Friday, April 11, 2003

Greetings from J-List April 11, 2003

Hello and TGIF from your friends in Japan!

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.

Wednesday, April 09, 2003

Greetings from J-List April 9, 2003

Hello again from Japan, where you can find "goma ice" -- that's sesame seed flavored ice cream to you and me.

It's been said that South Korea is "the nearest country and yet the farthest away" from Japan. Despite being extremely close to one another geographically and genetically, and despite billions of dollars of trade flowing across the Sea of Japan (the Koreans hate that name by the way), I'm often struck at how little understanding there is between the two countries. A couple of years ago, there was an interesting show on TV called "Japanese! This is wrong!" in which foreigners who speak Japanese talk about various aspects of life in Japan. On a special episode of this show, Koreans and Japanese openly discussed the issues between the two countries. Koreans object to Japan's unwillingness to show real reflection over past crimes committed. "They've apologized, but they don't know what they're apologizing for," said one South Korean living in Japan. Trips by the Japanese Prime Minister to Yasukuni Shrine, where Japan's wartime leaders are interred -- making it a sort of Iwo Jima memorial and birthplace of Adolf Hitler all rolled into one -- also cause anger between Japan and Korea. For Japan's part, they point out that they have abided by peace treaties signed at the end of the war, including those calling for reparations, and have on numerous occasions apologized for their past cruel acts. They feel that the events of World War II and before are far enough in the past that Koreans should stop dwelling so much on what happened -- although I have yet to hear the "it happened a long time ago" discussion ever applied to Hiroshima. Thanks to the co-hosting of the 2002 World Cup as well as recent cultural cross-pollination (Korean singer Boa is really popular in Japan now, and comedian Kusanagi of SMAP learned Korean and made a name for himself over there), I have a lot of hope for a brighter future between these two nations.

Japanese sports fans have a new idol: British soccer player David Beckham, who is the hottest thing on TV right now, appearing in commercials for everything from chocolates to Tokyo Beauty Clinic, a chain of hair salons in Tokyo. Cellular phone company J-Phone, owned by Vodaphone, implies that you should carry a phone with a built-in camera in case you should find yourself next to Beckham in the supermarket (so you can snap your picture with him). The bottle of Pepsi that I'm drinking as I type these words has a bottle cap with a little replica of Beckham's Adidas shoe on it. Even my wife, usually a fan of Japanese soccer player Nakata (who plays in Italy, and whose ratings always shoot up when he appears on Japanese TV speaking Italian), has gone quite ga-ga with Beckham-mania.

Do you have a cat's tongue? If so, it means that you can't eat hot food or drink hot drinks, just like a cat. The Japanese say that anyone who avoids hot food has a cat's tongue (neko jita). What is you have lazy eye? If so, then you are "rom-pari" which is Japanese for "Rome, Paris" -- i.e. one eye is looking at Rome and the other is looking at Paris. If you're thinning on top, you might have "bar code hair," as the Japanese say. And if you sneeze, the Japanese say that someone must be gossiping about you (this comes up in anime quite often).

