One thing that's often a shock to outgoing, cheerful Westerners is the Japanese tendency of modesty. Try praising a Japanese person by telling them how good their English is, and they'll probably disagree with you, and say, "No, my English isn't good at all." If you compliment most American women on how pretty they look, they'll probably reply with a warm "thank you," but taking note of a Japanese woman's beauty can be a confusing experience, as they shake their head and firmly disagree with you. The Japanese concept of "kenson" (translated as humility or modesty) is an important quality for people to have in a land that's got so many people per square kilometer (325 versus just 26 in the USA). There are many misunderstandings about Japanese modesty, some of which were inserted into American popular culture by novelists like James Clavell, but basically, the concept of "kenson" just means that people not be boastful but instead try to play down their own skills or abilities in a polite way. There are many phrases in Japanese that illustrate the tendency to show humility. For example, when you give someone a gift, you usually say "Here's something that's not interesting" (tsumaranai mono desu kedo...) or if you bake someone a cake, you say, "I'm not sure if it tastes good or not..." (Oishii ka dou ka wakaranai kedo). Modesty is never more important than during a job interview, where you show the quality of your character by playing down many of your abilities while explaining your past work experience in neutral terms. This is in sharp contrast to job interviews in the U.S., where it's not uncommon for applicants to exaggerate past experience and even pad resumes.
In my general overview of the Japanese language and collection of advice for anyone interested in learning Japanese, one thing I touch upon is "find what floats your boat"-- try to come up with interests that will help move your study efforts forward a little each day. Learning Japanese is incredibly difficult, so you need hobbies related to Japanese in order to succeed. Reading manga comics in Japanese such as Touch, Orange Road and Video Girl Ai gave me a constant stream of new vocabulary words to digest. I also learned that karaoke was a fun way to learn the language, and I memorized several songs to sing at karaoke bars and restaurants in San Diego. Japanese always love it when foreigners sing songs in Japanese, so I got a lot of positive feedback for my efforts, too. I've seen friends get into Japanese through martial arts or translating JPOP songs, and more than a few fans of the romance-sim games that J-List sells use them to help learn Japanese, since most games feature the original Japanese voices that play while the English is displayed on screen. To see my general advice for anyone wanting to learn the Japanese language, see my personal homepage at http://www.peterpayne.net
We salute the excellent job the U.S. military has done in the recent conflict, and we hope and pray for peace to come soon to everyone living in Iraq. As for the outcome of the combat, we never had a doubt that the U.S. forces would perform well. Why? Despite the state of war that has existed for the past few weeks, J-List has continued to receive orders from quite a few of our dedicated customers in the military who are on fighting ships and in bases in Kuwait. If the U.S. fighters can find time to check out our humble little site while fighting a war, we reasoned, they would be okay in the end.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of really cute things from Japan, we've got a super lovable "Dream Kitty" that is a very advanced robot pet for you to pet and play with
- The official birthdate of Astro Boy, one of the most famous anime characters of all time, is officially set as April 7, 2003, and to commemorate this great day, we've got a cute Astro Boy walking character for you
- Fans of Japanese swimsuit idols will enjoy the new Megubon, a lovely photobook dedicated entirely to the sexy starlet Megumi
- We love to offer you cool things from Japan that you can't find anywhere else, and now we have some cool new items: Japanese "hachimaki" headbands with messages like Certain Victory, Guts and I Will Pass The Test, in stock now!
- Also, another extremely cool item: parody drink dispensers featuring the famous peeing boy statue in Belgium, which was made popular in Japan by commercials for a soft drink
- For Blythe fans, we've got two stylish new figures featuring lovely leather and fur accessories, great for collectors
- For fans of the popular new anime Naruto, we've got the excellent Naruto super deformed figures in stock -- we've even got
- We've added two new bento boxes to our site, a deluxe lunch set that comes with bag, bento box, plasticware holder and more, as well as a great preorder bento box for hefty eaters
- For Kitty fans, some unique items from Japan including a super-cute Kitty airplane, fun Hello Kitty mechanical pencils, and fresh stock of the very popular Hello Kitty block figures!
