, obaasan), and so on -- it could be translated as "honorable" in English, but of course it's never translated blatantly like that (thank God). It's interesting to notice the patterns of words that take this "o" -- words having to do with death or Buddhism tend to take it (otera = temple, okou = Buddhist incense), yet words related to Japan's Shinto religion usually don't. English loan words never get the special "o" prefix, either. Adding the honorific "o" to words sort of "softens" the word, so words related to children or babies tend to take it (omaru = child's toilet, omutsu = diapers, oshiri = a cute word referring to a person's rear end). Men often put the honorific "o" on the word for the female sexual organ, which is the only "bad" word in Japanese (e.g., the only word they wouldn't let you say on TV). The word is "manko," and in "honorific" form, "omanko."

Transliteration is the act of translating a word from one writing system into another, and due to differences in English and Japanese, this can be a challenge. For one thing, there are long and short vowels in Japanese (the last syllable in Kyoto is the short vowel "to" but the first syllable in Tokyo is a long vowel, "toh"). Because writing extra letters in translated names and words only cause confusion to English speakers, the long vowels are often ignored when the word is written in English. For example, instead of writing the first name of Panasonic founder Kounousuke Matsushita with all letters, you could get away with writing "Konosuke" and it wouldn't make a difference how the name was pronounced by anyone. The Japanese dating sim games we sell at J-List are called "bishoujo games" which means "pretty girl games." Should this word be transliterated as "bishoujo" or with a short vowel, e.g. "bishojo"? There's no difference in pronunciation in English, and shorter words are easier for people to remember, and yet "bishoujo" is the more common spelling. The name of Yuka, the popular swimsuit idol who has turned into one of Japan's most famous celebrities, would be more accurately written "Yuuka" (since it's a long vowel). Which is better? If accuracy is what's important, we have to all start writing Tokyo as "Toukyou" and Osaka as "Oosaka," but no one wants to do that, I'm sure. Incidentally, the J-List search engine is "smart" and will bring up results whether you search for, say, "yuuka" "yuhka" or "yuka" -- the search engine maintains a list of "search synonyms" and checks against that list when you perform a search for products.

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • First, for fans of Fist of the North Star, we've got a splendid PVC figure for you of Shin by Kaiyodo, with 27 points of articulation, very cool!
  • Also great, we've got stock of the super-cool Studio Ghibli plush keychain characters, two sets of six great plush toys from Mr. Miyazaki's movies
  • If you love anime on DVD, enjoy vol. 2 of She, The Ultimate Weapon, a positively wonderful anime series from Japan (region 2)
  • Also for fans of anime DVD, we've restocked our Hayao Miyazaki films (Totoro, Kiki's Delivery Service, and Laputa) along with restock of the wonderful Japanese release of Akira -- and all DVDs are fully subtitled/dubbed in English (region 2)
  • For fans of traditional Japanese beautiful things, find a super bamboo chopstick holder with chopsticks, and a great set of miso soup bowls, and more
  • J-List carries over 100 kinds of Japanese snack, food and gum, and we've got new items for you today, including delicious corn and rice snacks, onigiri mix, traditional Japanese hard candy, miso soup, and more!
  • For lovers of Yu-Gi-Oh, something that's very popular in Japan right now -- cool set of the cards for the Official Card Game that comes in a fabulous metal tin to hold your cards
  • For Hello Kitty fans, find several cool items, including a Kitty purse that's just too cute, a set of super Sanrio character stamps, a super pouch with "British Kitty" on it, and more
  • And another popular item, fresh stock of one of the best-selling products in J-List history, the Hello Kitty vibrating shoulder massager
  • If you like Hamtaro, we've got some great items in, including the very popular "Hamtaro Cutting Note" (little notes that are perforated, you can pull one off easily)
  • Finally, look for other great items, like cute kitchen timers, new funny signs in Japanese

