No matter how long I live in Japan, there are some foods from the States I just can't live without. The Japanese may make great electronics and anime, but the super-sweet air-whipped stuff that passes for peanut butter here just doesn't satisfy me -- so I always bring pack some Skippy or Peter Pan from the States whenever I go home. The Japanese have a great tradition of eating pickled vegetables called tsukemono, but there's no replacing the good old Vlassic dills from the States. When Japanese go to live in the U.S. they pine for food from home, too, like ramen, white rice and natto (the famous fermented soybeans from Japan). Likewise, there are some foods that just don't translate across borders. In Japan, beans are supposed to be sweet (like azuki beans), and are used in desserts, so Japanese usually don't like the non-sweet beans found in Mexican food when they eat it for the first time. Judging from the reactions to the Cheerios I bought from the Foreign Buyer's Club (http://www.fbcusa.com), Japanese don't like that famous American staple, and almost all Japanese seem to hate the taste of root beer, which tastes like medicine to them. Japanese foods that gaijiin usually can't handle include the above mentioned natto and tart pickled plums (ume-boshi).
The "name suffixes" (such as -san) used in Japanese are a well-known part of the Japanese language, and the various nuances attached to them are quite interesting. "-san" is the "basic" name suffix that everyone has probably heard of, and it indicates formality, like adding Mr. or Mrs. to a name in English. Used with the last name usually (e.g. Fujita-san), it's also used with the first name (Tomo-san) to show some politeness while also showing familiarity. Two other common name suffixes, "-chan" and "-kun," are used when talking to girls and boys (e.g. Kazuki-kun and Rina-chan), and both indicate closeness. Younger people never use
"-chan" or "-kun' to an older person, as it would be rude. "-sama" is a name suffix used when talking to extremely high-ranking individuals, but it isn't used today at all, outside of anime and certain formal settings
-- resist the urge to use it in front of Japanese, you'll embarrass yourself. Other name suffixes include "sensei" (used for doctors or teachers), "senshi" (literally "warrior," it's used for athletes, e.g. Matsui-senshi), and even the English word "announcer," although it's shortened to "ana" (so NHK's popular television personality Junko Kubo becomes Kubo-ana).
If you ever visit Japan, it's good manners to bring a gift, called "omiyage" (oh-mee-YAH-gay), to Japanese you will be visiting. Some items, like beef jerky or macadamia nuts from Hawaii, are so famous that they're almost cliched. Some other items you might want to consider include vitamins (they're very expensive in Japan) or a carton of cigarettes from your home country (find out if the intended recipient smokes first, of course). Something that represents where you live would be good, too -- if coming from France or California wine country, bring them a bottle of wine, for example. And with the popularity of Starbucks in Japan these days, one of our favorite gifts for Japanese friends are the large 10 lb bags of coffee. You can't go wrong with that.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of Star Wars, a great new Tomy diorama series featuring five scenes from the classic movies that will surely be loved by all fans -- and because J-List loves you, we've got full sets in stock, ready for you to buy them
- Speaking of Star Wars, we're glad to see how popular the Kubricks were -- the full sets sold out in just a few hours. A few more of the full sets will probably be coming in, so order them from our site so you'll be in the queue
- The Kubrick "The Dog" toys from Medicom Toy proved to be extremely popular, and several of the figures sold out right away -- although this is a very difficult to find item in Japan, we were able to get another case, but it will probably be the last available, get your Kubrick Dogs soon
- Bento (Japanese boxed lunch) is part of Japanese culture, and we've got a great new series of "ekiben," incredibly detailed miniature bento boxes from famous train stations all over Japan -- check them out!
- For fans of real bento boxes you can take your lunch in, we've restocked several popular items, including the very popular Kyoto Bento Set
- For fans of the famous Nintendo Zelda games, we've got a super Zelda Box containing a data book, a great soundtrack and figure series -- a fantastic item for collectors
- For fans of Shirow Masamune, enjoy his bilingual "full color works" which bring you some of his most amazing art over several years of his career -- we've also gotten in fresh stock of Jashin Hunter!
