Friday, January 31, 2003

Greetings from J-List October 31, 2003

Hello and Happy Halloween from your friends at J-List!

It's Halloween, today, a day for dressing up in scary costumes. The Japanese have a highly developed culture of "cosplay" (costume play), and you can always see thousands of people dressed up in cool anime costumes at the doujinshi event called the Comic Market, held twice a year at Tokyo Big Sight. Although Halloween is a very foreign concept to the Japanese, some of them get into the spirit by dressing up in costumes at discos in Roppingi. Although there's no trick-or-treating in Japan, my daughter's English conversation school held a Halloween party, and all the kids went to stores around the school to ask for treats. It was so cute.

It's Shichi-go-san in Japan (literally "7, 5, 3"), a special time when parents with daughters aged seven or three, and sons aged five, get dressed up and going out to the Shinto shrine to celebrate their childrens' safe passage through life so far. It's also a huge excuse to go to photo studios and get professional photos taken, which are treasured as family heirlooms. We're getting our official photos taken tomorrow, and Rina is excited about dressing up in a kimono again. (We did this four months ago, too, but that was sort of a practice run for the main event, which is today.) Our extended Japanese family will be coming over to congratulate us on our special day, including my wife's uncle who fought on the battleship Ise and has a scar across his face from an American bullet. There are many ceremonies for children in Japan, all Shinto in nature (Buddhism is generally reserved for death-related ceremonies like funerals). They include Omiya-mairi, going to a shrine 30 days (for girls) or 31 days (for boys) after birth, Okuizome, giving the child the first rice to eat 100 days after birth, and at the age of twenty, Seijin-shiki, the coming-of-age ceremony which marks entry into adulthood. You can see the 7-5-3 pictures we took four months ago here.

If you've ever done sightseeing in Japan, you might have been surprised to see what look like swastikas on Japanese maps. They're not swastikas at all -- the spikes are going to the right instead of to the left, and in Japan and Korea they denote the location of shrines. Still, they're kind of shocking when you see them suddenly without knowing what they are. Whenever you venture outside your home country, it's important to have an open mind in all things.

We've gotten in a huge volley of 2004 calendars, with many great items now in stock and available to order immediately. The calendars now in stock include the Studio Ghibli art calendar (always a popular item), Inu Yasha, Domo-kun, the cute Hanadeka Club calendars for dog and cat lovers, Spirited Away, Bluer Than Indigo, Megumi, Harumi Nemoto, and more. We've also posted interior digital pictures of many of the calendars, allowing you to see what some of the inside pages look like. We'll be making our final order for 2004 calendars next week or so, and after that, we'll be limited to whatever we have in stock. If you've got your eye on a cool Japanese calendar or three, get your order in soon!

Remember that J-List is a great place to find wild and wacky things from Japan for people on your Christmas lists. From anime calendars to unique toys to wacky T-shirts to something special for your significant other, J-List has that special something you can't get anywhere else. As the Holidays near, the mails get slower. If you're ordering products and want to make sure you get them before Christmas, we recommend you order soon, and consider Airmail or EMS.

Since it's Friday, we've got a really big update for you. Included are:

  • First, for fans of cutting-edge Japanese illustrators, we've got a dynamite art book by Tsutomu Nihei, a famous Japanese artist who has done illustrations for American comics, including Matrix, X-Men, Hellboy and much more
  • Also, enjoy a bold and beautiful anime based on Tsutomu Nihei's manga works, with some of the most innovative animation we've seen in a long time
  • For Domo-kun fans, we've got the plush bat friends Shinobu and Morio, really cute toys made by Japan's NHK
  • For manga fans, we've got Gamerz Heaven, a very popular comic running in Japan now
  • Also: fresh stock of the popular Ghost in the Shell bilingual comic, which features a completely new and accurate translation of the original in English as well as the original Japanese
  • Race Queen fans, enjoy the super cute photobook of Maiko Goto in her new hardcover photobook, which will delight fans of this lovely lady
  • We've got some great new snack foods from Japan, including traditional Japanese Chitose Ame, delicious tonkatsu soup, restocked Coconut Pocky (my own favorite), and more
  • Also, we've got Japanese money chocolate, delicious chocolate bars that look like Japanese money, and come with collectible money cards inside
  • For fans of Japanese gum, we've got some tasty blueberry sugarless Recaldent gum for you too
  • If you love Hello Kitty, we've got various cool items for you, including a fun Kitty wind-up toy that goes around your room
  • Also, fresh stock of the popular Hello Kitty bento boxes and mini bento box, very cool for enthusiasts of Japanese boxed lunch
  • For fans of the aesthetic beauty of kanji, we've got another cool wooden sign with a Japanese message on it
  • We've also restocked the popular cute plush toys known as Groomy, which are super-cute dog and cat plush toys that feature soft leather chamois bottoms, allowing you to wipe your computer monitor clean
  • Saiyuki is a very popular anime in Japan right now, and we've got limited stock of the very cool Saiyuki "trading figures" including full sets
  • We've got a "magic toilet freshening sticker" for you, as well as fresh stock of the portable air fresheners that Japanese women carry around with them so that others can't smell the toilet after they're done using it
  • For Macross fans, we've got the ultimate item: a kit of special armor that turns your standard Yamato 1/47 scale Battroid into a deluxe Super Valkyrie, with everything you need to deck your toy out
  • If you like Studio Ghibli's works, enjoy fresh stock of the Totoro white board with cute magnets, as well as an excellent Princess Mononoke wind-up music
  • And for fans of super cute things from Japan, we've got a deluxe set of Usako Friends (Usacolle) Shrinky Dinks -- make cute flying rabbits that shrink in the oven
  • In San Diego, we've restocked the popular Hinoki Soft Wood Clay, clay that's made from wood and tree oils -- so light it floats!
  • Then, enjoy many wacky things from Japan, including a miracle sponge that cleans without soap, a new wacky pencil case with funny English on it, and much more!