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

  • For fans of extremely high-quality Japanese nude magazines, enjoy the new Bejean, an oversized magazine with superb photos and famous models like Mai Hagiwara and Misa Nishida
  • We've got other magazines too, including Hip de H! (all-anal magazine) and fresh stock of low-cost discounted magazines, too
  • For fans of Japanese bondage and bold photography, enjoy the very sexy Akira Watase in EX Gachiire
  • Also for photobook collectors, you won't want to miss Love Hearts, a "pictorial magazine of so cute and so lovely girls" as well as Race Queen Toshimi Horiguchi's super sexy first photobook offering
  • Also, from Shin Yamagishi, the fabulous sexy photographs of Kaori Ohara, taken with extremely sexy and bold camera angles
  • We love AG, the manga magazine of "art, sex and CG culture" that features erotic Japanese manga faithfully translated to English (including hentai stories by Shiwasu no Okina, one of our favorite artists). See vol. 6 of AG in stock on our site now!
  • If you love doujinshi, we've got two great new ones for you from the "Androgynous Only Circle" that makes the Great Works of Alchemy, all dick-girl hentai books
  • Also, we've got a huge offering of positively wonderful erotic manga from Angel Comics, Plaza Comics, Fujimi and more
  • We've gotten in fresh stock of several popular comics, too, including Celamic Garden, Nami SOS, and the Yui Shop series -- note that stock is limited on some of these items
  • Also, a very romantic and erotic yaoi comic in stock
  • For fans of Japan's erotic DVDs, enjoy several great new offerings, starting with the best of Million vol. 2, with 240 minutes of their most erotic works on one disc (and the price is great) (region free)
  • Also very cool, see Akira Watase as the erotic female teacher in a super fantasy of sex education (region free)
  • For fans of extremely erotic lesbian AV, enjoy "Le-zu-bian," a superb offering from the famous U and K (region 2)
  • We've still got a huge selection of items in our 25% off January DVD sale. Choose four of these items and get 25% off when checking out. There are over 300 items you can choose from, and you can find them all by searching for "January sale" on the J-List site
  • Finally, Tomo has added a bunch of restocked DVDs to the site for you. Please check out all the new items we've got for you!

Remember that J-List carries all the legendary Viper games that have been translated into English, and we've got them all in stock in our San Diego location, ready to go out to you. The Viper games are unique because they feature full flowing on-screen animation, which adds much to the game play. The excellent titles by Hobibox Europe we've got you are include Viper M1, Viper M16, Viper Limited Edition (shooting game with uncensored pictures), Viper Paradice (cool 3D board and card game), and more!

Greetings from J-List October 22, 2003

Hello again from Japan, where the Sapporo Beverage Company has just released a beer with added fiber (for people who don't get enough roughage in their lives).

Japan is overjoyed with the excellent showing of their favorite son, Hideki Matsui, in his first year in the Major Leagues. Nothing makes Japanese happier than to have one of their own recognized internationally, and the admiration the Japanese feel these individuals borders on worship. Writers Yukio Mishima and Yasunari Kawabata, directors Kurosawa and Miyazaki, scientists like malaria researcher Hideo Noguchi and Egyptologist Sakuji Yoshimura, and athletes like Nakata, Ichiro and now Matsui all have a special place in the hearts of the Japanese people for improving the image of Japan in the eyes of the world. Since the Meiji Restoration, when Japan began rapid modernization, one of the major goals of the country has been the creation of a nation that can stand shoulder to shoulder with the great powers of America and Europe. The Japanese secretly wish they were part of Europe -- that's why Japan and Europe have the same DVD region. So Japan pays a lot of attention to its international image and is happy when one of their own does good overseas.

One of the more interesting parts of learning Japanese are the many varieties of descriptive sound words, similar to onomatopoeia in English. There are two groups of these words, giseigo (literally "mimic-voice words") and gitaigo ("mimic-situation words"). Giseigo are words that mimic the sounds of animals -- the sound a small dog makes sounds like "kyan kyan" but a larger dog sounds like "wan wan." A cat says "nya nya" and a rooster "kokekokko." Pigs say "buu buu," and in the anime show Chibi Maruko-chan, there's a boy in Maruko's class who looks like a pig, and every thing he says ends with "buu." Gitaigo are a little harder to grasp: they are words that describe a situation. When it's pouring with rain, the sound is "zaa zaa," and someone whose heart is all a-flutter in a romantic situation might be "doki doki." When something is spread all over the place (like parts from a toy or something), it's "bara bara," and if your car is old and dilapidated, it would "boro boro." Learning Japanese is fun!

Poor Daisuke. He was lifting something heavy in his apartment last weekend when he heard a snap in his knee -- and now he's on his back in the hospital, waiting for surgery on his fractured kneecap. We hope Daisuke can get back to J-List soon, but in the meantime, the other staff members will work hard to pick up the slack and not fall behind with processing of orders.