- Also, fresh stock of the cute Japanese fairy tales as told through Hello Kitty
- For fans of Licca, the cute anti-Barbie from Japan's toy maker Takara, we've got some cute retro Licca figures in stock for you
- We've got delicious snacks from Japan for fans of these items, including delicious white miso soup and a rare treat -- Edamame flavored pretzel sticks, for fans of the delicious taste of edamame beans
- Finally, we've got a cute way to show your affection with eggs, more fun bento related items including winnie-makers, more fun traditional soup bowls from Japan, and more. See it all!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of excellent Japanese adult magazines, we've got a beautiful and gentle hardcover magazine about love and sex -- Yasashiku shite ne (Be Gentle with Me)
- Also, a new issue of Yappa Hitozuma, a magazine for fans of the Japanese fixation with married women
- Then enjoy the erotic body of Miko Hayama in a new issue of Karami, a deluxe magazine dedicated entirely to this lovely girl
- For photobook collectors, we've got more excellent hardcover photobooks in stock, including Naked Skin featuring Maiko Konno -- also freshly restocked leg and mini-skirt fetish photobooks
- Japan has a highly developed culture of bondage photography, and we've got a dynamite deluxe photobook featuring the bondage photos of 29 famous Japanese idols, including Aika Miura
- For fans of Japan's hentai comics, don't miss the excellent new items we've posted today, including the excellent Shining Peach by Delta Comics and the next offering in the popular Punky Knight series by Youhei Kozou
- Also, fresh stock of manga that had sold out in the past, including Future Girl, Sweet Pain and more
- For fans of the dynamite G-Taste series of erotic manga and illustration books, we've got stock of the beautiful G-Taste vol. 6, featuring more fantastic artwork by Hiroki Yagami
- Also, we've got a selection of excellent erotic doujinshi for you, with several all-new titles including a classic game girl hentai doujinshi by Q-Bit
- Also, we've posted a great new CD-ROM of uncensored hentai artwork images by Studio Cutepet, available for order from our San Diego location
- J-List carries various sexual toys and marital aids, but we don't just stock things you can find just about anywhere -- instead, we carry only unique items sold only in Japan. Look for a general restocking of Japan Rotors and other
- For our DVD customers, we have another excellent volley of titles for you, starting with the lovely new No Cut!! offering of Asuka Sawaguchi, who looks like a ripe, fresh apple as she shows you her sex across 3 hours (region free)
- Enjoy volume 2 of the lovely Moscow Girls series, for fans of beautiful Russian women filmed by Japanese AV directors and in Japanese AV style (region free)
- The beautiful Megu Anrai and Miyoshino team up in a super new "Exciting Chikan Land" DVD, for the fetish of men touching women on trains (region free)
- Enjoy the lovely eros of Akira Watase as she puts on a nurse's uniform and engages in many fabulous acts to cure the ills of her patients (region free)
- From Waap Entertainment, another Waap User's Clicked Selection, featuring the very best erotic performances by the top stars in Japan -- a great DVD filled with top-notch stars (region 2)
- Enjoy a great new bukkake performance in the latest Dream Shower, featuring Hitomi Hasegawa and her super erotic fellatio, tekoki and sex (region 2)
- Finally, look for several restocked DVDs, including Kaoru Sakurako's two No Cut!! DVD titles, more adult women's pro wrestling, fresh stock of the Le-Zu-Bian series, and Atlas Integral's incredibly long DVD set.
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. Please note that this item is completely out of production -- the president of the company that made them got arrested for income tax evasion and Sanrio revoked their right to make Kitty products. This means that this item will completely disappear over the next couple of months, so we highly recommend that you get yours before they're gone! (We still give you 15% off if you get 3 or more by the way.)
Hampered by Hentai? Baffled by Bishoujo? Troubled over Tekoki? Confused about Kogals? Because the products J-List sells are very unique and special, many of the terms that go with them can be confusing and alien to people not familiar with the concepts. J-List maintains a complete glossary of terms where you can get answers to all your questions about Japanese words. The link is on the left side of the J-List main page. We've recently added several new terms to the list, too.