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

  • First, for fans of our unique Japanese snack foods, we've got a delicious raspberry Pocky snack, a fun milk pudding snack and more furikake, which you eat by sprinkling over white rice
  • We carry Japanese Pocky treats in the cooler months -- summer is approaching, but we've gotten in a few boxes of Coconut Pocky, one of my personal favorites
  • Also, healthy Japanese "doki-dami" tea, used for dieting and eliminating poisons from the body
  • For fans of Japanese toys, we've got some nice items, including a deluxe high-end figure of Polno Dianno from Bastard!!
  • For fans of Takara's Licca fashion doll collection, we've got some super-cute mini dolls based on popular dolls released 30 years ago
  • Also, we stock the Japanese Hot Wheels, which are licensed Hot Wheels cars sold only in Japan -- look for the Kamen Rider Black RX Rideron in stock now
  • Japan's Race Queens and Campaign Girls are super cute -- see dozens of beautiful gals in a new issue of Gal's Paradise, including coverage of the 2003 Tokyo Auto Show girls, too
  • The works of Shirow Masamune are incredibly popular right now -- and we've got two excellent works in stock, the color animation comics for Ghost in the Shell, and the Illust & Data book for Appleseed, as well as fresh stock of his bilingual Ghost in the Shell comic
  • For anyone studying Japanese, J-List is here to help you -- we've got a cool dictionary of four-character vocabulary words that's fun to read and study
  • Also, look for reduced prices on the handy Canon Wordtank IDC-300
  • For fans of Japanese soba, we've restocked our soba trays, very traditional and cool
  • For Hello Kitty fans, a really beautiful "aromatic lamp" that carries a beautiful aroma throughout your room
  • For fans of the wonderful miniature toys that are so popular right now, we've stocked individual boxes of the Family Restaurant and Famous Desserts series
  • We've restocked several popular DVD titles, including the runaway hit Samurai Fiction, the Oh! Mikey first DVD, and more -- if you've got a region free player and want to enjoy bold and interesting DVDs from Japan, J-List has plenty of cool stuff for you
  • We've got some cool "Japanese health sandals," indoor/outdoor slippers that message your feet from below while you walk on them
  • For fans of our lineup of authentic Japanese bento boxes, we've got a new super i.Kotoba series bento set that comes with bento box, chopsticks, chopstick holder and a high-quality cloth bag with zipper to carry it all
  • Finally, look for more handy Japanese accessories, Japanese origami paper, fresh stock of onigiri makers and Hello Kitty items for your kitchen, fresh stock of miso soup, and more!

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

  • For fans of Japanese adult magazines, we've got some nice ones, including the new issue of Top Speed, featuring lovely and famous AV idols and also embarrassing pictures of famous stars before they were famous (including Yuka)
  • Also, we've got the new issue of Shuffle, which features real Japanese amateurs in love hotels
  • Also, see the hardcore sex of Akari Yamasaki in a new erotic photobook, which comes with a life-sized poster
  • Also, a superb new issue of Minisuka Deluxe, the dynamite perfect-bound magazine dedicated to fans of stocking, panty and mini-skirt fetish from japan
  • We've got some excellent glossy nude hardcover photobooks, including the next in Garo Aida's "Imoto" series, with the lovely Ai posing for the famous photographer
  • Look for some great hentai manga in stock as well, including a new hentai comic by Sengoku-kun (creator of the Cambrion doujinshi series)
  • Also, doujinshi and manga with "dick girl" themes are always a popular item, and we've restocked the popular Shemale Behavior doujinshi books for you to enjoy
  • For fans of erotic DVDs from Japan, we've got some great new items for you, starting with a new The Idol series DVD from Kuki, featuring 200 minutes of the lovely sex of Ayaka Oishi (region free)
  • For fans of Russian girls, we've got a super new offering featuring three beautiful girls from Moscow who will knock your socks off (region free)
  • From Soft on Demand, a great new "Hand Job Clinic" series DVD for fans of tekoki fetish and nurse fetish (region free)
  • Also, a deluxe DVD from SOD featuring 120 minutes of the best "gokkun" (swallowing) by four lovely AV actresses (region free)
  • For fans of the high-end lesbian sex of Queer and U&K, we've got another great DVD, featuring the lovemaking of Chinatsu Nakano and Yuka Natsuki (region all)
  • For fans of Akira Watase's pouting sexuality, we've got a great new work from Wanz Factory featuring her superb "wet sex" (region 2)
  • We carry uncensored hentai DVDs in our San Diego office, and have posted several excellent new works, including the DVD boxed sets of Fragile Hearts (region 1)
  • Finally, find fresh stock of several popular DVD titles, including Lesbian Fight, more lesbian kissing, and the fun "Touching Breasts for the First Time" DVD from Soft on Demand. And don't forget our Spring DVD sale!