Every country has its list of "taboos" and Japan is no different. Don't stand your chopsticks up in your rice (tachi-bashi), as this is only done during funerals (as a final offering of rice to the deceased). Likewise, don't sleep with your head pointing north (kita-makura), because the dead are laid out with their heads facing that direction before cremation, so it'll bring bad luck if you do it. Don't enter someone's house without taking your shoes off, and remember not to commit ritual disembowelment (hara-kiri, aka seppuku), either. Now we've got a bizarre new T-shirt that helps you keep these helpful behavioral tips in mind when visiting Japan. A great new "warning" shirt that will get you lots of attention! All sizes in stock, from S through 3XL.

We've updated some of our email addresses at J-List to help battle unwanted mail. Old address such as tomo@jlist.com, yasu@jlist.com have been updated to tomo2003, yasu2003, and so on. Please update your addresses if you've got old entries in your address books.

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • For Star Trek fans, we're happy to announce preorders for the new Series 2 of Furuta's Star Trek Replicas. After the wild success of the first series, we know many fans
  • For Final Fantasy X-2 lovers, we've got the dynamite Official Final Guide, a massive all color book with600 pages of dynamite information, art, walkthroughs and more for the game
  • We've got yet another dynamite color Domo-kun towel, this time with a full color printed image of Domo-kun and all his friends
  • For Totoro and Spirited Away fans, we've got a cute Soot Sprite (e.g. Makkuro Kurosuke), the perfect mascot for your car
  • If you like our wacky Japanese snacks from Japan, we've got some cute animal crackers, delicious gummi Anpan Man (Bean Paste Bread Man) treats, fresh stock of great original Pocky, and more
  • By customer request, we've restocked the really fun Bandai Soft Cream Shop kits, which allow you to make delicious mini ice cream
  • Also, we've gotten in fresh stock of Lotte's famous coffee gum, back in production after several years, as well as other popular Japanese gum
  • From Sunrise, we've got a great new series of very cool miniature anime heroine figures, including Faye Valentine from Cowboy Bebop (limited stock of full sets are available)
  • Then, a superb item for Laputa fans: a very rare Laputa tape dispenser that will be a treasure of yours forever
  • The lovely "CM Idol" (a pretty girl who appears in TV commercials) Ami Ikenaga is delightful to look at in her new glossy photobook, a wondeful swimsuit idol at the top her game (she looks great in a denim bikini, too)
  • For fans of Happa-Tai and their Yatta! commedy DVD, we've got fresh stock for you (region free)
  • Also, fresh stock of the original Gamera the Invincable and Godzilla 1954 releases on DVD, great items for serious collectors
  • Breathe in a stream of "minus ions" (negatively-charged ions) with a great new minus ion mask -- relax and refresh!
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we've got a super Kitty mug featuring a ceramic figure of Kitty perched on top, so cute
  • Finally, we've got more wacky items from Japan, including a super cute pencil case ("Hello!"), a great item for labeling your keys,

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

  • First of all, we have the dynamite new issue of Urecco, the #1 selling magazine at J-List, just filled with fabulous Japanese adult video models and nude actresses photographed by Japan's top photographers
  • Also, enjoy a great issue of More and More, featuring the delightful sex of Kaori Shimizu -- comes with a 120 minute DVD! (region 2)
  • Groups (or "units") of really cute idols are very common in Japan, and the newest and cutest is "Punyu Punyu" (the sound of something soft and warm going "boing") -- enjoy their first dynamite photobook
  • For photobook fans, enjoy some great new hardcover offerings including the sweet nude of Hitomi Yuki, Garo Aida's lovely Mizuho, and more
  • Also, check out the cool "fetish bondage card collection" we've got, featuring some of Japan's most sexy models
  • One of the "keywords" of erotica in the 1990's was bodycon, short for body conscious, or women who were extremely shapeley and well-toned -- now you can enjoy this great concept again in a new leg, panty and up-skirt fetish photobook from Shinkosha
  • And for Sola Aoi (Sora Aoi) fans, we've restocked her superb Gorgeous vol. 1 photobook
  • For hentai manga lovers, we've got some great books for you, starting with the dynamite Holy Liquid by Mujin Comics, an anthology of cosplay sex manga, uncensored bukkake manga, and more
  • Also, a great update of hentai and yaoi manga, including Self Defense Force Girl G Tester, Nami SOS, Comic Maker, and Three Wolves' Mountain
  • We've also got some great new doujinshi, including two great new Mobile Suit Gundam Seed parody books
  • For DVD fans, we've got some great erotic works for you, starting off with 4 HOURS of Rina Takase (region free)
  • We love the hopelessly cute Ran Monbu (whose name sounds like the French pastry Mount Blanc, because she was scouted while working in a cake shop), and she'll be your virtual girlfriend in a new release from Million (region free)
  • Ichigo Milk, the beautiful Japanese adult video star with a slender body and beautiful red hair, explores the other side of sex in Lesbian Hospital 7 (region free)
  • Then, Chiharu Moritaka accepts the "Gokkun Bazooka" in a bold new release from SOD, in which she fulls your bukake cosplay fantasies (region free)
  • We've got a new installation of the "Clothed Female, Naked Male" series frmo Moodyz, with girls who want to see and touch and tease men's penises (region free)
  • Then, enjoy supreme mini-skirt, leg and panty fetish with "The Temptation of a Lady in a mini-skirt 2" featuring 17 super sexy models for you to enjoy (region 2)
  • Then, we've got some freshly restocked DVD titles, including Mourning Dress Sisters, Would you like to be Cured by Lewd Nurses, and more reduced-price DVDs with free shipping!

