Friday, March 14, 2003

Greetings from J-List March 14, 2003

Hello, where in children's games like Hide and Seek or Tag, the person who is "it" is referred to as the "ogre" (oni).

One of my favorite aspects of life in Japan is the Japanese love of bathing. I love both onsen (hot springs) and sento (Japanese public baths), and take the kids every chance I get. These baths are also favorites of another, more shady group in Japan, the Yakuza, Japan's mafia. The Yazuka (a name which comes from the numbers 8, 9 and 3, losing numbers in a popular Japanese dice game) came about in their present form after World War II, when soldiers returned to a defeated Japan without any skills but fighting and violence. It's common to see these men, with beautiful full-body tattoos, in many public baths, although family-oriented establishments have signs near the front doors forbiding customers with tattoos from bathing. The other day, we were in a nearby public bath (it was called "Genki Land") when my kids saw their first-ever yakuza, dragon tattoos and all. We smiled politely and talked with them for a while -- although the Yakuza are involved in a variety of crimes all around Japan, most are very polite unless you cross them. I was once asked by a Yakuza gentleman at a sauna I frequented if I would be available to teach his kids English. While it would really have been an interesting spin on my experience with Japan and something interesting to tell my grandchildren, I declined his offer.

It sounds corny, but as a foreigner living in Japan, I try my best to project a good image of Americans to the Japanese. I never throw trash on the ground, and even take trash bags to the park sometimes to pick up cans we see on the ground with my kids. (Note about Japan: there are never enough trash cans.) I do my best to make sure my kids follow "bath rules" at public baths, since their actions reflect on my country. And whenever I find myself around children when I'm wearing sunglasses, I take my sunglasses off no matter how bright it may be outside. This is because, to Japanese kids, a big foreigner wearing dark sunglasses is sure to appear frightening, in the same way that, say, a group of large black men from the 'hood might make white, suburban kids uncomfortable. It's not due to any lack of political correctness or anything, it's just the way it is, and when you're going to live in a foreign country it's best to be realistic about such things.

Today is White Day, the day that Japanese confectioners and retailers have decreed will be the day men give something back to women who gave them a gift on Valentines Day, one month ago. While white chocolate is a favorite, other popular items include candy, cute character goods that say "Thank You" and more. If you got some chocolate from a Japanese girl on Valentines Day, be sure and give her something today!

J-List carries great region free DVD players for fans who want to be able to view DVDs from all around the world, not just from the local Walmart. We've got a great new player for you, a great unit with many high-end features including Progressive Scan Video (480p) with 3:2 pulldown support for unparalleled video quality, no-hassle region free playback, support for both PAL and NTSC, and more. We now have a great lineup of three region free units -- the value-priced Sampo DVE612, the small-footprint OITO Mini DVD Player, and now this great unit from CyberHome!

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

  • First, for fans of beautiful Japanese models and Race Queens, don't miss the dynamite Hyper Genic 2003, featuring hot and famous swimsuit models like Yuko Ogura, Chisato Morishita, Megumi and more -- also includes a super large poster of Yuko-chan
  • Also, see the lovely swimsuit beauty Yumi Sakai in a photobook shot in Hawaii
  • For fans of the famous anime of Tezuka Osamu, we've got two figures from the Metropolis animation which are very rare and special
  • Also, look for several restocked items such as the Race Queen Hundred Costume photobook, very popular items available to buy again
  • For fans of the very popular Sailor Moon musical stage show, we've got a great DVD version of the 10th Anniversary Performance, featuring beautiful costumes and multi-angle viewing (region 2)
  • For fans of our Japanese snacks, enjoy many items, including curry rice in a foil bag, fun apple-shaped chocolates from Meiji, delicious strawberry Choco Baby and a traditional favorite, spicy rice crackers with little fish
  • Also, see fresh stock of some popular items such as furikake (delicious food you sprinkle over write rice), gummi cola bottles, miso soup, and more
  • For those with a traditional Japanese bent, see our fun miso soup bowl sets, which we've restocked
  • Incredibly detailed miniature toys are really popular in Japan these days, and we've got full sets of two great series: classic Japanese food found in restaurants, and delicious desserts from Japan!
  • The Nostalgic SF Vehicle Collection, featuring toys from Space 1999 and other classic shows, is proving incredibly popular, so we've gotten fresh stock of all sets, including the full set + rare item -- also, a three-piece set is now in stock for you
  • For Totoro fans, a cute plush baby rattle from Sun Arrow that's incredibly cute
  • We've stocked several Hello Kitty items, including Hello Kitty toilet paper (makes a great gift for those who eiher love or hate Kitty)
  • Also, a dynamite item for Totoro lovers -- a deluxe Totoro wall clock that will blow away your guests when they see it!
  • We love funny signs in Japanese, basically anything that would confuse a Japanese who happened on them -- look for "It is forbidden to urinate here" stickers and fun bath signs in stock now
  • Finally, look for a super handy shoulder or back massager, a happy tissue box cover that will brighten any room in your house, the ultimate way to cut and dice boiled eggs, more Japanese chopsticks, and more!

