Friday, March 21, 2003

Greetings from J-List March 21, 2003

Hello from all of us at J-List. We've been busy bees all day and have a great update of products for you!

When you learn a foreign language, the first thing you usually learn are the "naughty" words. However, people studying Japanese are often surprised to learn that most of the bad words they're used to in English don't translate over very well. Popular Japanese insults include "baka" (BAH-kah, stupid), "aho" (AH-ho, which also means stupid), and "boke" (BOH-kay, it means "nim-wit"). Almost all the anatomical words you may be used to just don't work in Japanese, nor does the "F" word, which doesn't even exist, except occasionally in English as a foreign loan word. The most basic Japanese swear word is probably "kuso" (KOO-soh) which means "shit." It's not even a bad word in that if a child uses it in front of his parents, he'll get in trouble -- the word is used regularly in kids' anime like Yu-Gi-Oh, and no one thinks anything of it. It addition to the primary meaning, the word kuso can also refer to various bodily products. The stuff that comes out of your nose is hana-kuso (nose-shit), and ear wax is mimi-kuso (ear-shit). Sleep in your eyes that builds up while you sleep is me-kuso (MEH-kuso), and plaque on your teeth is called ha-kuso (teeth-shit). Now you know some interesting Japanese vocabulary words!

Among gaijin living in Japan and studying in Japan, the Canon Wordtank is a respected line of electronic dictionaries that make it easy to look up words and kanji through a standard keyboard. Wordtanks have many great features just for non-Japanese users, including English menus, the ability to save vocabulary words for later study, a "jump" feature that lets you look up Japanese words on the screen that you don't know how to pronounce, and more. I've had a long career with Wordtanks, and have owned several over the years. For all the time we've been running J-List, making all kinds of cool things from Japan available to you, we've wanted to carry this excellent product, but had not been able to find a distributor. Now I'm happy to report that we have -- and we now carry a great lineup of the Canon Wordtank dictionaries. See them on the newly-christened Japanese Study Aids category!

In addition to the excellent Wordtank dictionaries, we've also got another announcement: J-List carries great computer peripheral products from Japan, including the full line of beautifully designed computer mice by Shirow Masamune -- we've got all three colors in stock now! We've also gotten the excellent computer mice by Hajime Katoki, the mechanical designer of the Mobile Suit Gundam series. These fabulous computer mice work great with English Windows XP and Mac OS X, with no drivers needed. Because we know many collectors want these fabulous items, we've added a 15% discount for purchases of 3 or more of the mice.

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

For fans of delightful Japanese idols, enjoy a delicious dose of Yuko Ogura in a new photobook, featuring some of her best cute shots ever

  • Fans of classic anime and video games will enjoy the artwork of Masami Obari in her new Super Design Works, creator of some of the most famous illustrations of the 1990's
  • We love to carry anime related snack foods from Japan -- enjoy two varieties of Hamtaro furikake, and some delicious Tokyo Mew Mew cookies with stickers
  • We also love the small-size toy + candy combo items that are popular in Japan these days -- see incredibly meticulous recreations of toys from Japan's past in a super Kitahara Collection
  • Also: fresh stock of the sold-out Japanese Family Restaurant miniature full sets
  • For fans of Japanese animation on DVD, we've restocked several popular items, including Laputa, Tokyo Mew Mew, Whispers of the Heart, and our all-time favorite, Lupin the Third ~ Caliostro's Castle
  • For fans of classic anime by Tezuka Osamu, we've got very limited stock of some cool figures
  • Also, a "standing pose" version of the Fox Squirrel (Kitsuna-Risu) from Laputa and Nausica, as well as fresh stock of the first Fox Squirrel, are in stock -- but they will go fast!
  • Also, look for new and freshly stock foods from Japan including miso soup, Pocky and more
  • For fans of Kiss Mint, the great chewing gum from Glico, we've got two new flavors of "Watering Mint" for you
  • Japan is home of some of the cutest characters in the world -- see cute "Usako Friends" character goods in stock along with some nice new items for Hello Kitty/Sanrio fans
  • Also, some cute bags that feature silly English on them -- great for fans of wacky things from Japan
  • For fans of Japanese stationary supplies, some fun fragrant marker pens -- so cute
  • For fans of funny English, we've restocked our popular Japanese notebooks with funny English
  • Finally, look for happy face goods from Japan, a fun "fishbowl mascot" for you, fresh stock of authentic Japanese chopsticks for your bento boxes, fun train passes, Hello Kitty hot springs powder, and more!