Remember that J-List carries virtually all English-language Japanese dating-sim games available, so you can find all the best games in one place, and at great prices. Peach Princess, G-Collections, Hobibox Europe, Himeya Soft, JAST USA and Milky House, we've got them all and all are in stock in our warehouse in San Diego. If you're unsure which games you think you'd like, feel free to email us for a recommendation! Order 4 or more games and get 20% off, too!

Monday, January 20, 2003

Greetings from J-List January 20, 2003

Hello from Japan where kissing up to a superior is known as "grinding up the sesame seeds" (goma suri).

First of all, the J-List site was broken for about 10 hours on Sunday, Japan time. The site itself displayed more less normally, but the search and shopping cart functions were dead. Everything is working now -- we're very sorry for any inconvenience!

I took Saturday off and went skiing for the first time in eight years or so. It was great fun, although my body aches all over for it. Skiing is a huge pasttime in Japan, and despite the lackluster Japanese economy, millions of Japanese ski regularly each season. Japanese are kind of funny though: they're always the most stylish skiiers you've ever seen, with name brand skis, ski wear that's endorsed by the Swiss Olympic ski team, and so on. One of my favorite entries in the "You've been in Japan too long when..." list on my personal homepage (www.peterpayne.net) is "You've been in Japan too long when you appear for your first skiing lesson with brand new Rossignol high performance racing skis and an aerodynamic racing suit with color matched goggles...and then snowplow down."

I've been asked about homeless in Japan. If you've ever spent some time in any Japanese city, you've probably seen that Japan, for all that it seemed like a perfect place back in the 1980's, does indeed have a homeless problem. Besides people who are unfortunately mentally unstable or addicted to alcohol, changes in Japan's society and business culture over the past twenty years has forced some people onto the street. Tokyo's Shinjuku area used to be the capital of homelessness in Japan, with a sprawling cardboard city at Shinjuku Station's west entrance. Some years ago, a a fire broke out, killing several people and forcing police to break up the homeless community and force the homeless elsewhere. Many homeless men in Tokyo earn money by digging magazines and comics out of the trash, cleaning them up, and selling them for 100 yen on the street.

One unique side of Japan are the "love hotels" that pop up here and there throughout the country, especially in rural areas. Because Japanese young people usually live with their parents into their 20s (or indefinitely, if they're the oldest son or daughter), it can be difficult for couples to find time for privacy. So they go to a love hotel, where they can enjoy "rest" (2 hours of privacy) or "stay" (all night). Formerly known as "motels," which causes some confusion when Japanese go to the U.S. and see motels there, the rooms inside love hotels have everything couples might need -- exotic baths, toothbrushes, even a condom on the pillow (although Tomo says it's dangerous to use this condom, as couples who used the room before might have poked a small hole in it for the next couple, as a joke). Many love hotels are organized around a theme, such as the Queen Elizabath (a giant hotel that looks like a ship) that happens to sit in the middle of our own city, or rooms that look like the Forbidden City in Beijing. The most famous love hotel in Gunma is called The Rock, and everything in the rooms is based on Alcatraz -- but it's so popular, you have to wait outside for hours to get in. Since couples going to a hotel want privacy, the hotels make sure they never need to see anyone -- at some places, you can check out by phone, and put your money in a tube that will be delivered to the front desk.

