Friday, June 20, 2003

Greetings from J-List June 20, 2003

Hello and TGIF from your friends in Japan!

Transliteration is the act of transcribing from one writing system into another, for example from Japanese to the Roman alphabet. There are several aspects of Japanese that make writing Japanese words in English an inherently vague and challenging process. For example, there are long vowels in Japanese that are meaningless when written out in English and which don't affect the pronunciation of words at all. The correct way to write "pretty girl" in Japanese is "bishoujo" with the extra 'u' in the middle, and yet it's often shortened to "bishojo." Is it better to leave the long vowels in the word, which complicates pronunciation and makes the words harder to remember, or should they be omitted? Incidentally, famous place names like Tokyo and Osaka also have long vowels that are cut to avoid making the name needlessly long. Another area where there is vagueness about how to write Japanese words or names in English is L and R. Is Japanese AV idol Aoi Sora better written as Aoi Sola? There's often little agreement and so both names are used sometimes -- there's no "right" way to write her name. It can be very confusing, especially to search engines that can't tell that two similar words are the same.

Then there's the system used to actually write Japanese words in English. Japanese is a syllable-based language, and has a system of syllabary sounds built into its structure. You can express the sounds ka, ki, ku, ke, and ko in Japanese, but not "k" all by itself. Three of the syllables in Japanese are pronounced "shi" "tsu" "chi" and thus, it's natural that they be written that way when translating from Japanese to English. This is part of the Hepburn system of transliterating, and most gaijin favor it because it makes the transliterated word easier to pronounce accurately. Another system, the Nihon system, forces these three syllables into neat "consonant + vowel" pairs, producing "si" "tu" and "ti" even though the sounds aren't pronounced like that at all. Whenever there are two competing systems it's common for the lesser one to be adopted as standard -- kind of reminds me of computing platforms ^_^ -- and thus millions of Japanese children are forced to learn the Nihon system in Japanese schools. If you want to see how the two systems compare, here's a page for you: http://papillon.ex.nii.ac.jp/romaji/hepburn.html

Want to know a Japanese joke? In Japanese, the word for Prime Minister is "souri" ("sori" but with a slightly elongated first syllable), which sounds like the English word "sorry" to the Japanese. "Sori," a similar-sounding word, means "razor." Japanese kids have a stupid saying that has endured for decades: "I'm sorry, hige sori (beard shaver), jori jori (the sound of rough, unshaven whiskers)." If you're ever talking to a Japanese person, and they apologize to you for something, come back at them with "hige sori, jori jori!" (HEE-gay SO-ree, JOE-ree JOE-ree) and watch them jump out of their shoes in surprise.

We've got a great update for you this weekend, starting with a bizarre new wacky Japanese T-shirt for you. In Japanese public baths, there's always a sign indicating that customers with tattoos (e.g. yakuza, Japanese famous Mafia) are not allowed in. We loved this idea so much, we've captured it on a wacky T-shirt. As usual, we pride ourselves on offering shirts that everyone can enjoy, and we have size S all the way up through 3XL available. All shirts ship from our San Diego warehouse.