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

  • First, we've got a great new game for you: G-Collections' newest release, Crescendo, a high-developed high-school love sim which is populated by many dynamic and interesting characters, and fantastic uncensored game art!
  • For fans of Japan's top-quality adult video idols, we've got the new issue of Gokuh, featuring super sexy Japanese stars like Maria Takagi, Ryoko Mitake, the sultry Cocolo, F-Cup queen Ai Kurosawa, Mai Hagiwara, the delicious Aoi Sola and more
  • Then enjoy the new issue of Yasashiku Shite Ne, or Be Gentle With Me, featuring real sex by real couples in love
  • For fans of kogal eroticism, we have a special issue of Seningiri featuring stylish, slutty women from Russia, Switzerland, Germany and more
  • For super fans of Miki Komori and her oh-so-flexible erotic photobook and DVD, we've got a brand new photobook featuring more erotic gymnastics by this dynamite lady
  • Then, the busty Alice Ogura will blow your mind with her sexy first glossy photobook, featuring dynamite pictures of this amazing new face
  • Look for freshly restocked photobooks, too, including popular works by Garo Aida, fresh stock of Mayu Koizumi's erotic photobook, the dynamite Top GT Race Queen photobook and more
  • For fans of Japan's silky, sexy idols, be they in bikinis or in the nude, we've got a deluxe issue of Photo Shot for you, just filled with beautiful Japanese gals
  • For hentai manga fans, enjoy some great new postings, including bondage themed manga, a happy Pleasure Parasite, and erotic cosplay
  • Also, a great big restocking of hentai and yaoi manga, including What? - N?, Fairy Saver, Miku's Sexual Orgy Diary, the popular Muscle Man comics and more
  • We've got a dynamite large manga and art book featuring the Pretty Cat's Showtime works of artist Tatuski Amaori, great for "cat girl" fetish fans
  • For DVD collectors, enjoy a super third volume of Ai Nagase's Masterpiece Concentration, with 120 minutes of her best sex for a low price (region free)
  • Enjoy a wide range of lesbian cosplay erotica with a new release from Dash, exploring lesbian costume play as mini-skirt police, nurse and patient, elevator girl, stewardess, and more (region free)
  • Then, Senna Kurosaki struts her stuff in a new release from Dogma, featuring her delightful and carefree sex (region free)
  • Then view the best of the Mydol Semen series from SOD's Chujitsudoh label, featuring the most erotic moments of this popular series (region free)
  • Then, a real treat: Anna Ohura's debut in the Indies world, featuring some of her best-ever big breast sex (region 2)
  • Finally, see various restocked DVDs, including new discs with free shipping (making them even easier to buy)!

Remember that J-List carries the famous Japanese gum Black Black, a caffine-laced gum that will wake up you and keep you awake. Black Black was recently written up in Wired magazine, complete with a link to J-List (thanks, guys!). And as with most of our gum and snack items, if you buy 10 or more you get a 15% discount at checkout.

The J-Mate site has been updated again, with an excellent three-part translation of an interview with Ran Monbu, the super-cute Japanese AV idol who was recruited in a cake shop (hence her stage name, which sounds like Mont Blanc, the famous French dessert). Enjoy reading reviews and interviews from Japan on our sister site, J-Mate! The URL is http://www.jmate.com/

Thursday, January 30, 2003

Greetings from J-List January 30, 2003

Hello again from all of us in Japan!

When Japanese think of foreigners, they think of overly tall, blonde Americans with huge feet, trying to find their way to the right subway line. In actuality, the vast majority of foreigners living in Japan are not Westerners, but are from both Koreas, Brazil, Peru, and China. Officially, 1% of Japan's population are resident foreigners, although that number doesn't take into account people who are here illegally, so the number is probably higher. Isesaki, the city we live in, has a much higher foreign population (3%) due to a lot of factories based here. The area with the highest percent of foreigners in Japan is just down the road: the town of Oizumi boasts a population of 30% Brazilian and Japanese of Brazilian descent, and they have a really fun Carnival festival in the summer.