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • First, for those who find this winter especially cold, we've gotten in stock of great new super-soft Japanese blankets for fans of incredibly cute Japanese hamster characters -- they're very soft and great for keeping warm (also great for kids and babies)
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we've got more only-available-in-Japan items, including a cute Kitty gift bag, Kitty "jewelry sticker," and fresh stock of many popular Kitty items
  • For Star Wars collectors, we've got more of the popular Star Wars light-up necklaces -- very cool!
  • Also, for Yamato/Star Blazers lovers, very limited stock of the die-cast Yamato model that is so cool!
  • For Fist of the North Star, run, don't walk, to pick up the new *full color* deluxe Fist manga that comes with a super-detailed figure of Raoh
  • We've got a dynamite music box for Studio Ghibli fans, featuring the Kodamas from Princess Mononoke -- very cool!
  • Also, a great music box/plush for Snoopy fans that's made of leather -- really rare and cool!
  • We've got great items for Hot Wheels fans, including a new Kamen Rider figure only sold in Japan, and fresh stock of the too-hot-to-keep-in-stock Airwolf helicopter
  • For fans of our unique Japanese snack foods, enjoy chocolate covered spicy rice crackers (yum), delicious Japanese teas, cute Hayashi Rice for Hamtaro fans, and more
  • Also, fresh stock of many popular items, including Black Black Caffeine Gum, Japanese Salt Candy and other classic Japanese sweets
  • Also for Hamtaro fans, fresh stock of the Hamtaro Mini House figure toys which are very popular
  • We've restocked a popular item, the Japanese emergency exit signs and other wacky items
  • We've restocked our popular Japanese "loose socks," wonderful large socks worn by all the most fashionable high school girls in Japan
  • For fans of Japanese film, we've got Kikujiro, a film on DVD by director Takeshi Kitano
  • Finally, look for super picture frames and a cute Japanese drinking cup for kids, fresh stock of popular bento boxes, beautiful Japanese decorations, and more!

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

  • For fans of dynamite Japanese "kogals" and stylish erotic photography, we have the new Urecco Gal for you, and it is really lovely
  • Also enjoy new amateur and love hotel magazines in stock for you, as well as the new Best Video Super Document, which includes the most lovely AV idols being photographed while on the job and in the studio
  • For Japanese photobook fans, several great offerings, including Kaede Matsushima's beautiful "first hair nude pictorial," a beautiful "too sexy for nude" photobook by Mika Motosugi, as well as something warm and moist from Koharu Tohno
  • Also, for fans of Japan's unique "kimono fetish," we've got a dynamite Japanese-themed photobook in stock for you
  • For doujinshi fans, we've also got another round of excellent books for you, all brand new releases from Japan's best doujinshi circles
  • Also, we've got some excellent hentai manga in stock, including the beautiful anthology manga Colors, with lots of tentacle sex (always popular), as well as fresh stock of many popular hentai art book items
  • Also, for fans of Japan's unique yaoi comics (homosexual love stories) we've got a new volume of the Trans 8
  • We've got very limited stock (exactly two) of the beautul Terra's Cover Girls, by Katsuya Terada, something you don't want to miss
  • For fans of Japanese adult toys, we have a great "Micro Finger" vibrator that has many innovative uses -- and it comes with a great video
  • Also, fresh stock of the popular Japan Rotors, super cute pink vibrators used in Japanese adult films
  • For DVD lovers, we've got a huge volley of very cool items for you, starting with a 200 minute collection of the best AV of Shy (region free)
  • See give beautiful girls from Yokohama in a new Yokohama Girls Map, just beautiful (region free)
  • We're postively in love with Ran Asakawa, and we've got a great new offering for her fans from Dogma and director Tohjiro (region free)
  • See the beautiful huge breasts of Chika Kawamura in "The Big Breasts Terrorist," a sizzling DVD for fans of huge, beautiful breasts (region free)
  • For those turned on by the prospect of women being touched in trains, enjoy the new Amateur Chikan DVD from SOD
  • Enjoy the super-erotic Hip and Vagina of Rei Kuraishi in a super erotic "virtual date private time" from Wanz Factory (region 2)
  • For fans of Japanese film, a great new movie by Takeshi Kitano (mentioned above)
  • Finally, remember that our 25% off January DVD sale will be ending soon, so look through the 300+ items included in our sale and find something fast! (You can search for "January sale" to bring up just those items on our site).