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

  • First, a unique item for nature lovers: We've gotten in incredibly detailed bird figures that look great, and the birds sing for you when you press a button! Wonderful miniature bird figures from Japan that will bring a little happiness to your room
  • For fans of cosplay, there is a great cosplay photobook that features dozens of great cosplayers dressing up for you, famous idols and more -- a great item for all fans of Japanese costume play!
  • Then enjoy a great 5 year anniversary photobook of Morning Musume, with great pictures from all the Mo-Musu girls
  • For fans of cut maid girls, we've got a great special issue of Automatic Maiden that comes with a great full-color completed PVC figure
  • We love the fun and unique Kubrick block toys from Japan's famous toy maker Medicom Toy, and we've got some new ones for you: the Lupin the 3rd Castle of Caliostro figures, and we have full sets available for you!
  • Another great item for Kubrick fans, full sets of the Sesame Street figure collection, including Big Bird, Ernie and Grover -- this rocks! (but our stock is extremely limited)
  • The superb Ghost in the Shell toy sets have been selling so fast we're afraid of running out of stock soon -- get yours fast if you want one! We've also added a two-figure set, two "black metal" versions of Major Kusanagi
  • For fans of Japanese TV and comedy on DVD, we've got the very cool Happatai, the wacky team of six comedians who dance with fig leaves covering their privates, all lots of fun
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, we've got some nice new items for you, including chocolate rusk (which are baked and dried bread, we're told), tasty sausages, sardines stewed in miso (yum) and Japanese fried rice mix
  • Also, some great Japanese "etiquette gum" that freshens your breath
  • For Hello Kitty fans, a great item for your kitchen: a plastic container that holds 1.7 liters of any liquid (we recommend that you use it with the Japanese mugi cha tea bags that we sell -- great for summer, and very healthy!)
  • Also very fun, a Hello Kitty sushi playset (stock is limited to one unfortunately)
  • We love to sell all kinds of cool things from Japan, and always stock healthy miso soup, onigiri mix, and other items like that -- look for various newly stocked items today
  • J-List carries authentic "loose socks" -- the big baggy socks that high school girls wear here, and we've restocked our 70 and 120 cm socks for you
  • For Totoro and Studio Ghibli fans, restocking of many popular items, including the Laputa Robot music box, the Totoro knapsack, and the cute Fox Squirrel from Nausica and Laputa
  • Finally, look for new wacky notebooks from Japan that sport funny English, a Hello Kitty flower notebook that's very cute, more cute dictionaries for those studying Japanese, a great Kitty ceramic mug, fresh stock of the Hello Kitty USB hub, and more!

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

  • First, for fans of the beautiful and bold photography of Urecco, we've got a great new Urecco Gal in for you, filled with positively fabulous Japanese kogals and bombshells
  • Then enjoy hardcore sex in the new Sasotte Ageru ("I'll ask you out"), featuring authentic amateurs in love hotels
  • Follow the Japanese video industry with the new Video Girls, which covers all the top Japanese AV stars -- and comes with a 120 minute DVD free!
  • Also, we've got a great magazine and DVD combo item that gives you super erotic S&M and bondage action and a 120 DVD, for a great price
  • Enjoy several new glossy and hardcover new photobooks including the erotic nude of An Nanba (so nice), and fresh stock of other photobooks including Garo Aida's Strawberry Diary, Sora Aoi's great hardcover photobook, and Yui Ichikawa dressing up in sexy costumes
  • For hentai manga fans, some great items today, including the erotic Caramel Taste (lactating sex manga), World War of Cat Ears (an all-cat girl hentai manga), and many more great new books
  • Also, a massive restocking of manga for you, including the popular Blue Eyes manga by Tohru Nishimaki, Cheeky Petite Angels, New Century Big-Breasted Legend Natsumi and more
  • For yaoi fans, another great story of romance and sex by Nase Yamato
  • For our DVD collectors, some great items for the before-weekend update, starting with the elegant and stylish sex of Amu Masaki in a new Stars!! DVD release, 150 minutes long and offered at a great price (region free)
  • For fans of Nao Oikawa, who is the #1 ranked AV idol in Japan today (she gets $25,000 just for showing up on an AV set), a new Bring Up Ecstasy 4 Hour DVD from Million (region free)
  • Alternately, you can get the wonderful new Bring Up Ecstasy 4 Hour box set, featuring five fantastic titles for a total of 20 hours of prime Japanese AV (the Nao Oikawa title is included in this boxed set) (region free)
  • Soft on Demand is always there for you, letting you act out your fetishes -- now explore the world of bikini fetish in a great new Magic Mirror Bus offering from SOD (region free)
  • Girls from Russian and Eastern Europe are extremely popular in Japan these days, and there are many great videos that aren't available outside of Japan -- explore the wonderful pure sex of four girls from Hungary in a new offering from Wild Side (region free)
  • For fans of the best lesbian DVDs in Japan, we've got a new offering from U&K, featuring the female sex of Maki Tomoda and Yuna Suzaki (region free)
  • For Hikari Kisugi fans (including yours truly), a great new erotic image DVD in the "Fetish & Erotic" series, featuring incredibly beautiful images of Hikari-chan dressing up in costumes, swimming underwater, playing with lingerie, and much more -- and the price is great! (region 2)
  • Finally, look for restocked DVDs, including Keep on a Fascinate Uniform, Campaign Gal Party 7.5 hours, Ayumi Sakurai Re-Mix Special, Shinobi (ninja fetish) and more!