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

  • First, we've got great new adult magazines for fans of Japanese AV, starting with the new Urecco Gal, loaded with beautiful Japanese "kogals" just dripping with Tokyo street culture
  • Also, enjoy new amateur and love hotel magazines with authentic Japanese couples
  • Nao Oikawa is a sultry and beautiful AV star from Japan -- now see her in featured in a new issue of MPEG World, with two video CDs with 2 hours of great adult video samples for you
  • We love Japanese photobooks, which feature hardback printing and great glossy pages -- see a new photobook featuring Hitomi Hayasaka
  • For doujinshi collectors, a great new work parodying Lain, Evangelion, Tenchi Muyo and more
  • We have a huge update of hentai manga for you, including great releases by some of Japan's most famous artists -- including the off-the-wall erotic comic Crash, Nothing More Can Be Done, with some of the most incredibly chic artwork we've seen in a long time
  • Also, a nice update of back-in-stock books including Azuki Kurenai's runaway hit "Equation of the Immoral" as well as more Jet Joshi, Pururun Seminar, and more
  • For DVD collectors, enjoy the great new products we've got for you, starting with a new No Cut!! release from Kuki, with 3 hours of superb sex by the lovely Hiyori Shiraishi (region free)
  • Koharu Tohno is a popular small-bodied AV idol with a beautiful bird-like sex style -- see 240 minutes of her lovely eros in a new DVD from Allure (region free)
  • See the soft lesbian sex of Kaori and Yuu, two girls who have a "rezu-tomo" (lesbian sex friend) relationship (region free)
  • For fans of Bunko Kanazawa, see her new "Super Best" featuring two complete previous releases for a great price, by SOD (region free)
  • Also very lovely, the "three days and two nights bukkake" performance of Rina Takase is not to be missed (region free)
  • Finally, the fans of Waap have chosen their best erotic productions of that company, and now you can see them all -- with great stars like Mirai Hoshizaki and Aimi Yoshii and Lum Nagase, it's great! (region 2)!

Thanks to everyone who had preordered the JAST USA and Milky House Memorial Collections. Today I received my own copies of the games and have been playing them -- we're very happy with how they came out. The JAST USA games are especially close to my heart, and I hope people who haven't play the games but are interested in the detailed stories will give them a try, now that they're back in print and are fully compatible with modern Windows machines.

The J-Mate site (http://www.jmate.com) has been updated again, with reviews of Ganari Takahashi's best-selling compilation DVD, and a review (with many screenshots) of the popular bishoujo game, Kana ~ Little Sister. Don't forget to read the reviews in English with Japan's famous AV actresses.

Remember that J-List carries many items from Japan, which we group together as "wacky things from Japan." These range from unique character goods to things you can use to help learn Japanese to other items that, while they might not be necessities, are just plain cool (Hello Kitty toilet paper comes to mind). A lot of the items we sell are perfect for gifts, and Mayumi works very hard to keep the Wacky Things categories well stocked. We love selling these fun items, since it gives us a chance to actually bring you something cool that you can buy and touch and use, rather than just telling you about the neat things they have in Japan. Check out our excellent and wacky things from Japan, today!

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

Greetings from J-List March 19, 2003

Hello again from all your friends in Japan!