The largest group of foreigners in Japan, the Koreans, are very interesting because many of them were born and raised right here, and often don't even speak Korean unless they attended one of the Korean-only private schools that pepper the country. To an American like me, it's odd that these people would not be considered Japanese, as all children born in the U.S. get to be American citizens automatically. But the relationship of Korea and Japan is a very complex one, and more or less by mutual agreement of both sides, Koreans often live for generations inside Japan, never allowing themselves to become culturally assimilated. Or is it the Japanese who keep the Korean population from truly becoming part of Japan? I couldn't possibly say for sure. On the one hand, it's not difficult for anyone (even white-boy gaijin me) to get Japanese citizenship as long as he meets certain reasonable requirements. Japan is always very sensitive to possible accusations of racism, so there are no groups that aren't "allowed" to become Japanese citizens. Many Koreans object to the Japanese requirement that all persons wanting to become naturalized must take a Japanese name, e.g. Taro Yamada. Koreans living in Japan make sure they only hang out with other similar-minded Koreans (e.g., South with South, North with North), lest questions arise about their loyalties. There is, unfortunately, a lot of organized crime related to North Koreans, everything from making North Koreans born in Japan pay protection money to "support" relatives back home, to the highly refined manufacturing of cocaine for import into Japan.

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

  • First, for fans of the classic anime Cobra, we've got a rare treat: Cobra action figure toys, and we've got full sets available, too (but only two)
  • For anyone who loves Hot Wheels, we've got the only-released-in-Japan Hot Wheels Delorean from Back to the Future III, incredibly well detailed and very cool
  • We've got nice items for fans of Japanese idols and Race Queens, including a beautiful all-idol magazine and the lovely hardcover photobook of Aiko Itoh
  • If you collect Japanese CD singles, we've got the perfect case for you to organize them with
  • We've got some nice new Hello Kitty items, including Kitty envelopes that are so cute, as well as fresh stock of several popular items
  • Also, if you love Hamtaro, we've got some supremely cute Hamtaro items including a great character scarf for when it's cold out
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, enjoy delicious Ochazuke, a kind of dried food containing green tea, nori, and rice crackers which you pour over rice, then pour boiling water over the whole thing and eat it
  • We've also got, delicious Hi-Soft caramels from Morinaga ("Healing you softly with an Angel's Heart," delicious Japanese green tea in tea bags, and Kiss Mint gum
  • Also, an item that's selling incredibly well, thanks to a mention in the most recent Wired Magazine: Black Black, Lotte's original caffeine gum that wakes you up
  • We've got a super cute camouflage hat for anyone who wants to emulate what's stylish right now in Japan
  • Finally, there's a cool large envelope to protect your documents, some "high sense creation" keychain/phone straps,

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

  • For fans of dynamite erotic photography, enjoy the fabulous Ultimate Heroines, filled with incredibly bold and sassy photos
  • Also very cool, the new issue of Do-Up, filled with super amateur girls aged 19-22, performing with their boyfriends in love hotels
  • We love Japanese photobooks, and Hiroko Suto has a fabulous and very high-quality glossy one for you
  • We've got more issues of Up! You, which is "the world's beauty catalog" and features many rare lovelies Russia, Europe and more
  • We've got excellent erotic manga for you to today, with several all-new volumes by Tsukasa and other studios, including the excellent "Flesh Bride"
  • For DVD collectors, we've got more excellent items, starting with Gymnastics Girls, a superb DVD for fans of leotards and the slender bodies of Japan's famous AV idols (region free)
  • For fans who love their women more solid, we've got a great Big Breast Body Doll featuring Sakura Sena, a girl with a fantastic 101 cm K cup (region free)
  • For fans of the lovely Eri Yukawa, that busty and sexy AV star, we've got a super 2-DVD bukkake fetish offering from Moodyz that you won't want to miss (region 2)
  • For lovers of fine hentai anime on DVD, we've gotten in the boxed sets of Immu Seisen vol. 1-3, ready to ship out to you
  • Look for freshly updated DVD titles, including Mizuho Kano Special (featuring the lovely Jun Kusanagi, her AV name), Eri Yukawa's erotic bondage DVD, and Sally Yoshino's Indecent Beast City, and new DVDs by Ami Ayukawa
  • Finally, the J-List January DVD Sale is still going strong, although January is at an end -- if you want to take advantage of our buy-4-get-25% off sale, hurry! We've got hundreds of DVD items included in the sale for you, so look for something before the sale ends!

J-List carries many great funny Japanese T-shirts, with many funny messages on them like "I want to be Japanese" and "Dirty American Devil." Please note that we're always closing out our current shirts to make room for new ones, so that the shirt you are planning on getting next week might not be there when you to back for it. We're EOLing some shirts, such as Philosophy of Hentai, Men Over Women, the yellow Mother shirt and others, and no more will be printed. Since we invariably get a lot of customers who ask to buy this shirt or that when the last of them are gone, we recommend you get the shirts now, while the size you need is in stock. Get 3 or more and get 10% off!

Are you using Paypal? Paypal is a very convenient system for paying for things securely online, and is a great way to pay for just about any purchase. J-List gladly accepts Paypal for orders (you can choose "Paypal" as the payment method when checking out and we'll send you a link to click on to make payment), in addition to other payment methods such as secure credit card payments, check/money order, and in extreme cases, cash through the mail. Paypal is especially handy for our customers in Europe, since payments may be made in Euros or British Pounds. As this convenient service attains more and more "critical mass" we hope customers who have need of this convenience will use it.