Remember that J-List offers revolving subscriptions to some of Japan's most popular magazines, including anime magazines (Animage, Newtype), toy magazines (Hobby Japan), manga magazines (Coro Coro and Afternoon), and more. Some of these are very cutting edge and cool to read, such as Japanese street fashion magazines Fruits and Egg, and don't forget to check out Megami Magazine, loaded with posters and stickers and other cool things. These magazines will be sent to you as soon as they're available each month, before they're even sent to the newsstands here in Japan, and you can cancel your subscription any time. See the magazine subscription pages for more information.

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Greetings from J-List June 18, 2003

Hello again from all of us in Japan!

One of the engines that drives Japanese society and makes Japanese people the way they are is called "hito no me" (HEE-toh noh meh), which translates as "the eyes of others." In all that you do in Japan, there is the sense that you're being watched by everyone around you, and that if you stray too far outside the invisible lines of what is acceptable you'll be judged harshly. This tendency to be concerned with how you appear in the eyes of people is a big part of Japanese daily life, and it's part of the reason why Japan can seem a very homogenous place when viewed from the outside. In Japan, you throw your garbage out on set days, and knowing what kind of trash is okay to put out on any given day can require a Master's Degree in Trashology. But if you don't follow the rules and put exactly the right trash out that morning (not, by the way, the night before), you'll suffer the ire of the ever-watching people around you, which subtly causes you to conform in ways that no threat of punishment could. Since most people in Japan are considerably thinner than they are in the States (at 100 kg, I am gargantuan for Japan, and have been asked by Japanese if I was a K-1 fighter), there is always that pressure to conform to the others around me and lose weight--which is a good thing of course. In the U.S., we try to value adversity and individuality, and if we saw someone walking under an umbrella even though it wasn't raining outside, we might chuckle and say that he dances to his own tune. But in Japan there's less chance that doing something that no one else is doing will be viewed in a favorable light.

Related to "hito no me" is the idea of "joshiki," a word which translates to "common sense" but means much more. The Japanese all seem to have a built-in common sense, ideas about the way things work, and they are very much in harmony with each other. It is "joshiki" that all kids will go to school to be taught and brought up as happy citizens of the society, and so there is homeschooling in Japan. Similarly, it is common sense that babies be born in hospitals, and so there is very little in the way of alternate birthing here. An American friend of mine who was pregnant planned on having her baby and going back to work a few months later, but unfortunately, this goes against the "joshiki" rule that mothers should spend the first few years at home with their children before coming back to work, and she found herself blocked at every pass. This "all powerful common sense" that the Japanese seem to possess is always at work in Japan.

There's an unfortunate phenomenon that affects all Japanese who use computers or "waapro" (word processors) at work: they lost almost all ability to write Kanji, or Chinese characters. With the steady acceptance of computers into Japanese life, many people use keyboards all day long, and as a result, almost never actually write characters by hand. Because kanji is a very structured system, not writing it for long periods of time really makes you forget how to write (although reading ability is retained). I imagine this happens not only with Japanese, but with all cultures that use kanji. Sadly, I am affected by this as well, as I almost never hand-write Japanese anymore, and it's shocking when I go to write an elementary character but can't bring it up in my mind.

We'll be making a server move to a much faster machine sometime over the next week. We're letting you know just in case anything fails to work right during the changeover. We think it will go smoothly but if you should notice anything that doesn't seem right, please email us about it and we'll check it right away. Thanks!