With tensions in Iraq increasing every day, Japanese are nervous about what will happen once the war starts, as it seems it must. Individually, Japanese are probably the most pacifist people in the world, and most Japanese oppose the idea of fighting a war to depose Saddam Hussein. The Japanese are constitutionally bound to oppose war, and in the generations since World War II, the idea of Japan ever again fighting a war with another country has become extremely repulsive to people here. Although most Japanese are uneasy about the war in Iraq, there was never a serious question about Japan supporting whatever action the U.S. takes in the future. Japan has a very close relationship with the U.S. and values this special friendship greatly. Among the nearly 40,000 recipients of the J-List Updates emails are several dozen men and women in the U.S. military, who will no doubt be involved in the war in some way. We sincerely thank them for their dedication and pray for their safety, and also for a speedy resolution to the conflict.

Does your city have a Sister City? Back during the 1980's and 90's, when the Japanese economy was heathier, a major buzzword was "internationalization" (kokusai-ka), which presumably means "Let's interface with people from other countries and learn from each other." Japanese cities formed relationships with many cities around the world, exchanging ideas and culture, setting up student exchange programs, and so on. Our city of Isesaki, Gunma Prefecture is Sister Cities with Springfield, Missouri, and every year some representatives from that city come here to learn about Japan, or to teach in the local AET program. While visiting the beautiful city of Yokohama, I have run into people I studied Japanese with back in my SDSU days no less than three times -- an incredible coincidence, if you consider how many million people live there. However, San Diego is Sister Cities with Yokohama, and the three students I'd managed to bump into had gone to Yokohama on Sister City-related programs of various kinds. If you're interested in coming to Japan in the future, see if your city has a Sister City program of some kind.

Have you ever wondered who's on Japanese money? Well, we'll tell you. The Japanese 1000 yen note features the famous 19th Century novelist Souseki Natsumi, who wrote such famous books as "I am a Cat" and "Kokoro." As part of the Japanese education system, the first sentence of famous novels is memorized by students, and nearly all of his novels are famous. The 5000 yen note sports Inazo Nitobe, one of the "forefathers" of modern Japan, and among the first Japanese to become fluent in English (he was a student of Professor Clark, an American who started Sapporo University, and left the famous words "Boys, be ambitious"). He toured Europe and the U.S. to observe elements that were desirable in the "new" Japan. The 10,000 note, pretty much the "basic" unit of currency in Japan (roughly equal to $100 in value), features Yukichi Fukuzawa, another modernizer in the Meiji Period, and founder of Keio University. The old 1000 note, which went out of circulation about 15 years ago (but you still see them sometimes) was Hirofumi Itoh, the first Prime Minister of Japan (but he was assassinated, in the tradition of Meiji-era Japanese politicians).

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

  • First, for fans of our region free DVD players, we've gotten in another dozen units of the OITO Technologies DVD player, the well-designed unit that's got a small footprint and is fully region free and VCR friendly
  • We love beautiful Japanese swimsuit idols -- be sure and see Eri Murakami's delightful hardcover photobook
  • Also, enjoy the lovely photobook of May Iikubo, a charming sexy idol from Japan, as well fresh stock of photobooks by Morning Musume's Rika Ishikawa and the sultry Yoko Matsugane
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we've got a great Sanrio coloring book and sticker set, with all their popular characters represented, as well as really fun "Fishing with Kitty" game and limited fresh stock of the Hello Kitty USB hub
  • If you're a fan of Japan's wildly beautiful Race Queens, don't miss the new Top GT Race Queen trading card series, with some incredibly lovely models
  • For fans of our popular Japanese snack treats, we've got some great new items, including Himo-Q (a 1.2 meter long gummi string, one of my favorites), delicious dried squid that goes great with beer, Pinky peach mints, and delicious Hello Kitty boil in bag curry!
  • For fans of the meticulously designed small toys sold in Japan, we've got a great series recreating the famous birds found here -- it comes with delicious chocolate and peanut snacks
  • We've got some cool recreations of trucks driven by Japan's "boso zoku" truck gangs, and really cool Nissan Cedric police car toy from Tomica
  • Also, another of our popular items, wonderful Japanese erasers that are fun to collect and use -- full sets in stock
  • For anime fans, we have a great plush figure of Luffy from One Piece, really rare
  • Also, look for fresh stock of a really cool item, the Chobits bilingual manga, which include both English and Japanese dialogue
  • If you love Be@rbrick toys from Medicom Toy, we've got a great new series including the cool Horror Bearbricks
  • For anyone looking for a handy dictionary, we've got some nice pocket-sizes ones in stock for you (Japanese-Japanese and English-Japanese)
  • We carry many fun supplies for studying, or for your office, like a cool Hello Kitty super-soft eraser, petite highlighting markers, and notebooks with funny English on them
  • For Totoro and Hayao Miyazaki fans, we've got some great items, including fresh stock of the Neko Bus (cat bus) soft doll, more of the popular Ghibli plush keychains, and the Princess Mononoke music boxes!
  • Also, an item I personally love, the Cup Noodle coffee cups are back in stock -- they make great gifts
  • Finally, look for a major restocking of our popular bento boxes and chopsticks from Japan, more fun Starbucks parody coffee chocolates, Japanese tea and more!