The Top 5 list has been updated so you can see what items have been selling well over the past week. Click the link to bring up the items, too.

That's all for now -- have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 29, 2003

Greetings from J-List October 29, 2003

Hello again from your friends in Japan!

We're extremely relieved to announce that everything is fine with both our home and the J-List San Diego office. The deadly Cedar Fire that has destroyed more than 1000 homes came within a hair of the Tierrasanta area of San Diego, where our U.S. home is located. Happily, the elementary school that sits behind our house saved us -- the large areas of asphalt robbed the fire of fuel and stopped the spread, although ten homes in another part of Tierrasanta were lost. All is well at the J-List office, too, and our staff is all safe and back at work, ready to get back to normal as quickly as possible. Shipping of orders for T-shirts, games and DVD players will resume today. We're happy to have been spared great hardship, but with so many having lost so much, it's still very sobering. As I write these words, the lovely mountain town of Julian, where San Diegans go to see snow in the winter and eat apple pie in the summer, is threatened by the flames.

To see some pictures of the area around our house during the fires and of the fires area as of yesterday, here are some URLs for you:

http://www.laurapientka.com/pcr/fire/picts.html
http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/fires/images/031028fierypaths.html

When you come to a country like Japan, you realize that words don't always mean what you intend for them to mean. When I was working as an English conversation teacher, I had a confusing moment when a pretty female student talked about going shopping over the weekend with "lover." The word she meant to use was boyfriend, but because the Japanese word is koibito (literally "love person"), she got confused, causing me to sweat for the rest of the class. It happened again when we were talking about her dog, and I happened to ask what sex it was. The Japanese use the English word "sex" but only to describe the famous act, not to denote male or female -- and confusion reigned again.

Simple concepts like "you" and "I" can get quite complicated in Japanese, too. The basic word for "I" is "watashi," and this is what is used in formal settings (also pronounced "watakushi"). Girls get a cute version of this word -- "atashi" -- and good boys are supposed to use a boy's word for referring to one's self, "boku." Rough and tough boys, as well as men who want to project their manliness, will use the men's word "ore" (oh-rey) for "I" -- Kenshiro, of Fist of the North Star, uses this term exclusively. For "you," the formal word is "anata," but "kimi" (a familiar word for use among friends) and another rough man's word, "omae" (oh-MAH-eh), are also used depending on the situation. A person's choice of what first- and second-person pronouns he choose to use reveals much about his personality and self-image. A cute little girl will use the term "atashi" or "watashi" and play with Licca-chan dolls; a girl who is a rebellious tomboy might use the boy's word "boku" to the disdain of her parents; and young boys, such as my son, will rebel against his parents by using the word "ore."

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

  • First, for Domo-kun fans we've got two high-quality all-purpose Domo-kun pouches, which you can keep just about anything in -- they feature sturdy strings to close the bags, too
  • We've got some really cook "shokugan" figures in (small toys with candy inside), a series of figures from the eerily beautiful anime Utaware Mono (full sets in stock)
  • Then, for Blythe fans, we've got a super fun new Pop-up World Blythe figure featuring a luxurious doll with stand and accessories
  • The Nyanko Restaurant series presents famous Japanese dishes, but instead of food, super cute plush kitty cats are inside -- this could only have come from Japan. See the new Nyanko Nabe (pot-based cooking) in stock
  • Like Japanese snacks? We've got traditional Japanese mizu ame (water candy, er, it's really sticky and fun to play with), unique Japanese tea, and fun "choco crayons" that you can really eat
  • Also, the newest flavor of Toppo, the baked pretzel stick with chocolate inside -- taste the delicious bitter chocolate, made with real cocoa powder, as well as a major restocking of our delicious Pocky
  • Another favorite of ours, Hi-Chew, a delicious "chewing candy" by Morinaga -- we've got in stock of the "secret flavor" (we're not allowed to tell you what the flavor is)
  • For fans who love the wacky mannequin drama OH! Mikey, we've got a great PVC keychain of Mikey, really cool and hard to find in Japan
  • For those who love the aesthetic look of kanji, we've got a nice wood signboard with a beautiful message written on it
  • For Kitty fans, we've got a cute Hello Kitty all-purpose plastic pouch, great for storing many things -- also, fresh stock of other great only-sold-in-Japan Hello Kitty items
  • Also, some really nice balsa-wood chopsticks that are great for giving to guests when they come over to eat
  • For Miyazaki fans, we've restocked the dynamite kitsune-risu (fox-squirrel) from Nausica and Laputa, Bou Nezumi from Spirited Away
  • Also, fresh stock of the really cool large-scale Evangelion Mass Production Model toys
  • Finally, look for other items, including wacky accessory pouches that kogals in Japan use, more wacky Japanese notebooks with funny English on them, and more!