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, actually, since we get our stock earlier than most bookstores. We've got many different anime, toy, JPOP/JROCK, idol, manga, toy and other magazines available, we just know there's something you'd love to get each month. See the magazine subscription pages on our site for more information.

We got several responses to our mention of TV Champion and their origami competition. If you'd like to see some really nice origami creations that were made by one of the participants in the episode of TV Champion that I had seen, his homepage is here: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~qr7s-kmy/index.html (Japanese with English on the page)

Monday, April 07, 2003

Greetings from J-List April 7, 2003

Hello from Japan, the country with tartar sauce flavored corn chips!

First of all, the main J-List site was down for about 45 minutes. We caught the problem and put it back up again. Later in the evening, there was an unrelated problem with the J-List images server, which caused product images to not appear on the J-List site for 90 minutes or so. We're sorry for the inconvenience!

Today my daughter Rina entered the First Grade, a very proud day for my wife and I. Japan is a very education-oriented country, with a very strong sense of the need to educate children so that they can grow up and be happy and productive members of the Japanese society. At school, Japanese children start to learn all subjects, including shakai (social studies), sansuu (math), and kokugo ("national language," e.g. Japanese). Japan is a very ordered place, of course, and there is usually only one way to do a certain thing -- one way to put your school backpack in your cubbyhole, one way to sit at your desk, one route to go home after school -- some of which is frankly a little strange to my American individualistic sensibilities. This Japanese sameness doesn't just extend to the prefecture that we live in -- since almost all facets of education in Japan are specified by the Education Ministry in Tokyo, this "one way of doing things" system extends from Hokkaido to Okinawa. My daughter is something of unique girl, more American than Japanese, and she does things her own way, at her own pace -- something the Japanese call "Going My Way." There's more than a little anxiety in my wife and I that the various things that make our daughter so special will be damaged by the insistence on uniformity in the Japanese school system.

One of our favorite TV shows in Japan is TV Champion, a show that organizes interesting competitions and films the results. In one show teams of carpenters were given three days and a limited budget to remodel hundred year old houses. Cameras followed the two teams as they worked furiously, but with beautiful results in the end. In another show, artists created different works of art using origami paper, with the winner creating a fabulous "Planet of the Cranes" display with prehistoric origami cranes slowly evolving into super-intelligent space-faring cranes in four stages. Other shows feature sushi eating competitions, exotic cake decoration competitions, Disney trivia challenges and more -- every week is a new treat.

Well, the new wacky Japanese T-shirts we posted last Friday are sure selling well! It makes us very happy to see our bizarre and fun Japanese T-shirts proving so popular. Remember that we're having a $1 shipping sale on all our T-shirts, so you pay just $1 for shipping to the U.S. or Canada (international customers pay just $3). Don't forget that you get an extra 10% off if you buy 3 or more.