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

  • First, for fans of Japanese snacks, we've got some unique and rare tastes for you, including green tea flavored caramel chips, pineapple pie snacks new onigiri mix and fresh, shredded ika (if you don't know what ika is, don't ask)
  • Also if you love the popular anime Naruto, we've got some cool gummi Naruto figures that are fun to eat
  • For fans of beautiful CG girls, enjoy the N.U.D.E.@ digital art book, featuring a robotic princess that you teach and bring up
  • For those fascinated with Japanese high school uniforms, either because they want to make replicas for cosplay at anime conventions or they just like how cute they are, we've got two new pocket photobooks featuring the cutest sailor uniforms in all Japan
  • For fans of sexy swimsuit idols like Miho Yoshioka and Yoko Matsugane, enjoy the Kira Kira Sexy Idol Magazine
  • Want to see cool Japanese late-night TV? Check out the new Grasshoppa, featuring some of the boldest and funniest Japanese TV and skits, and all subtitled in English for your enjoyment
  • Also, we've gotten in a great photobook for Japanese Race Queen fans, the lovely Pit Queen
  • Kubrick block figures are incredibly popular all over the world -- we've got a brand new series of these great toys for you, three different Shrek sets from Medicom Toy. Sold only in Japan!
  • If you think the cool Japanese cars of the 1960s and 70s were cool, we've got a rare set of die-cast vehicles from Tomy for you, including the original Honda Civic, the Toyota Corolla II, and the Nissan Bluebird
  • Happy faces are everywhere in Japan, and we've got two parody "happy face picnic sheets" that are plastic sheets for you to sit on while at the park -- they're wacky and loaded with funny English
  • Just in time for summer, we've got some great Japanese sandals, which are called "beach-san" in Japanese, from "beach sandals" -- they have the Japanese character for "shave ice" printed on them
  • Also great for summer, some beautiful Japanese wind chimes that gentle ring in the breeze
  • If you love Hello Kitty, we've got some cool Kitty nail polish bottles that come in great colors and are really cute for collectors, too
  • We've got a great item: a Japanese hanko case that features a funny parody of a Japanese salaryman on top, who dances when you use it
  • Studying Japanese? We carry many items to help you including a fun item, a dictionary of four-character Japanese phrases
  • For your kitchen, we have food separators for bento, delicious wasabi, sushi makers, and more!
  • Finally, look for a great way to protect your food from flies, a fun Kitty brush for little ones or big, a handy case for remembering your medicine,

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

  • For fans of great Japanese adult magazines, we've got the new Urecco for you, filled with jaw-dropping beautiful women including both kogal amateurs and top-name AV stars
  • Then enjoy a great amateur magazine, Bjam, which features real Japanese girls doing real hardcore in love hotels
  • Nao Oikawa looks lovely in her new hardcover photobook, "Naked Heart" which we have for you
  • Also, we've gotten fresh stock of the popular Make Lovers, a beautiful hardcore magazine featuring the sex of couples in love
  • Then enjoy the super sexy body of top Japanese swimsuit idol Harumi Namoto, an amazing and sexy idol for you
  • If you love Japan's fascination with "dick girls" and hermaphrodites, we've got a new issue of New Half DX for you
  • If you love hentai manga, enjoy several great new books, including the erotic "Prisoner of Sodom" by Fujimi Comics and AV Comic's "The Secret Date Club"
  • Also, we've got great newly restocked manga including Slap Me With Your Breasts, Aero and a major restocking of the Paradise Lost Evangelion hentai manga series -- new yaoi manga too!
  • Be sure to order the excellent vol. 6 of Tohru Nishimaki's Blue Eyes, too -- it's up for preorder now
  • For doujinshi fans, another treat: new Please Teacher manga from Behind Moon, although they will sell out fast if recent history is a guide
  • For our DVD collecting customers, we've got some great new titles for you, starting with a new "The Idol" release featuring 180 minutes of Ami Sakurai's delightful pure sex (region free)
  • Dogma brings you the erotic kissing and sex of Kurumi Morishita as directed by Hitoshi Nimura -- an incredibly erotic performance, and she looks damned good in that cowboy hat (region free)
  • Then from Soft on Demand, see Hikaru Inoue as the bukkake nurse, an erotic lady who swallows semen most happily (region free)
  • Also from SOD, Ayami Sakurai is an elegant and experienced high-class soap lady who uses her fabulous body to clean you and make you happy (region free)
  • A great "adult gravure movie" from Wanz Factory features an erotic "image DVD" of Mai Satoh, with many great erotic images of her incredibly sexy body for you (and at a great price too) (region 2)
  • Then see the super erotic Ria Nanami and her fetish mania, with many fun fetishes explored (including ashi-koki, foot masturbation, and much more (region 2)
  • For hentai DVD fans, we've gotten in fresh stock of a half dozen or more popular titles, too (region 1)
  • Finally, even more freshly restocked DVDs, including the excellent Lesbian Heaven 4 Hours Special, Ran Asakawa's "Masterpiece Concentration" offering, 4 hours of the best of Momo Aida (one of my personal favorite AV idols from the 90's), and Let's Do Sex with Ai Nagase.

Bewildered at Bishoujo? Confused about Kogal? Head hurting over Hentai? If you're confused at some of the terms used on the J-List site and this updates list (which can be quite out there, we admit), be sure to check out our online J-List Glossary of Terms -- the link is on our site, right below the product category listing on the left side of your browser window. We explain all confusing terms from Anime to Tekoki and more. We've recently updated the list, too, so check it out.