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

  • For lovers of quality adult magazines from Japan, don't miss the new Celeb Girls, a super magazine with nothing but the most famous girls in it, like Maiko Kazano and Hitomi Hayasaka and even Fumika Suzuki
  • Also, check out the lovely Eichi Mook "Fetish Heaven" featuring lovely girls in famous costumes -- a double thick magazine for you
  • Also, for fans of Japan's delicious hardcover photobooks, enjoy positively wonderful offerings by Emily Yoshikawa (Japan's first "Latino" AV actress), and a beautiful first nude photobook by Kyoko Nakajima, freshly turned 18
  • Also, for fans of Japan's highly developed mini-skirt, stocking and leg fetishism, check out the battle of "tight skirts vs. pleated flare skirts"
  • For fans of our popular hentai manga from Japan, we've got a strong update, with several great new volumes of adult comics, including hardcore hentai and sweetly erotic manga in stock
  • Also, for collectors of Shirow Masamune's works, a set of rare Japanese novels of the Jashin Hunter series, complete with his superb artwork
  • We've got fresh stock of several popular yaoi manga, including the b-Boy Zips series, which feature homosexual manga centered around a different theme for each volume
  • For fans of great bishoujo games, see fresh stock of the Brave Soul Complete Data art book, back in stock again
  • If you love Japan's excellent adult DVDs, we've got a huge volley of them for you, starting with a superb 3 hour compilation of Aika Miura's best works, when she was 19-20 years old (region free)
  • For fans of Japanese lesbian erotica, enjoy a whopping 4 hours of "Lesbian Heaven" from Kuki (region free)
  • See the lovely Ruri Anno full the "selfish requests" of "unjust semen maniacs" in a super new bukkake release from Soft on Demand (region free)
  • Worship the beautiful asses of three beautiful "oshiri idols" in a new release from Natural High, complete with a primer on anal sex (region free)
  • From Waap Entertainment, a superb new Dream Shower bukkake release, featuring the beautiful and erotic Moe Yamasaki (region 2)
  • From Audaz, a super value-priced erotic release featuring a host of their hottest stars, done in prime Audaz style (region 2)
  • Finally, fresh stock of several popular DVD titles from Japan's top indies and pro studios, including Black Swap in LA, Super Bukkake with Eri Yukawa, Bondage Battle 3 and more.

Also remember that J-List makes dozens of magazines available through our "reserve subscription" system. Basically, we'll pre-reserve the current issue of each month's magazine for you and have it in the mail to you by the time it's in bookstores here in Japan -- a few days earlier, since we get our stock earlier than most bookstores. See the magazine subscription pages or search or search for "subscription."

Monday, March 17, 2003

Greetings from J-List March 17, 2003

Hello again from Japan, home of the world's only indoor skiing facility -- the Ssaws ski slope near Tokyo Disneyland, a basically a giant refrigerator with snow inside for you to ski down all year round.

First, some notes about the site. We've been making improvements and upgrades to the J-List server over the weekend, which will improve speed and help us adding new features in the future. As always, if you notice anything wrong with the site, please mail us and let us know. If there's ever a problem with checkout, you can use the secure email form to give us your order information that way.