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

  • First, for Dragonball fans, we've got vol. 1-4 of the deluxe re-releases of the original Dragonball manga, in a great wide format with many extras for fans -- get them all as a set!
  • For fans of Japanese film on DVD, we've got a superb new work in stock for you, complete with English subtitles: Tokyo.Sora, an interesting collage of the lives of six girls living in Tokyo (region 2)
  • For fans of the popular My Neighbor Totoro music boxes, enjoy a new offering, featuring Totoro holding a giant flower while Sho Totoro looks on
  • For fans of Takara's superb Blythe fashion doll series, a deluxe pair of new dolls that come with many accessories and a magical pop-up backdrop -- they are so stylish and cool!
  • For fans of Tomy's unique die-cast cars that are the same scale as Hot Wheels or Matchbox cars, we've got some new vehicles in stock, including a Japanese mail truck and more
  • For fans of Japanese snack treats, we've got many great items, including delicious "raw type" miso soup with spinach, tasty dried squid to eat, and fresh stock of some popular traditional Japanese candies
  • For those interested in exploring Japanese health related products, we recommend Japanese and Chinese teas, which we've added various stock of today (good for dieting too)
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we've got some cute snack items in stock for you, including a new series of Kitty lollipops, and a fantastic Kitty strawberry mint that includes a refillable case and a little Kitty charm that actually hands you the mints -- it's so cute
  • If you love Tokyo Mew Mew, the cute anime show from Japan, we've restocked our Tokyo Mew Mew "free notebooks" (notebooks that you can draw or write anything in)
  • Also, we've got fresh stock of the very popular Tokyo Mew Mew pins that sold out in record time, and more Tokyo Mew Mew wafer cookies with stickers
  • We love to carry the meticulously crafted miniature toys from Japan
  • For bento fans, we've got several new bento items in stock for you, including a new double-decker bento box and a new Hamster Club bento set as well
  • We've restocked our popular Paper Stitch Lock, a cool device that "stitches" sheets of paper together so you never need staples
  • Finally, look for a cute money bank that looks like a Japanese mailbox, fresh stock of our popular portable ash trays (for smokers who want to practice what Japan Tobacco's TV commercials call "Smoking Clean"), fresh stock of onigiri seasoning and furikake for white rice, new Japanese signs and handy keychains, and more!
  • For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
  • We've got a new issue of the wonderful KARAMI, which features a single lovely model on each page of a full magazine, in this case the lovely Megu Anrai
  • For fans of Japanese hardcore magazines that show kogals and amateurs in love hotels, we've got some great items for you, including the new Sen Nin Giri and "I'll Love You"
  • If you love Japan's gorgeous Race Queens, see the all-too-sexy Miki Munemasa (MOO-nay-MAH-sah) in a super new sexy hardcover photobook
  • Also, the lovely 19 year old "Lost Virgin" of Tokyo Rich Girl Tokiwa Sakurako
  • For fans of Japan's highly-developed erotic manga, we've got several great volumes, including Grifon's uncensored "Condensed Milky" and the super erotic "Space Nurse Peperon"
  • Also, fresh stock of some great manga volumes including the Denno Butto Musume (Electronic Fighting Girls) doujinshi anthologies, which compile dozens of great game girl hentai doujinshi into perfect-bound
  • Also, fresh stock of the beautiful "Girl's Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall" art book by Mamito Tayama
  • For fans of adult DVDs, we've got some great new items for you, starting with a Kuki Special Remix with 240 minutes of prime AV for you (region free)
  • Fans of Azumi Kawashima can enjoy a great new release of her best works, including a collection of "off shots" (funny and cute moments when she didn't know the camera was rolling) (region free)
  • Chisaki Aihara performs lesbian sex for the first time in a new "Forbidden Private Garden" release -- great for fans of "yuri" lesbian themes (region free)
  • In Japanese, "NG" is short for "no good" and refers to bloopers during filming -- enjoy a great DVD from SOD's IEnergy label featuring embarrassing and funny moments from Ai Nagase's long career (region free)
  • Enjoy the erotic bukkake "Semen Fight Club" DVD series from Audaz, two separate DVDs for fans of bukkake fighting and the lovely Aoi Fubuki (region 2)
  • Finally look for fresh stock of great DVDs like Aika Miura's 180-minute "Fantastic" DVD, Alice Japan's best of 2003 special, and the popular Euro Angels (for fans of East European and Russian AV, very popular in Japan right now).

Remember that J-List carries virtually all English-language Japanese dating-sim games available, so you can find all the best games in one place, and at great prices. Peach Princess, G-Collections, Hobibox Europe, Himeya Soft, JAST USA and Milky House, we've got them all and all are in stock in our warehouse in San Diego. If you're unsure which games you think you'd like, feel free to email us for a recommendation! Order 4 or more games and get 20% off, too!

Also, remember that J-List has a great assortment of interesting and bizarre gum from Japan, from the runaway best-selling gum Black Black (per number of units, the best-selling single product in J-List's hitory), delicious Xylitol Hyper Cool (a sugarless caffeine gum), delicious melon gum and "No Time" (gum which brushes your teeth for you). Check out the Japanese Gum page now!