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

  • For those who love shapely, beautiful Japanese AV stars, we've got the new issue of Dela Beppin, the deluxe Beppin that overflows with top names from japan including Aoi Sola
  • Then we've got a special deluxe Mook (a cross between a magazine and a book) version of Gokuh, with super glossy pages filled with lovely erotic angels from Japan, all for you
  • For fans of hardcore sex magazines, we've got the new issue of Do-Up (which sounds like bukkake dripping in Japanese, e.g. dwapp!!)
  • For photobook lovers, we've got some great new hardcover offerings for you, including Nami Ichinohe's dynamite new photobook, and the sexy Erotic Revolution photobook of Noriko Namimatsu
  • Also, see the fantastically bold photobook of Kanako Ishikawa, Feeling K, showing her in all her loveliness
  • Akira Gomi's "Yellows" series of photobooks document the beautiful female bodies of hundreds of girls from Japan -- we've got limited stock of his photobooks for you now
  • For hentai manga collectors, enjoy an excellent offering of new books, including cat girl fetish, extreme hentai, and a beautiful work of erotic love by Hiro Suzuhira
  • Restocked manga and doujinshi include Aero, Cheeky Petite Angels, and fresh stock of Elixir, the excellent dick girl CG collection by Androgynous ONLY Circle Alsenoteris
  • Also, for yaoi fans, we've got a great new anthology for you, featuring great works by famous m/m artists, as well as fresh stock of other really nice comics
  • For our DVD customers, we have some great items for you, starting with the Masterpiece Concentration of Nozomi Momoi, the tragic AV idol from Japan (region free)
  • From Alice Japan, we've got a superb cosplay fetish DVD featuring the erotic sex of Sola Aoi, aka Sora Aoi, aka Blue Sky, for you (region free)
  • See four lovely female teachers from Japan in the very sexy "female teacher army corps" (region free)
  • Enjoy the Super Idol and Gokkun Debut in which Riho Nanase teachers two new stars all about bukkake, jizz-swallowing and more, in a great release from SOD's Natural High label (region free)
  • The popular hentai manga Nami SOS! by master illustrator Chataro is now an anime! We've got the great erotic hero anime for you on DVD (region 2)
  • Then Manami Suzuki, the sultry former Race Queen, stars in a great bukkake and gokkun release, in which she allows many a lucky actor to blow on her face, then she drinks it all down (region 2)
  • Finally, we've restocked many excellent erotic DVDs, including Penis Venus (Kurumi Morishita pretending to be a boy with a penis in a yaoi production), Anna with a Change of Costumes (classic busty Anna), 4 Hours of Ran Asakawa, The High Grade Soap 4 Hours Special, and Beautiful Leg Queen (vol 1 & 2 combo). Enjoy then all!

Do you love Hello Kitty? J-List does, and we stock nearly a hundred unique Hello Kitty items that are only sold in Japan. From Hello Kitty toilet paper to Kitty chopsticks to the world-famous Hello Kitty vibrating shoulder massage, which is out of production and will disappear from J-List within a few months, we've got some great items for you. To find them all, just search for "kitty."

Monday, January 27, 2003

Greetings from J-List January 27, 2003

Hello again from Japan, the home of strawberry and butter sandwiches!

There are some words that the Japanese are doomed to have problems with, due to the fact that Japanese is a rather phonetically impoverished language, with just 5 vowels and a limited repertoire of phonomes. The sounds of L/R are not differentiated in Japanese, which makes some English words very hard for them -- hence, jokes about the Japanese sending Viagra to the U.S. during the 2000 Presidential election because we couldn't get an election. "Cone" and "corn" are impossible to separate in Japanese, and Japanese may be apt to think that cones for Ice Cream are made out of corn. I've lived in Japan for 11 years, but I've never seen a Japanese spell the word "flea market" correctly -- it's usually "free market" (as in, a market you don't need to pay to get into), and I've even seen "frea market" once. A curb is something by the side of the road, and a curve is a turn in the road, but don't ask a Japanese which is which. And finally, one of the most famous pizza chains in Japan is Pizza Hut, but 120 million Japanese all think it's Pizza Hat (as in Red Hat Linux).

In Japanese, words are made from kanji, the Chinese characters that have meanings built into them (unlike the two kana writing systems, which are just sounds). This is quite a flexible system and it's easy to create new words when they come along. When modern hospitals came to Japan and a word for "operating room" was needed, they built a word out of the meanings in the Chinese characters, in this case using the characters for "hand," "technique" and "room." Sometimes, though, the meanings of words breaks down when their definitions change. The Japanese word for a preschool teacher is "hobo" (literally "protecting mother"), but like words like fireman, stewardess and mailman in English, it needed upgrading to a term that didn't refer to a particular sex. The new "correct" is "hoikushi" (a professional-sounding word that means care-giver). Some words haven't been updated yet, though. A family with only one parent is called "boshi katei" which literally means "household of mother and child," but this word doesn't serve its purpose very well if the single parent is male. And Japanese who spend several years overseas then return to Japan are called "kikoku shijo" or "girl-children who have returned to their home country." The terms is used for males as well as females, despite the fact that the "girl" meaning is built into the word.

