Seen a certain way, the Japanese can appear quite superstitious. Certainly, there are many superstitions here that seem odd to foreigners, such as, don't cut your fingernails at night or you won't be able to be with your parents when they die, don't whistle at night or snakes will come and get you, and so on. Many of these beliefs come from Japan's death-oriented Buddhism -- it's bad luck to sleep with your head to the north ("kita makura"), as dead people about to be cremated are laid with their heads to the north. In this vein, there's a complex system of lucky and unlucky days according to a Buddhist calendar, with six different days that cycle throughout the month. It's good luck to get married or start construction on your home or take delivery of a car on the luckiest day (called Taian), but if you were to get married on the unlucky day (called Butsumetsu), you'd probably end up divorced and unhappy. Virtually all Japanese want to get married on Taian, and our own Kaori reserved the wedding hall of her choice over a year in advance in order to be able to get married on a Saturday that fell on this lucky day.
The six days, and their kanji meanings, are Sensho ("win first"), Tomobiki ("take away with"), Senpu ("lose first"), Butsumetsu ("Buddha's Death"), Taian ("Great Calm"), Shakkou ("Red Mouth"). Supposedly, it's lucky to do things in the morning on Sensho, but it's unlucky to do anything in the morning on Senpu -- wait til the afternoon instead on that day. Never have a funeral on Tomobiki, as the soul of the deceased will be taken away instead of staying near his loved ones. Butsumetsu is a general unlucky day, and virtually all Japanese avoid doing important things on this day. All of them, it seems, except my wife, who follows a totally different calendar, one that's part of Japan's Nichirenshu sect of Buddhism (don't ask me to tell you how this is different from other flavors of Buddhism, it's beyond me ^_^). In this alternate calendar system, Butsumetsu is often a very lucky day for her, and in fact Japanese are shocked to learn that my wife and I were married on "unlucky" Butsumetsu. It's been very lucky for us so far.
Japan has some interesting customs regarding the signing of official documents. When you sign a contract or other official document in Japan, you must remember to bring your name stamp ("hanko"), which is used in place of a signature as a way of verifying a person's agreement. In order to officially stamp something, you often need a "stamp proof of registration" paper which you get from the local city office, which proves that this specific stamp is registered to this specific person or company. The use of these stamps is somewhat puzzling to foreigners -- what's to stop someone from mugging you and stealing your stamp, then withdrawing all your money from the bank? For reasons that only the Japanese can probably understand, this nearly never happens. As the Japanese economy takes more queues from the outside world, credit cards are gaining in popularity; since the credit card system uses handwritten signatures as verification, the Japanese are of course familiar with western-style signatures, too.
We're about to do a server move for the J-List site. The server to be moved is the images server for the J-List site, so if there are any problems, images may stop displaying normally. We think things will go smoothly, but if you notice any problems please let us know right away. Thanks! The new server will bring more speed to J-List customers.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, we've got an extremely cool set of "Nostalgic SF Vehicle" toys, including the Eagle and Hawk from Space 1999, the submarine from Stingray, and other extremely cool toys from Konami
- For Gundam fans, we've got a really cool action figure of the original RX-78, loaded with accessories
- Also, for Eva collectors, a highly detailed Mass Production Eva from the End of Evangelion movie
- We've got a tremendously cool hardcover art book, Taccio the Angel, with artwork by Akira Toriyama, an acclaimed artists with lots of talent
- For fans of lovely Race Queens, see the superb MP Girls, a collection of nothing but the most beautiful and famous RQs in Japan today
- For fans of excellent anime from Japan, we have the new volume of She, The Ultimate Weapon (vol 4), complete with English subtitles! (region 2)
- We've got some great Japanese snack items in stock for you, including Japanese-style caramel corn, delicious traditional food items, and a rare treat, Cocoa flavored candies
- Also, we've gotten the last of this year's Melty Kiss chocolate fudge, a winter-only limited item, so if you wanted to order some, do so before they're gone
- We love the Blythe series from Takara, and have two new Pucchi Blythe dolls that are oh so fashionable
- We love to carry Star Wars items that aren't available outside the U.S., and we've got a great Young Jedi card series for collectors
- Hina Matsuri (Doll's Festival) is a day when girls are celebrated across Japan, complete with dolls that are displayed -- we've got some cute decorations to help you celebrate girl's day
- For Hello Kitty fans, some cute items including a Kitty portable phone that's very cute, as well as fresh stock of cool Kitty items such as the Hello Kitty USB hub (Kitty types on her little keyboard with you type on yours)
- For computers users, we've got a great "OA Brush" (OA stands for "office automation" in Japanese), great for cleaning your computer, keyboard etc
- We love wacky parody items, and have restocked a popular item, the Injection Ballpoint Pens, pens that look like injection needles
- Also, for those who want to try their hands at Japanese calligraphy, we've got a great set including everything you need
- The "Eki-ben" train station bento sold so well that we've restocked this popular item -- now you can own miniature versions of famous train station bento sold in Japan!