Remember that J-List stocks dozens of English translated love-sim games, allowing you to choose from all the best companies, Peach Princess, G-Collections, JAST USA, Hobibox Europe and Himeya Soft. Many games are available for preorder, such as the upcoming Brave Soul or X-Change 2. Preorder these great games and get free shipping on them when they are ready!

Also, J-List has great Japanese snacks and candy available for you to buy, with over a hundred items in stock at all times. On most items, you can get 15% off if you buy 10 or more of the same item (discount applied at checkout). Many of the items we stock are seasonal and aren't available all the time. One such item is the delicious Melty Kiss, a scrumptious fudge that's only sold in the winter here.

The J-Mate site (http://www.jmate.com) has been updated again, this time with a great English translated interview with one of our favorite lovelies, Hikari Kisugi. You can also read reviews (with plenty of screenshots) from popular DVDs, games and other items that we sell.

Greetings from J-List October 20, 2003

Hello again from Japan, where a popular dessert is "coffee jelly" (coffee flavored gelatin), one of my personal favorites.

Languages deal with new vocabulary words in different ways. In Chinese, when a new concept comes along like the computer, they express the word in kanji characters ("calculating table"). In Japan, they have a choice: import the kanji-based word from China, such as the word for "operating room" ("hand-technique room"), or more frequently, import the word from Western languages (usually English) and write it in the katakana syllable system, which is used exclusively for writing foreign loan words. Katakana is very useful -- any foreign name can be written easily, unlike with kanji characters, which have multiple readings. Certain types of words tend to be written using foreign loan words -- anything having to do with cars or computers or the Internet, and the names of many occupations (engineer, illustrator), for example. The problem is that more and more words are written in katakana these days, which creates a "comprehension gap" between young and older Japanese, with people over 40 not understanding much of what is being said around them. The problem is so bad that there are actually "katakana dictionaries" you can buy in stores, which help explain what these strange words mean. (Several of the Wordtank electronic dictionaries that J-List sells also have katakana dictionaries built into them.) Just as some English speakers throw a dash of French into their writing to show off their intelligence, Japanese businessmen and news commentators love to pepper their speech with English words like "consensus" and "manifesto" and "Initiative" which can cause plenty of confusion.

Yes, it's quite common for Japanese speech to contain words borrowed from other countries, and there are two grammatical aides that allow Japanese to plug these words into Japanese grammar easily. The first are is the adjective particle "na" which allows an adjective to be used without any tense. This makes it great for using English adjectives in Japanese, and you do hear words like "kyuuto na hanii" (cute honey, perhaps a term for one's boyfriend or girlfriend), "chiipu na oto" (a cheap sound coming out of your stereo), and "torendii na dorama" (the latest trendy soap opera on television). Then there's the catch-all verb "suru" which means "to do" and can be used with English words to easily plug them into a Japanese sentence. Words you often hear are purei suru (to play a game), doraibu suru (to go for a drive), and of course, sekkusu suru (to have sex). The staff at J-List uses lots of English in their Japanese, too, and you can hear terms like sukyan suru (to scan something), pikku suru (to pick products in preparation for shipping) being used everyday.

It's 2004 Calendar Season right now, a special time of the year when J-List is a-buzz with lots of beautiful anime, idol, JPOP, character and other fun calendars sold only in the Japanese market. We got a shipment of calendars in over the weekend, and have added the new items to the J-List site -- lots of great ones in stock, and no waiting!

For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:

  • First, we've got more wacky Domo-kun handtowels for those who want to really make an impression on guests!
  • For fans of beautiful anime girls, we've got a limited edition series of "shokugan" figures by Megahouse, that are very detailed and very cool
  • Then, for collectors of Kubrick and Blythe toys, we've got the perfect crossover -- Blythe Kubrick figures. They're eerily compelling!
  • Also, for those who wish they could paint garage kits like the pros, we've got a beautiful cold cast pre-painted figure from Comic Party that would look great on your desk
  • We love Japan's sexy swimsuit idols, and one of our favorites is Chinatsu Wakatsuki, whose new photobook features removable poster pages that you can hang up in your room
  • Also, enjoy a super cute new photobook by Aiko Ito, who will charm you with her beauty and cuteness
  • Yuko Ogura fans will enjoy the delightful new idol DVD, Peach, featuring the superb Japanese idol who has captured the hearts of so many
  • For Final Fantasy VIII traditionalists, we've got a super art-and-data-book with over 500 pages of information and visuals from the game and its world
  • Keep cool with our wacky "fruit fans" which can be used as tabletop or portable fans just about anywhere
  • When I was a boy, I loved Micronauts almost as much as I loved Star Wars figures -- we've got limited stock of some of the cool re-issued Micronauts (the good ones from Japan, not the awful Palladium toys)
  • We've got some cool wooden Buddhist beads that you can use as a religious item, or to make you look fashionable
  • Like Crayon Shinchan? We've got a cool plush toy for you then
  • Hello Kitty fans, enjoy a cute portable phone strap/charm that is really cool, and other interesting Kitty items sold only in Japan
  • Also, make you portable phone even cuter with a plush "happy face cover"
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, we've got tasty fruit candy from Fujita's Peko-chan world, real tart Japanese "ume-boshi" plums, super minty mints, and more
  • Also, for people who don't get enough vegetables in their diets, we've got more "Green Vegetable Pretz"
  • We've got a handy wallet from japan with a cute panda on it, that will serve you for many years
  • Also, for fans of Japan "minty eyedrops" (and you know who you are), we've got some cool eyedrops just for contact lens users, as well as fresh stock of several popular other items
  • We've got a dynamite illuminated message board that shows your notes in vibrant color, very cool
  • Finally, look for a wacky "open" sign from Japan, more bento boxes and other items for your kitchen, and more!

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

  • For fans of beautiful Japanese kogals, the young, sassy and stylish girls from Japan, we've got the new issue of Urecco Gal, and this one is really lovely
  • For fans of Ryoko Mitake (ME-tah-KAY), enjoy a super new Diva Mook, featuring nothing but lovely nude photographs of this fantastic AV star from Japan
  • Then enjoy the super sexy Erika Ogawa, who shines in her super sexy hardcover photobook
  • Don't miss the new nude photobook of Akira Watase, who shows you everything about her erotic body and sex
  • Also, look for great restocked adult photobooks, including the best-selling Kaoru offering by Akira Gomi, European Fairy Tale, Moe Yoshizawa's hit photobook, Akane Souma wonderful erotic offering and more
  • Also, for art book fans, we've restocked the dynamite Yui Shop 3, by master hentai artist Yui Toshiki
  • For hentai manga fans, enjoy some great new erotic books, including "reverse lesbian" play with Takeshi Matsuzawa, erotic fantasy and "furry" sex by Hot Milk, a superb new erotic manga by MEE-kun and more
  • Also, fresh stock of many great hentai manga, including Your Eyes Only, Urushihara's hentai masterpiece Dark Crimson vol. 1 and 2, Slight Fever Prince, The Ties That Bind and more
  • For doujinshi fans, we've got some great new ones, including Gundam Seed and more
  • Adult DVD fans can enjoy many new items today, starting with a new No Cut!! release giving you three full video releases on one low-priced disc, enjoy the dynamite Haruka Tsukino (region free, 3 hours)
  • Then, Hitomi Hasegawa shows you her sweet sex in a new "4 HOURS of Hitomi Hasegawa" release by Million, with lots of "virtual sex" shot from the point of view of the actors (region free)
  • The lovely Reika Yoshizawa must endure 24 hours of "anytime and anywhere sexual intercourse," in which she is called upon to service men at all hours of night and day (region free)
  • From Deep's, a great "2 in 1" release featuring the sultry leg fetish and low-angle photography of Rumiko Hasegawa and Sara Akigawa, great for fans of Japan's stocking and mini-skirt fetishism (region free)
  • Then enjoy the delightful Asuka Sawaguchi in a great release from Waap in which she performs sex and fellatio in a great array of sexy costumes (region free)
  • Then, we've got some great restocked DVDs, including Kurumi Morishita and Nao Oikawa's superb Forest in Nude, more fun sex with Russian and Swedish girls, great bukkake with Kokoro Amano, Asuka Sawaguchi's oh-so-lovely No Cut!! release, anime cosplay sex, and more!

Remember that we're having a "free shipping sale" on select DVDs on top of our regular "buy 4 get 15% off" discount. It's a great excuse to buy a bunch of quality DVDs from Japan and save some money. Search for "free DVD special" to find the DVDs included in the discount.