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

  • For fans of great Japanese adult magazines, enjoy several new items, including the new Video Boy, the all-purpose magazine of Adult Video culture in Japan, with dozens of top stars appearing inside
  • Also a rare treat, we've got limited stock of the new Dela Beppin, featuring hto gals like Miwa Ohshiro
  • For fans of nude Japanese photobooks, we've got some great items for you, including Ryoko Mitake's dynamite "Limited" photobook
  • The beautiful girls of Russia and Eastern Europe have been really booming in Japan these days, and we've got a great "European Fairy Tale" photobook shot by the famous Garo Aida
  • Korean women are some of the most beautiful and mysterious in the world, and we've got a great magazine and DVD combo item for fans of these dynamite woman -- a rare treat!
  • For fans of Japan's dynamite hentai manga, we've got a superb deluxe manga boxed set that comes with a large format book, calendar, bishoujo CD, and moer
  • Also, great manga offerings from some of Japan's top artists and studios
  • For DVD lovers, enjoy many great new titles, starting with Aya Mizuki's "No Cut!!" release from Kuki, with three hours of her sex, including her debut (region free)
  • For fans of Japan's stocking fetishism, enjoy a new Super Fetish Club release, with special focus on the stockinged feet of beautiful women
  • Lesbian kissing DVDs are always a popular item, and now Soft on Demand has released the last in the "Obscene Kisses of Amateur Girls" series (region free)
  • Also from SOD, enjoy the erotic sex of Itsuki Wakana, an incredibly beautiful girl with a lithe Japanese body (region free)
  • We've got another Angel Premium 2-DVD set in featuring a whopping 180 minutes of the best of the Angel series by Idea Pocket, including 20 hot stars who are mostly retired and impossible to find now (region 2)
  • Finally, enjoy a major restocking of DVDs, including Women's Adult Video Wrestling, the best-selling Atlas Integral 6 hours disc, Dogma's 1.5 year anthology and more!

Remember that J-List carries that great symbol of Japanese wacky pop culture, the Hello Kitty Vibrating Shoulder Massager, which is of course intended as massager for your neck and shoulders, although some would call it a Hello Kitty vibrator. A licensed Sanrio item sold only in Japan, the unit features high and low massage modes, and a beautiful image of Kitty and her rabbit friend. It looks just great, in or out of case -- display it as the objet d'art de culture populaire that it is. Why not get a few, and give them out as gifts? Unfortunately these are out of production and no more will ever be available, so our current stock is all we'll ever have.

The J-Mate site has been updated again, with a great interview with Sayaka Tsutsumi (one of my own favorites). Also, look for newly posted reviews of many great products, including products you can get right here at J-List. The URL is

Monday, March 10, 2003

Greetings from J-List March 10, 2003

Hello again from your friends in Japan!

My wife is a member of the Silver Age generation of Japanese animation, having grown up on the best anime of the 1970's. While anime shows like Space Cruiser Yamato and Gatchaman and Mazinger Z are quite famous outside of Japan, the shows that are most loved by many Japanese of the era were those based on Western works of literature. These include A Dog of Flanders (an incredibly moving Belgian story of a boy Nello and his faithful dog Patrache; the scene where they ascend into heaven will bring instant tears to your eyes), or Heidi, Girl of the Alps (my wife can quote the scene where Clara gets out of her wheelchair from heart), or The Rose of Versailles (a popular manga and anime based on the French Revolution). While I certainly approve of the acceptance Japanese animation has received in the past ten years, I have to say as a parent and that I really miss the "old days" of anime that enriched and moved children, taught them about the great artists and composers of Europe, and made them curious about the outside world -- you can't say that about Digimon or Yu-Gi-Oh. However, a new anime series may be here to save us: Ashita no Nadja, the show that has replaced Ojamajo Doremi (our old favorite on Sunday mornings). It's the story of a girl named Nadja, living in Europe at the beginning of the 20th century, on a mission to find her mother, and it's filled with beautiful imagery and classic "shoujo" romantic themes. We have high hopes for this new show! The Japanese site for Nadja is here:

Each country has what the Japanese call a "kokumin-sei" which could be translated as a "national personality." The Germans are good at efficiency and organizing, for example, while people from Italy generally adhere to a list of characteristics that make them inherently "Italian." One aspect of Japanese people is the tendency for them to shrug off difficult decisions or challenges by saying "Shikata ga nai," which means "It's can't be helped." (A more colloquial version of this is "Sho ga nai.") From national economic policy to the problem of men groping women on crowded trains to complaining about the price of lettuce this week, Japanese seem to be uniquely able to throw up their hands and say in effect, oh well, there's no way to solve that problem so I won't do anything about it. This is in contrast to Americans who (I have been told), are terribly optimistic about all things, always believing that a given problem can be solved if you just keep trying to find the answer, no matter what the problem may be. Living outside of your home country is fun, because you get to learn about your own "kokumin-sei" in ways that would be impossible if you never left home.