If you're going to live in Japan for a long time, at some point you're going to have to learn to be at peace with standing out in a crowd. No matter where I go in the city we live in (Isesaki, pop. 140,000), there's a good chance I'm going to be the only foreigner in a given place, and will attract a certain amount of attention. Whether it's kids, showing curiosity and staring at this giant foreigner (the Japanese tend to think that all foreigners are very tall, even if they are the same height as other Japanese), or Japanese housewives bending their ear to your phone conversation, trying to pick up what you're saying to test their own English ability, a gaijin in Japan is always sort of ethereal here, always floating above the surface just a little. Back in the 90's, I liked a Japanese band called Personz, and went to a concert when they were playing in my city. Not only was I the only gaijiin gaijin in a crowd of 5000 Japanese fans -- since most of them were in junior high school, I towered above them, so that everyone in the crowd could see me from any angle. It was a fun concert, but also one of the weirder experiences I've had in my life. This winter has been especially cold, and I've combated the weather by wearing my father's fur cap,an incredibly warm hat that would protect anyone from a Siberian winter quite easily. However, fur caps are not exactly common in Japan, so I get to stand out even more than I already do. I just make the best of it and pretend I'm Russian.

As you can expect, sushi is pretty popular here in Japan, although in land-locked Gunma Prefecture, right in the middle of the main Japanese island of Honshu, we're as far from fresh fish as one can be in. The Japanese are great fans of raw fish on rice (sushi) or cut and beautifully arranged by itself (sashimi), although most other Asian countries dislike eating raw things from the sea. There are many sushi restaurants near us, including expensive establishments where a sushi master chef cuts the fish for you (you have to have a license to prepare sushi in Japan), as well as the more affordable "mawari-zushi" ("revolving sushi," i.e. conveyor belt sushi). Some of the conveyor belt sushi places are quite good, but with the deflationary spiral Japan is in now, restaurants are often competing on price, not taste. Personally, I'd rather pay a little more for good sushi than settle for "cheap" sushi. In my years in Japan, I had never had a chance to try fugu (blowfish), which is famous for being poisonous if not prepared correctly. A few months ago, while entertaining some gaijin friends, we tried some, amid many Simpsons references -- it was delicious. The best sushi I've managed to find in all Japan is a place called Edokko, in Narita City (near the airport), a fabulous place with "neta" (the fish part of the sushi) so big and fresh it falls off the rice. If you ever have a layover in Narita and want to have some good sushi, go to the Narita City train station, find any taxi driver and say "Edokko sushi?" and he'll take you there.

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

  • First, for fans of Ultraman, we've got a great item for your car -- a plush Ultraman that displays signs like "Thank you" to drivers behind you -- so cute!
  • If you love Japanese snack foods, we've got several nice items, including creamy Almond Pucca (fish-shaped chocolate cookies), delicious Japanese "Fruche" dessert mix, and one of our favorite items, Wata Pachi (cotton candy with exploding pop rocks inside and Wata Gum (cotton candy that turns into gum in your mouth)
  • We've added stock of popular food items, too, including delicious dried ika (don't ask what it is, just eat it, trust us), and miso soup with abura-age (fried tofu curd, although it tastes better than it sounds) in stock
  • For fans of Race Queens, and their non-racing counterparts, known as Campaign Girls (or Cam-Girls), we've got a great new photobook in stock
  • Also, a great hardcover photobook featuring eight lovely Japanese models captured for all eternity by the camera
  • And speaking of lovely Japanese models, we've restocked Yuko Ogura's best-selling photobook "Koi-gogoro" (Love Heart)
  • For fans of bizarre Japanese television on DVD, we've restocked the hilarious OH! Mikey, a comedic drama made using fashion mannequins as parodies of Americans living in Japan -- all three volumes are in stock! (region 2)
  • Also, a great new Japanese film on DVD, complete with English subtitles filled with tributes to Japan's famous samurai movies of the past (region 2)
  • For Morning Musume fans, enjoy a great item -- a deck of standard "Mo-Musu" playing cards that are so cute!
  • We love the high-quality Totoro music boxes from Sekiguchi and Sun Arrow -- see two great new ones in stock today
  • For Hello Kitty fans and students of Japanese, some cute Kitty storybooks which tell many different classic takes through the eyes of Kitty
  • Also, fresh stock of several only-sold-in-Japan Kitty items including Kitty chopsticks, Kitty corn flakes, and Kitty "hot springs" powder for your bath
  • We love cool Star Wars items sold only in Japan, and have restocked all of the fun Star Wars lighting keychains for you
  • If you love Inu Yasha, we've got a super cute bracelet-style character keychain in stock too
  • For fans of Ichiro, the famous baseball player, we've got some cool Ichiro figures in stock, showing him in various poses and uniforms
  • If you collect the only-sold-in-Japan Hot Wheels cars, we've restocked several of them, including the rare all-white Mach 5 from Speed Race (aka Mach Go Go Go)
  • For anime fans, we've got fresh stock of the first series of high-quality trading cards from the Chobits anime, as well as a rare item -- the Laputian Robot from Miyazaki's classic anime
  • Finally, find more wacky things from Japan, including a wonderful toy set from Japan of the past, a nifty tray for storing jewelry or any small objects, a package of handy "money envelopes" from Japan, some cool Japanese "toilet" stickers, and more!