If you've got friends who may be interested in the wacky brand of Japanese pop culture J-List provides, why don't you tell them about us? We'd love to have you share J-List with your friends, family and coworkers -- please let them know about us! Thanks in advance from your friends in Japan.

Monday, June 16, 2003

Greetings from J-List June 16, 2003

Hello again from Japan, where it's good manners to turn your car's headlights off while waiting at a red light (to avoid blinding the person across the intersection from you).

We're in the middle of June now, and that is dreary news for everyone in Japan: the month-long rainy season will be starting any day now, transforming the Japanese islands into the Pacific Northwest for four weeks of drizzle, rain and general grayness. Coming from bright, sunny San Diego as I do, it's sometimes hard to fight off the blues during all that rain. The only thing worse than the long gray of the rainy season is what comes after: Japan's sweltering real summer with its 100% humidity is always difficult to bear.

In preparation for that heat, we've purchased some new electric fans to help keep cool. There's a real "electric fan gap" between Japan and the States, with Japanese companies producing some wonderfully high-tech gadgets, from tricked-out units that have remote controls, timers so they turn off after a set number of hours, selectable rotation settings, and more. I bought some fans that feature what the Japanese call "minus ion" (negative ions, like the fresh air after a thunderstorm has passed), although I can't say for sure if my ions are being negatively charged or not. Another feature I like is "natural wind" -- the fan alters its speed randomly to simulate the wind blowing in from outside. One thing the Japanese haven't invented, however, is the slim, square fan that sits on a windowsill and blows air in directly from outside, which are quite common in the U.S. Fans with many features cost between $40 to $90 each. The windowsill fan I got at Walmart and brought back with me was around $7.

The Japanese use a lot of English in their daily lives, but it's often impossible to identify it sometimes after the Japanese get through with it. If you ask your boss for a raise, but he says no, it's "NG" (which stands for "no good") -- a TV "blooper" is also called an NG. The letter "W" stands for "double" to the Japanese, thus a washing machine might be advertised as "W (double) Power." If you want to check your weight, you'd better ask for a health meter -- the English term "scale" is used in Japanese, but only meaning something's size in relation to something else. Sometimes Americans are confused by alien terms that are British English -- I didn't know that the hood of a car was a "bonnet" in British English until I came to Japan. If you want to tell someone to not worry about something, you can say "Donmai!" which comes from "Don't mind!" Similarly, when someone is backing their car up, you can tell them it's okay to come back further by saying "Orai!" which comes from "Alright!" Many English words have been imported into Japanese, but with different pronunciations -- "energy" is pronounced with a hard "G," and "vitamin" comes out like "bitamin" (bee-TA-min). Finally, many of the foreign words used in Japan, like "anket" (a questionnaire) and "arubaito" (a part-time job) don't come from English at all, but that doesn't stop the Japanese from trying to use them during English conversation class.

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

  • First, for fans of the super cool Ghost in the Shell figures from Shirow Masamune, we've got a great new limited edition all-black metal version of the figures, with full sets available to buy (no need to buy dozens of duplicates to complete your set)
  • Also for fans of "shokugan" (small toys that come with ramune candy inside), we've got a single full set of Heidi, Girl of the Alps, a unique and rare item
  • For Totoro/Miyazaki fans, a huge volley of newly restocked items, including several Totoro and Neko Bus plush toys, the popular Totoro magnet set, sitting Bou plush and the Fox Squirrel from Laputa/Nausica, more music boxes, and moer
  • If you love cute Japanese swimsuit idols, check out Yui Ichikawa's lovely new photobook, shot on location in beauty Italy
  • For fans of Japanese film on DVD (with subtitles in English), we've got the popular Water Boys, a very entertaining movie about an unlikely topic, men's synchronized swimming (region 2)
  • For fans of Japanese pro wrestlers, we've got two cool rare figures, Kenta Obashi and Kokushimusou, in stock now
  • Also, we've got a cool oversized version of the American kick boxer who has taken Japan by storm, Bob Sapp
  • For fans of Japanese snacks, we've got delicious miso soup and "tuna mayonnaise" fried rice mix, a new flavor of the delicious Poifull, and sweet Momo Choco (Peach Chocolate)
  • Also, Chip Star, the famous knock-off of Pringles by Nabisco sold in the Japanese market for years -- try new salad dressing flavor!
  • Like Japanese baseball? We've got a great series of baseball cards featuring all of Japan's top stars, including Hideki Matsui
  • Also, look for a new series of great Yu-Gi-Oh card game from Konami, very cool and in Japanese
  • For Hello Kitty fans, some cool and rare items from Japan, including a "car puzzle," a handy plastic holder for important documents, a great Kitty "floating tumbler" for your bathroom, Kitty stickers that show your mood, and a fantastic high-quality Kitty "Charm Watch" that you will love
  • Also, for those learning Japanese, a great Hello Kitty wall chart showing the hiragana and katakana syllabaries, as well as a cute ABC chart for little ones
  • For your car, a handy Japanese holder that allows you to take even large bottles with you
  • Finally, look for more funny Japanese signs, Hello Kitty giftwrapping paper, freshly restocked Canon Wordtank electronic dictionaries, and more!

