The word for foreigner in Japanese is "gaijin," written using the characters for "outside" and "person." While it simply refers to foreigners, the word is kind of harsh and can sound derogatory, which is why the new official word for foreigners (the term used on NHK, Japan's equivalent to the BBC) is "gaikokujin" or "outside country person," a word that sounds much softer to the ear. One thing about foreigners living in Japan: while they usually don't appreciate Japanese calling out to them by saying "Hey, gaijin!" they're more than likely to use the term amongst themselves openly, without a second thought. In this respect it's very similar to the African American usage of the "N" word.
One aspect of Japan that is really fun to get into is bento, that is, the traditional Japanese boxed lunch. Japan's version of a classical boxed lunch is white rice with a main dish (called "okazu," a word for anything which is eaten with rice), usually chicken, fish, or vegetables. If you've ever traveled in Japan by train, maybe you've seen the unique pre-made boxed lunches you can buy in train stations, called "ekiben" or "train station bento." Each city makes its own unique variety of ekiben, competing with each other to make the most famous bento that tells a story about that part of the country. We've got a really cool miniature set of authentic train station bentos in stock today -- they really are excellent. J-List also sells many different bento related items, from chopsticks to bento boxes to full sets containing everything you need to have a Japanese boxed lunch.
You've been in Japan too long when, on a visit home, it takes you three tries to write a check. It's funny but true. Japan is a very cash-based society, and there are no such things as using personal checks to pay for goods. On payday, employees in Japan get a fat envelope of 10,000 yen notes as their monthly salary, and no one thinks twice about it, although getting a huge amount of cash from your boss in the U.S. would be odd. As a result of this lack of personal checks, foreigners who live in Japan for a long time completely forget how to write a check and have to re-learn it every time they go home. When you need to pay for something in Japan, you usually do a direct transfer to their bank account, called furikomi in Japanese. It's inconvenient and the bank fees are high, but there's never a problem with the money being sent. Recently, American style credit card use has been on the rise, helped along by the spread of Internet commerce.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of Totoro toys, we've got some great new plush items by Sun Arrow, Hayao Miyazaki's official licensor
- Also, a major restocking of popular Totoro and Ghibli goods, including the Jiji Pencil Case, the large plush Totoro (a really nice item!), the Totoro Tissue Holder, and more -- check all these cool items!
- For fans of bleeding-edge anime, enjoy She, The Ultimate Weapon, a superb anime series being released on DVD in Japan, with full English subtitles (region 2)
- For fans of the popular Ghost in the Shell anime series, we've gotten in more stock of the dynamite vol. 1 disc (that comes with a box for the other discs)
- Also, since we love Shirow Masamune's works, and have some rare stock of figures from that classic anime and movie
- For fans of Japanese snacks, look for many new items, including Glico's "Mousse Hazelnut" treat, cute Gummi Baby treat, and a melon-flavored Hello Kitty cake that you can bake!
- Also, some delicious "marugoto ika" (a dried squid on a stick), recommend for the brave
- Bento is part of the fabric of Japanese life, and "ekiben" (train station bento) is one of the most famous kinds -- see a set of six authentic eki bento from all around Japan
- For Hamtaro and bento fans, we've got more cute hamster items, including chopsticks, chopstick cases, fresh stock of the popular traditional bento sets, and more
- Learn to read hiragana with two different cute toys that reinforce learning of the Japanese writing system
- For fans of parody goods, we've got a cool keychain featuring Lotte's Black Black -- pull the string to make the gum come out
- For those who wan to study in Japanese style, we've got more fun items including cute Japanese pencil cases, cool pencils for Morning Musume fans (really cool!) and more
- Do ride a bicycle in the winter? If so, we have some spiffy bicycle hand warmers for you to try -- they're great!
- For fans of the incredibly soft and warm blankets sold in Japan, we've got fresh stock of the extremely cool Totoro blankets that have been so popular this year
- Finally, see cool Hello Kitty tissue, fresh stock of Kitty toilet paper, traditional things for your kitchen, more miso soup and furikake, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of adult magazines, we've got the great new Penthouse Japan and Penthouse Special, beautiful magazines published in Japan with 100% Japanese models
- Also, enjoy the sweet and lovely amateur girls of BJam, featuring incredibly stylish Japanese college girls and kogals
- Japanese nude photographer Aida Garo's Kaoru photobook was one of his most popular ever, and now he's followed it up with a dynamite sequel
- Also, see other great photobooks in stock for you, including the busty Caprice Lovers Collection featuring the busty Chisa Aizawa
- We love the erotic works of Yui Toshiki, and we've got fresh stock of Yui Shop (vol 1 ' 3)
- Also, for fans of G-Taste, the extremely erotic leg fetish art book series, we've got a massive restocking of these books for you
- For hentai manga collectors, enjoy a bunch of new works in stock for you, including great fetish works by Toen Comics, Tsukasa and more
- Also, fresh stock of several yaoi titles, for fans of Japan's great homosexual manga themes
- If you love authentic Japanese doujinshi, we've got even more for you, including some great works parodying all the best Japanese animation series and more
- Also, fresh stock of super-sexy One Piece and Giant Robo hentai doujinshi
- For adult DVD aficionados, we've got some top-quality AV from Japan for you, starting with Hitomi Hayasaka Re-Mix 2, with 230 minutes of the sweet sex of Hitomi-chan (region free)
- Then, enjoy the "24 Best of Charisma Idols" featuring the best performances of 24 lovely adult video stars from Million, including Shino Isshki, Ran Asakawa, Sayaka Hagiwara, and more (region free)
- Ran Asakawa stars in an extremely erotic performance from SOD's Deep's label, exploring themes of unfaithfulness in marriage (region free)
- AV director HAJIME is one of the most famous at Soft on Demand today, and you can see his best erotic works in a new DVD from Soft on Demand (region free)
- The lovely Aimi Yoshii teams with American porn star Monica, performing in an erotic tribute to Beverly Hills 90210 -- great for fans of "black bukkake" (region 2)
- Finally, fresh stock of some dynamite DVDs, Yuko Ogura's popular DVDs, more of the Deep Kiss lesbian kissing DVDs, and more!
The J-List crew has recently added a few new members, including staff in both our U.S. and Japan offices. If you want to see the new members, see the updated About J-List page (link in the upper left hand corner of the J-List site). We think we look pretty cute ^_^
The J-Mate site has been updated again, this time with a great interview with Maiko Kazano. You can see many different interviews with famous AV stars from Japan, as well as reviews of products that we sell at J-List. The URL is http://www.jmate.com/