A fun part of learning Japanese is memorizing the "counters." In Japanese, you use different words for counting different objects depending on what shape they are. If you're counting sheets of paper, you count with "mai" (ichi mai, ni mai, san mai, and so on). For any long, cylindrical object, you use "hon" (which changes to pon or bon depending on the preceding word), e.g. ippon, ni hon, san bon, and so on. (Roppingi, if you want to know, means "six trees" -- roku plus the "pon" counter, and ki is Japanese for tree.) There are some difficult ones to get down -- for example, an umbrella is counted with hon/pon because it's long and cylindrical when closed, but when it's opened, it's in a different shape. How do you count it? Does the Space Shuttle count as an airplane or a ship? We used to bug my Japanese teacher back at SDSU with questions like these.

Curse my fingers -- when mentioning the retirement of Takanohana, who has the rank of Yokozuna ("Grand Master"), I accidentally typed "Yokozuka." Sorry about the error.

We thank everyone who supported J-List in the 2003 Calendar Season. We had a blast, and sold a ton of these excellent glossy calendars to people all over the world. For any fans of Japanese idols, JPOP and anime who have some wall space left, we've got an offer you won't be able to say no to -- 50% off any purchase of 2 or more calendars, which effectively means buy 1 get 1 free. Considering that most calendars are just $10 currently, this is major steal for you at just $5 each. We've still got 40 or so different calendars available, although they'll be going fast. Don't wait to take advantage of this offer! Discount applied at checkout.

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

  • First, a stunning item for collectors of high-quality Japanese figures, we've got a giant cold-cast resin statue of H. R. Geiger's original Alien
  • If you love Japan's lovely idols, including Morning Musume, we've got limited stock of the new Yuko Nakazawa photobook -- really lovely
  • For anime DVD fans, we've got the new Tokyo Mew Mew DVD in, so you can be on the cutting edge of anime-dom and enjoy this really fun show (region 2)
  • Also, for fans of the bold and cool OH! Mikey DVDs (which are sold out, although fresh stock is coming in soon), we've got The Color of Life, a huge collection of sassy, bold Japanese television from Vermilion Pleasure Night -- and it's subtitled in English! (region 2)
  • If you love the excellent Studio Ghibli music boxes that have been popular in Japan lately, be sure and see the dynamite Princess Mononoke deluxe music box we've got -- stock is very limited, but more are on order already
  • Also, Yasu has restocked several of the popular Ghibli music boxes for fans of Laputa and Kiki's Delivery Service
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, we've got delicious Caplico chocolate ice cream cones, interesting furikake, and fresh stock of Takoyaki Pretz
  • Also, a really cute series of Hello Kitty "Message Angel" plushes with chocolate candy inside
  • For fans of cute things from Japan, look for Hello Kitty and other Sanrio items, including chopsticks, bento items, a new Hello Kitty lap blanket that's incredibly soft, and more
  • We've gotten in some very cute bag and wallet accessories for those who want to see what's popular in Japan right now
  • To help combat winter, we stock the excellent Japanese "Kairo" heating pads -- put one in your pocket and stay warm for hours -- as well as Japanese "Bub" onsen tablets for your bath
  • If you're a baseball fan, see the two figures of Hideki Matsui we've got -- they will no doubt be very valuable someday!
  • Finally, find authentic Japanese origami, cute Pom Pom Purin pocket tissues, wacky Japanese bottle erasers, fresh stock of Japanese study cards, and more!

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

  • For fans of Japan's unique adult video world, we've got the new issues of Video Boy and Best Video, two excellent magazines that allow you to keep up with virtually all Japan's famous AV stars -- dozens and dozens of girls in each issue
  • For fans of amateur and love hotel sex, we've got a nice new photobook for you, with very nice models and couples
  • For Japan's unique married women fetish, we've got a duel set of two dynamite photobooks
  • For photobook fans, we've got several great new items, including drama actress Miri Sugihara's dynamite erotic first nude photobook
  • Also, a rare item for Yulia Nova fans, her rare and hard to find (even in Japan) series of erotic photographic postcards, just lovely!
  • For manga collectors, check out our newly posted erotic volumes, including love slave works from Sanwa Comics, incredibly erotic artwork in a new Heaven's Road, and yaoi works, too
  • We love AG, the English-language magazine of "art, sex and CG culture" that features Japanese artists' hentai comic works -- we've restocked all volumes of this great magazine so you can get any back-issues you've missed
  • Also, if you love the great anime Chobits, be sure and see the hentai Chobits manga we've posted
  • For doujinshi fans, we've got another dozen or so excellent books, all of them brand new releases at Japan's most recent Comic Market -- see them before they're all gone
  • For DVD fans, enjoy an incredible *eight hours* of superb large breast AV from the wonderful Million -- 480 minutes of the best breastplay for you! (region free)
  • "Nakadashi" is the fetish of men blowing their wads into women, and SOD has assembled a great collection of erotic nakadashi AV for you (region free)
  • Also from Soft on Demand, Isshiki Shino and Ai Nagase show their thanks to their fans in a new erotic Festival of Fan Gratitude offering (region free)
  • From Cinemagic, a wonderful 180 minutes of Slave Secretary, lovely bondage and rope-play AV with 13 beautiful women (region free)
  • From Moodyz, a new direction -- Black Swap in L.A., in which two lovely starlets get creamed by large black men in the USA (region 2)
  • Remember that J-List's dynamite January DVD sale is still on -- you can choose 4 or more of the over 200 DVDs we've got on sale, and get 25% off. Search for "January sale" to find these items.