- Also, look for fresh stock of the very popular Japanese good luck charms, which bring general good luck, success in love, the ability to pass tests and more
- For Totoro plush fans, we've restocked the Large Totoro molded vinyl figure, as well as other Totoro related items
- Finally, find a super Japanese clothes hanger with 24 clips, fresh stock of Hamtaro items including fun foods for kids, Japanese origami paper, fresh stock of our "fude" Japanese brush pens, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- First, we're fans of the photobook style magazines that are dedicated to one beautiful girl -- see the great Karami-style offering for fans of the lovely Eri Imai and go a lovely virtual date with her
- Also, we've got some great amateur magazines for fans of couples in love hotels, erotic cosplay and more
- We lovely the style of photography of kogals, the sexy, irresponsible generation of girls in Japan today -- see a great new magazine with DVD
- For photobook collectors, enjoy "Fantastico," a very erotic hardcover offering from Kyoko Tsujisawa (photographed by an Italian nude photographer)
- You will not believe the sexy body and legs of the models in "Playing," a sexy photobook filled with great shots of Japan's most famous Race Queens
- For fans of Japan's erotic manga, we've got some great new books for you, including the dynamite MIDARA, an erotic manga with lots of popular themes (including "naughty tentacles"), as well as a major restocking of popular manga volumes
- Also, we've restocked one of our own favorite items, the supremely erotic all-color manga Hanafuda, that is really cool
- For doujinshi collectors, look for fresh stock of doujinshi books based on She, The Ultimate Weapon and Tsukihime (Moon Princess)
- Also, for yaoi fans, we've got the superb "Rules" comic in stock, by Kana Miyamoto
- For our DVD fans, we've got some excellent items for you, starting with a super erotic DVD by Race Queen Akane Souma, a staggeringly beautiful woman (region free)
- Enjoy three complete video releases featuring the lovely Azusa Kyono, in a new "Blue File" DVD, three hours of her great sex! (region free)
- From Dogma, enjoy a festival of bukkake and sex starring the delightfully slutty Ami Nishimura (region free)
- From Soft on Demand, enjoy "I, Who Have Fallen into a Trap of Cock-Sucking," featuring four lovely AV girls who perform for you (region free)
- Natsumi Kawahama has been a huge star and very talented AV performer for nearly years -- she was at the top of her game when J-List started back in 1996. Now see a DVD featuring her best Soft on Demand works ever! (region free)
- The "Magic Mirror Bus" is Soft on Demand's mobile AV studio, and it features one-way mirrors so people can do anything with the outside world visible through the glass -- now see a great "Best of Magic Mirror" with many naughty amateur girls, courtesy of SOD's Deep's label (region free)
- For fans of expertly acted high-end lesbian sex, we recommend the Queer series, featuring some of the most dedicated lesbian sex to be found in Japan -- and we've got a great new volume for you (region free)
- Finally, fresh stock of several nice DVD items, including all Yuko Ogura titles!
Remember that J-List carries the really popular girls of Eastern Europe and Russia, including busty bombshell Yulia Nova, the girls of the Czech Republic, and one of the most popular items to come along in a while, Gold Bird, the nude gymnastics of Romania's actual Olympic Gymnastics team. (Supposedly this caused quite a stir back in Romania.) Check out all the great items we have!
Remember that J-List carries excellent magazine by our "reserve subscription." This means that you can get great anime, JPOP, fashion and other magazines sent to you as soon as the new issue is out in Japan -- a few days earlier than newsstands receive them here, in fact. We recommend great items like Young Magazine Uppers, a superb manga magazine that features Shirow Masamune's great posters in special issues as well as great comic art from some of Japan's best manga-ka (manga artists). Payment through any method is fine (credit card, Paypal, check or money order) and you can stop your subscription at any time.