Remember we're having a great $1 sale on all bishoujo games this month, including all games from G-Collections, JAST USA, Hobibox and more. You can combine this with our 20% discount for buying 4 or more games, making for a really great reason to check out all the titles we've got in stock for you now. The just-released Do You Like Horny Bunnies? is included in the special offer. Also, remember that JAST USA Memorial Collection and Milky House Memorial Collection are going to come back from the duplicators any day now. Why not preorder them now if you haven't already?

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

  • First, for fans of incredibly cute character goods from Japan, we've got some cute Japanese food plush toys from San-X, too cute to eat, believe us
  • Also, an incredibly cool item, a deluxe diorama of Hello Kitty and Daniel, which comes with a rare Kitty watch for you to wear
  • If you're a fan of Morning Musume, the super-cute JPOP idol group that defines much of Japanese music culture, we've got some mechanical pencils that come with cute pencil leads
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, some great treats, including a super-delicious new flavor of Every Burger, little chocolate cookies that look like tiny hamburgers
  • For fans of Studio Ghibli items, a fun Kiki's Delivery Service pouch from Sun Arrow, complete with funny English on it
  • Also, delicious candy from Okinawa, as well as fresh stock of miso soup, delicious dried ika (if you have to ask what ika is, don't ask, just eat it), and real wasabi
  • We're happy the Nostalgic SF Vehicle series is selling so well, and we've got another addition to this great set -- three new vehicles in a "Premium Pack" from Konami, and full sets are available from us
  • We love Japan's pretty swimsuit idols like Sayaka Isoyama, and recommend her lovely hardcover photobooks, as well as other items
  • For dog lovers, we've got several cute "doggie raincoats" that are so cute, and come in different sizes for your poochie
  • Japanese usually prefer green tea to coffee, and we've got a great large-size ceramic cup perfect for your daily cup of healthy green tea
  • For fans of the Japanese high school uniform, we've got fresh stock of the photobook that captures the charming uniforms from some of Japan's most famous schools, great for cosplayers or collectors
  • For Star Wars fans who missed out on the super deluxe Darth Vader PVC model from Kotobukiya, we've got three more in stock, although these might be the last we will be able to order
  • For fans of the incredibly soft and cute blankets that are sold in Japan, we've lowered our prices on all our stock -- we've got Hello Kitty, Totoro, Hamster Club and more in stock for you!
  • For fans of Japanese anime figures we've got a super-cute Super Real Figure series of Rizel from Rizelmine, complete with stand and alternate faces
  • Finally, find a fun denim pencil case, a funny Japanese sign that will keep Japanese salesmen away from your door, cute charms for your phone, fresh stock of sushi making sets and bento boxes, and more!

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

  • For lovers of Japanese adult magazines enjoy several new magazines featuring great authentic couples in love hotels
  • Also, a popular magazine + video CD sampler combo item, the new DVD Soft Catalog is in stock, with 2+ hours of top quality AV for you to sample
  • For fans of the super busty AV star Marina Matsushima, enjoy her deluxe photobook, filled with her best erotic photos
  • Also, Shino Harada's sexy hardcover photobook is really cute, but just sexy enough that we've got to list it on the adult photobook pages
  • For Ran Asakawa fans, enjoy fresh stock of her must-see-to-believe erotic photobook, which is one of our favorites
  • For fans of Japan's unique hentai artwork, enjoy great new erotic comics, including the reissue of Chosuke Nagashima's "Work of Angels" and the fabulous Starting Over hentai work from "Hiyo Hiyo"
  • J-List carries many different kinds of personal massagers (vibrators) from Japan, all uniquely in tune with the Japanese sense of sexuality -- now we've got a cool new item, Cherry Bomb, a cherry-style personal massager for all ladies and couples!
  • We've got some fabulous erotic DVDs for you today, including some super-long ones, starting with 4 hours of sweet sex from Ran Monbu, whose name sounds like the French pastry "Mont Blanc" when said in Japanese word order (region free)
  • Japanese have an unending fetish for Race Queens and Campaign Girls, and now you can enjoy a whopping 7.5 hours of hardcore erotic action with these lovely creatures (region free)
  • Asuka Sakamaki is an extremely erotic Japanese AV actress with a small body and hot sex, and she looks great in a new offering from Hayabusa Agency (region free)
  • See the "24 hours bukkake" of Riho Nanase as she endures constant bukkake from men as she goes about her daily life (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand and Deep's, a great lesbian hentai anime on DVD capturing the sex of nurses in the "Lesbian Hospital" (region free)
  • For the growing fans of high-end lesbian AV from Queer, another great performance in a new offering with strong "yuri" themes (region 2)
  • Finally, find fresh stock of many popular DVD titles, including the smash hit Gold Bird, Akira Watase's Dream Shower, Bukkake Angel and Gokkun Devil, Sena Sakura's popular DVD and more Endless Lesbian.

We're constantly improving the J-List website these days, planning and implementing new features for you. As always, if you notice anything odd about site, something that doesn't work or works strangely, please email us right away. If there's ever a problem checking out, you can use the secure email form to contact us, give credit card details and so on.