J-List sells wacky T-shirts with message like "I'm looking for a Japanese girlfriend" (our most popular shirt ever), "Respect the Emperor, Expel the Foreign Barbarians" and so on. They're funny and wacky, and make great gifts, too. Why not browse our selection of T-shirts today? Because your satisfaction is important to us, J-List goes the extra distance for you, stocking a wide range of sizes (from small to XXXL for most shirts), so everyone can enjoy our fun Japanese T-shirts. They're printed in the USA and all sizes are full American sizes. If you're not sure exactly what size you need, the measurements for the shirts in centimeters and inches is displayed via the "Click here for size info" link.

Interested in learning hiragana and katakana? There's a cute Javascript game in which pretty girls take off their clothes if you learn you recognize Japanese characters (don't worry, it's PG rated, and a fun way to learn). The URL is http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/~ah3q/project/japanese/

Greetings from J-List October 27, 2003

Hello from a somewhat nerve-wracked J-List. Wildfires are raging across several parts of San Diego, and unfortunately, the area of Tierrasana where our home is located in is one of the areas that is threatened at the present time. The San Diego staff of J-List has evacuated and everyone is safe, things are really up in the air still, including the fate of our home. The fires have paralyzed large parts of San Diego, and we thank everyone in advance for their patience while we resume shipping product out of J-List's San Diego location, which will take a few days at least. There is no delay with shipping of items from Japan. It's really awful, being on the other side of the world and unable to do anything during this difficult time for everyone in San Diego, and our prayers are with everyone there.

Well, on with the update, as best we can. We caught Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill on its opening night this weekend. It was a very entertaining film, although not one you should take too seriously. Throughout the movie, my wife and I had to laugh at little inside jokes, from the kogal phone strap on O-Ren Ishii's portable phone to bizarre views of Tokyo that don't actually exist. As with the Matrix Reloaded, it was interesting and vaguely satisfying to see how deep the influence of Japan has been on the world at large in the past 15 years. We've certainly come a long way from the mid-80s, when Japanese animation was relegated to small clubs on university campuses, gathering to watch Japanese shows they couldn't understand. Tarantino fans in Japan were treated to an extra 2 minutes which were shaved from the U.S. release to keep the violence within acceptable levels. Anyway, it was a great film, which all fans of the director's entertaining style of on-screen violence should catch.

It's interesting, the things you learn about the human brain when you learn a second language. For example, when I was learning Japanese, I found that my brain was not able to "parse" Japanese that I didn't understand when it was spoken at me. In fact, my brain didn't even register that I'd been spoken to at times -- effectively, Japanese words that I had not learned registered as so much static when they entered my brain. At other times, a person's brain will convert an unfamiliar word into something it can store. For example, when we bought a Mazda Bongo Friendee (like an MPV but taller, with a top that opens up), my American nephew kept calling the car "Bongo Frenzy" because he wasn't used to weird Japanese English car names. Another time, I was interviewed by a magazine about bishoujo games (the Japanese dating-sim games that we sell on J-List), but when I checked the article, it listed them as "bushido games" (bushido being the samurai code of chivalry) -- oops. Interestingly, embarrassing yourself by not knowing a certain word in a certain situation often serves as a "memory hook" that will help you remember the word in the future. I remember hitchhiking to Aomori Prefecture (famous for apples and Japanese "enka" singers). I was trying to buy a flashlight, but I didn't know the correct word to use. I know it now -- kaichuu dentou -- and the frustration I felt trying to communicate probably helped me memorize the word.

(Speaking of Bongo Friendees, aka the Mazda SGL or Ford Freda, they're getting popular outside of Japan. See the official U.K. owners' club website at http://www.bongofury.co.uk/)

Poor Daisuke is in the hospital with his knee injury, so we paid him a visit on Sunday. Visiting someone in the hospital is called omimai (oh-me-MAI), not to be confused with omiai (oh-me-AI), what is usually thought of as an arranged marriage. We brought him a basket of fruit and his Powerbook, and a bag full of DVDs to watch while he heals. He's doing very well and wants to come back to work as soon as he can.

We've got hundreds of great Japanese 2004 calendars in stock for you, with so much variety that almost anyone should be able to find some great calendars for themselves or to give as gifts. To help you better choose which calendars you'd like to get, we've added interior digital photographs of many calendars, allowing you to get an good idea of the quality of these large-format calendars are. Enjoy the new photographs. Also, we've gotten in another volley of new calendars, including the long-awaited 2004 Domo-kun calendar!