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

  • For, we've got some great adult magazines for you, starting with the new Gal's Dee, which is loaded with super busty Japanese women who will blow you away
  • Also, we've got the new Bachelor, an oversized magazine for fans of lovely busty women all over the world -- this issue features a great opening series with Russian bombshell Yulia Nova and much more
  • For fans of hardcore sex, enjoy the new issue of Aishite Ageru ("I'll Love You") featuring a virtual date with Chika Kawamura
  • The great "KARAMI" photo magazine is always a popular item because each issue is dedicated to a certain lovely star -- this issue features nothing but dynamite erotic photos of Asuka Sawaguchi
  • Also, see fresh stock of several great photobooks including Mai Hagiwara's Alive and Ran Asakawa's erotic Reijo ("Love Slave")
  • For our manga collecting fans, we've got some great new books for you, including a great new offering by Masaki Kamitou, the erotic Love Dolls of Ai Yuri and "Bad Girl Play" with sexy maid girls
  • Also, fresh stock of many popular books including the popular hermaphrodite works of Amanojack, the popular Alice First and Alice Second, and the superb Private Teacher from Kenji Kisuzuki
  • Also, for yaoi fans, a great new manga of love and sex by Yuuki Amow
  • And for doujinshi fans of the popular "dick girl" themes of Behind the Moon, enjoy limited stock of two sold-out doujinshi -- but stock will not last long
  • For DVD lovers, we've got some great items for you, starting with a super "Removal of the Ban" offering by the lovely Asuka Ozora, who performs some of her best sex ever for you (region free)
  • In Japanese, the word OL means "office lady" (or female office worker), and there's quite a fetish for these sexy, gorgeous ladies in their lovely company uniforms -- explore this fetish with a new offering from Dogma starring four supremely erotic OLs (region free)
  • Then enjoy a superb bukkake performance by the sweet but slutty Ran Asakawa in a new Endless Semen DVD, directed by master AV director Tohjiro himself (region free)
  • Enjoy beautiful all-nude fetish and hoary sex in a new title by SOD's IEnergy label, featuring seven top AV stars including Nozomi Momoi, Ai Nagase and more (region free)
  • The lovely Chiharu Moritaka stars in a great new work from Soft on Demand, assisting your masturbation with super-fine "digital mosaic" that's great to see (region free)
  • From the bold and exciting Wanz Factory, see slender Rina Usui in a great new fetish, tickling -- Rina-chan is bound and teased and tickled, and made to do many fun and bizarre things
  • Finally, we've got fresh stock of several popular DVDs, including Anna Ohura's "I Love H," more underwater "Aqua Set," Mirai Hoshizaki's bondage offerings, and the best-selling Mizuho Kano (aka Jun Kusanagi) Special.

Remember that at J-List, we carry the whole line of unique Japanese chewing gum from companies like Lotte and Glico. Some of our most popular items are Lotte's "Black Black" (menthol gum with caffeine, it will keep you awake!), delicious Sweetie (grapefruit) gum, and tasty Ume, Japanse plum. Check out all these items on our Japanese snack pages!

World-famous animation creator Hayao Miyazaki has a new project: a series of TV commercials for House Foods, a company that makes curry and other household foods in Japan. The commercials capture the happy, simpler era of Japan in the 1950's, and are great to watch. We found them hosted on Nausica.net -- the URL is here: http://www.nausicaa.net/miyazaki/newspro/latest_news.shtml