- J-List carries dozens of "reserve subscription" magazines from Japan for people interested in anime, manga, fashion, hobby, and more. We've added a great new monthly manga for fans, Dengeki Comic Gao -- each issue is loaded with over 450 pages of fantastic art and extras
- For fans of Japan's pretty swimsuit idols, check out the new mini photobook of Sayaka Isoyama, one of the most charming idols around today
- For fans of DVDs from around the world, we've gotten in stock of the Lasonic DVB-8092 transportable DVD player, which will go anywhere and play anything you throw at it -- now in stock in San Diego
- For fans of Japanese snacks and food, enjoy delicious exploding Ramune candy, Japanese soup that's eaten with sushi, boil in bag curry, and tasty Japanese desserts you can make at home
- Also, many items restocked, including Mill Make coffee powder for your milk, cold green tea drink mix, delicious soy sauce and butter flavored popcorn, tasty Hi-Chew soft candy, and great miso soup from Japan
- For Hello Kitty fans, some cute items, including a great lunch box made for storing onigiri (triangle shaped rice balls), a cute Hello Kitty Vespa scooter, and more
- From Tomy, die-cast toys based on vehicles at Tokyo Disneyland, and fresh stock of the Toyota Prius die-cast cars
- If you're a fan of hamsters from Japan, we've got some Hamster Club wet tissues for you to carry around with you, which are very handy to have (especially if you've got kids)
- For people wanting to bring a little Japan into their homes, we've got a cool lace "noren" curtain that's popular here
- Finally, look for chopsticks and freshly restocked bento items, more funny Japanese signs that are wacky, Japanese "thanks" envelopes for giving money gifts, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of Japan's lovely adult magazines, we've got some great items, including the special 17th anniversary issue of Dela Beppin, filled with fantastic girls for you
- Then enjoy hardcore sex in love hotels by very cute amateur girls in the new Hy Kiss, and lovely kogals in Ururu
- For fans of Japanese photobooks we've got some great items including a double-size photobook for the delightful and sexy Fumika Suzuki that is the coolest thing we've ever seen!
- Also: a great photobook for fans of tight-fitting silk stockings that are oh so sexy -- features four famous models in all their low-angle loveliness
- Look for restocked photobooks as well, including Aoi Minori huge hit, Beyond the Blue Sky
- For manga collectors, we've got another selection of excellent comics for you, including the beautiful erotic comic The Yellow Hearts (vol. 2), a manga of "girl hunting" by Toen Comics, and more
- Also for fans of yaoi comics, another excellent Muscle Man book compiling great erotic manga with macho themes from many artists
- Also: we've posted a nice update of popular erotic manga including Explosive Nurse, Mogitate Fruit Body and the dynamite Equation of the Immoral by Azuki Kurenai
- And for G-Taste lovers, we've restocked several different volumes of Hiroki Yagami's erotic art book series
- For DVD collectors, enjoy a great volley of new titles, starting with a No Cut!! release from Tank, featuring 3 hours of lovely sex with Hiyori Shiraishi (region free)
- Million asks the question, what if the lovely Hitomi Hayasaka were your private sexual pet in a great 150 minute DVD release (region free)
- From Soft on Demand, the lovely Kyoko Mizusaki is a "molestor woman" (funny English from the cover) who will assist your masturbation with her lovely body (region free)
- Then, from SOD's Chujitudoh (which means "Hall of Sincerity") label, another popular Mydol bukkake themed DVD featuring the sweet, smiling Ami Hinata (region free)
- For fans of Moody'z Black Semen in LA, which pits a pretty Japanese idol against a roomful of big black men from the U.S., there's a great new release, starring lovely Japanese adult video idol Dewi (region 2)
- Then enjoy a re-issue of Madoka Ozawa's first-ever indies release, a super item for her fans (region 2)
- Finally, we've restocked several great new DVDs such as Lesbian Heaven 4 Hours Special, Izumi Hasegawa's No Cut!! release, Sayaka Tsutsumi's beautiful Dream Woman and more -- check them all out, and don't forget our buy-4-get-15% off discount!
The J-Mate site has been updated with new interviews for people who are interested in browsing the interesting articles there. The J-Mate site has been totally revamped with new graphics and we hope you like the new look. As usual, we'd love to have you write up reviews of DVDs, manga, dating-sim games or anything else for the site! The URL is http://www.jmate.com/
Remember that summer is coming, and for many people, summer means anime conventions. And what better way to enjoy an anime convention this summer than in an authentic Japanese high school uniform from Matsukameya of Nagoya (or if you're male and not into wearing female sailor uniforms, get one for your significant other). J-List is the exclusive worldwide reseller of these high-quality uniforms, and we're extremely proud to bring such a unique item to our customers. Since each uniform is custom made to the size requirements of each customer, anyone can wear one, and larger sizes are also available. Why not get some authentic Japanese loose socks with your school uniform? We've got them in stock, too.