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

  • For fans of excellent adult magazines from Japan, we've got the new issues of Penthouse Japan and Penthouse Special, Japanese magazines with all-Japanese famous models
  • Don't miss the erotic photographs of Kyoko Fujikawa in a new issue of UH, dedicated entirely to her loveliness
  • For photobook fans, be sure and see the lovely Maiko Kazano in a devilishly sexy new photobook offering
  • We've got some excellent new hentai manga for you, including a great erotic fantasy comic from Tsukasa Comics, classic manga reprints from Action Comics and more
  • Yasu has also served up fresh stock of more than a half-dozen popular hentai comics that had been sold out -- check them out!
  • Also, for fans of Sailor Moon hentai, a great all-Sailor Moon hentai doujinshi from the Okachimentaiko
  • For our adult DVD collectors, we've got some great new items for you today, starting with a collection of 36 super "Charisma Heroines" from TMA's works, including Manatsu Hirose, Kyoka Usami, and more (region free)
  • At Dogma, the famous bukkake directors Tohjiro and Kazuhiko Matsumoto (of M's Video Group) are having a "bukkake battle" to see which director can make a better production -- see both productions, Kurumi Morishita and Fuka Sakurai's "Sperm Lesbian 2003" and Kurumi Morishita's delightful "Kuru Milk 2003", in stock now! (both region free)
  • For men who want to be belittled by women, see a new production from SOD, "A Woman Rebukes a Man," in which five beautiful women treat men like dirt to their great satisfaction (region free)
  • For fans of the great sex of Akira Watase, see her new release from Audaz Japan, one of the top indies studios of Japan (region 2)
  • Also, see a great "The Best of WAAP Entertainment in 2002" production featuring the best performances from this fascinating company -- 200 minutes! (region 2)
  • Finally, look for restocked DVDs, including the popular French Gals Deluxe (the bad girls of France), fresh stock of the popular "Les Room" series, and Akira Watase's delicious Bondage mania.

Remember that J-List goes out of their way to carry virtually all English language bishoujo games for you from our San Diego location, with titles by JAST USA, G-Collections, Himeya Soft and Hobibox always in stock. We're having a "$1 shipping sale" this month, so get all the games you want and pay just $1 for shipping per game (US/Canada customers; international customers pay just $2 per game). Get 4 or more games and get a 20% discount, too -- but don't delay, as the month is half over!

Also remember that J-List carries a whole line of products that help you learn Japanese, such as hiragana and katakana notebooks, practice notebooks for learning to write Japanese, vocabulary notebooks, and more. Look on the "notebooks, study aids" sub-category under "Wacky Things from Japan." We love spreading interest in Japan in any form possible, and certainly encourage anyone trying to learn this really fun language!