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

  • First, for Shirow Masamune fans, we've got vol. 10 of the excellent Ghost in the Shell animated series, featuring episodes 19 and 20
  • Domo-kun fans, we've got some cool new plush toys for you: the TV-watching Usajii and sports-watching toting Ta-chan
  • For fans of the new Gundam Seed, the fantastic latest anime series from Rising Sun, we've got a great Gundam Seed Character Data Book
  • Kubrick and Batman lovers, we've got the great new toy series from Medicom Toy, featuring three classic crimefighters and three great villains
  • The hardcover photobook of Emi Kobayashi is also a treat for all fans of Japan's swimsuit idols
  • Also, sweet idol Hitomi Ito will charm you with her nice hardcover photobook, too
  • For Final Fantasy X fans, we have a fabulous 600+ page data, art and characer info page for the game, a really special item that FFX fans shouldn't miss
  • Fans of doujinshi can enjoy a great "parody doujinshi anthology" that mocks famous anime and video game characters
  • We loved the movie Kill Bill, especially the scene where Lucy Liu sports a cute kogal phone strap with beads on it -- now we've got these in stock for you
  • We've gotten in some beautiful 2004 desktop and small wall calendars featuring stunning traditional Japanese artwork
  • For fans of Japanese snacks and food, we've gotten in some fun new gummi treats that you can pick off a gummi tree and eat
  • Also, delicious Japanese ume, unique Japanese soup, and teeth-whitening sugarless gum from Japan
  • We've added two really unique "animal alarm clocks" that are unique and look great in any room
  • Also, a wacky game called the Angry Old Man Game, fun for all ages
  • For Hello Kitty lovers, we've got a really high-quality coin purse made of chirimen, the fabric kimonos are made out of
  • Anyone who loved Ultraman as a kid (as I did) can get five dynamite Ultraman keychains, featuring the collect and most popular Ultramen
  • Also, we have fresh stock of the popular "It is forbidden to urinate here" stickers
  • Want to take a Japanese-style hot springs bath? we have some great Hello Kitty bath powder for you
  • Finally, find super happy wallets, more Japanese study aids, a super way to bring some negative ions into your life, and more!

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

  • First, enjoy Ryu-Gu (Dragon Temple), a great hardcore amateur magazine that features great couples in love hotels
  • Also, the always-popular Yo!, a treat for guys who worship Japanese kogals doing the nasty for the camera
  • Bachelor is a magazine that presents busty women from Japan and all around the world, including women from Eastern Europe and Russia -- enjoy the great new issue
  • We've got more bargain magaznies too, starting at just $5
  • For photobook fans, enjoy the oh-so-sexy hardcover offering of Waka Inoue (her last name is pronounced EE-no-OO-way)
  • Then taste the lovely Erotic Revolution of Yoko Kawahara, a dynamite and stylish girl who will amaze you with her eros
  • Hentai manga fans will enjoy several new offerings, including anime and game parody works, a great hentai manga anthology, and a beautiful erotic manga for girls (erotic shoujo manga) and a super "lesbian dick girl" offering
  • Also, enjoy freshly restocked manga, including Teacher Kisaragi's Sexual Class, Tousaku - Delusion, Michael Plan and Amber Girl
  • For doujinshi lovers, we've got some great new erotic parody comics, including Urusei Yatsura and Boy Detective Conan hentai parody
  • Yaoi lovers have a great treat too: the superbly gothic "A Slaves' Condition" by Kousai Comics
  • For our DVD customers, we've got some great items for you, starting with a low-price reissue of Izumi Morino's anime cosplay masterpiece in which she has great sex while wearing famous anime cosumes (region free)
  • Next, Mai Sakashita shows you her "other side" in a great hardcore production frmo Million (170 mins., region free)
  • Then SOD's famous director Hajime has a great new project for you: beautiful amateurs who xerox their breasts, asses and more for you, using a color copy machine (region free)
  • Then enjoy a great "2 in 1" production of Les Commando, the great combination of military fetish and lesbian erotica (region free)
  • From Waap, enjoy a great erotic bukkake festival in the Dream Shower series, starrring the erotic and lovely Tsubasa Okina (region 2)
  • Also from Moodyz, enjoy the last word in lesbian OL sex in "The Triple Lesbian In Office" (region 2)
  • We've added another dozen or so close-out DVD titles to our free shipping DVD sale -- get a great bargain and free shipping on some fantastic adult titles from Japan
  • Then enjoy fresh stock of other popular DVDs, including Aika Miura's "Respect," Kimiko Matsuzaka "The Complete," Bondage Mania with Chika Kawamura, and fresh stock of the popular Leg Fetish Best Selection series from SOD!

Remember that J-List carries wacky snack and gum items from Japan, which aren't available overseas. In addition to Pocky and other pretzle-stick-type snacks, we have the full line of Lotte's delicious gum, including the best-selling gum at J-List, the spicy, caffeine-enriched Black Black, that was mentioned in the past issue of Wired Magazine.

Also remember that J-List has a great offer -- get 20% off any four or more bishoujo ("pretty girl") games, also known as love-sim and hentai games. We pride ourselves on having the best selection on the planet, and we carry the games of every English love-sim game company in existence. See the great items we've got for you!