First, we had a slight problem with the server that hosts the image files for the J-List site. A renegade server process was making images load slowly, but it's been fixed. Also, the image server went down for around ten minutes during the day -- sorry if you were viewing the site during that time, wondering why the product images weren't showing up.
Japanese government employees, called "komuin" (KOH-mu-in) in Japanese, are an interesting part of society here. A huge caste of ultra-conservative individuals who work at Japan's city and prefectural offices, they are a massive non-political bureaucracy that are responsible for administering Japanese laws, collecting taxes, granting permits for various activities, and generally making Japan run smoothly. Unlike the private sector, where companies must work hard and show results, Japan's public employees enjoy incredible stability, and theirs is the last segment of society to enjoy de facto lifetime employment in Japan. Young people who want the comfort of the stablest possible job and a long, steady climb up the social ladder aspire to pass the difficult national test that allows you to work as a public employee, although of course, if your parents are friends with your local city councilman he may be able to get you a job even if you haven't passed the test -- Japan can be very flexible that way. More so than in the U.S., government employees here are defined as a single group, and some professions that you don't normally think of as a lifetime government job are described with the "komuin" term (such as police and firemen). While Japan's public employees provide a solid white-collar backbone of stability for the country, there are a lot of complaints about lack of fiscal restraint in Japan's public sector. For example, despite the decade-long recession in Japan, our prefecture found the money to build a 32-story skyscraper-style prefectural office that cost hundreds of millions to erect yet does nothing but provide government employees with a beautiful view.
Before I started J-List I was an ESL teacher, teaching English conversation to a variety of students, from children all the way up to retired Japanese looking to acquire English in their newfound free time. I taught English for a total of five years, and while I wouldn't recommend considering ESL as a long-term career for most people, it was a great experience overall. After leaving the school I taught at for four years (which went out of business after I left, unfortunately), I had another good experience: working in the city office of my local city and trying out the life of a Japanese public employee. Every city in Japan has at least one bilingual foreigner working there, called the Coordinator for International Relations (CIR), whose job it is to do official translations for the city, assist the city office with English-related jobs, help the mayor if he meets with foreign guests, and so on. The CIR who worked that year went home early, breaking his contact, and so I was asked to work the rest of his time. I got to work as a real Japanese city official, wearing a tie and dark slacks, greeting my co-workers every morning (for some reason they always shorten "ohayo gozaimasu" to "oh-ss") and drinking green tea while sitting at my desk. Although I have to say I prefer my life at J-List to the stable life of a city employee, my months there were fun and gave me much insight into the country I love.
To further promote great Japanese pop culture around the world, including Japan's adult products, J-List has special relationships with famous Japanese adult video makers like Soft on Demand. Because we're blessed with so many great customers who love Japan's unique AV culture, we've been allowed by Soft on Demand to create a special "SOD Outlet" through which we'll make available popular titles by the company which are being closed out -- allowing you to buy them at great prices! Check out the new SOD Outlet category, open now!
For the special Friday update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, we've got one of my favorite films: Umi ga Kikoeru ("I can hear the sea", although the official English title is "Ocean Waves"), a 2-disc release which comes with many extras, including optional English subtitles
- Also great for Totoro/Ghibli fans, we've restocked many of our plush toys, music boxes and more
- We finally have the long-awaited Macross figures in stock, however we're sorry to say that we've only got limited stock, due to the incredible popularity of this series -- we currently have 4 full sets in stock, although we'll hope against hope that we can get more
- We love the cool miniature toys from Japan, and have a great new series for you: highly detailed replicas of the stalls at Japanese summer festivals, which sell everything from tako-yaki (fried balls of batter with octopus meat inside) to cold ramune soda to "catch the goldfish" games -- and as usual, J-List goes the extra mile for you, making pre-created full sets available
- For Domo-kun fans, we've restocked the popular medium sized Domo-kun plush toy, which was in danger of selling out even though we posted 60 to the site last week -- we've gotten in another 100 for everyone
- Also for fans of traditional Japanese images, we've got a real Japanese "omamori" (OH-mah-moe-ree), a traditional good-luck charm -- this one is special, though, as it contains a condom inside
- For fans of Chobits, the great manga and anime from CLAMP, we've got their superb new art book, featuring incredibly beautiful artwork of Chii
- For fans of our Japanese snacks, we've got some great new items, including delicious strawberry milk candy that's been enjoyed by Japanese kids for decades, more curry in "retro" packaging, and delicious Japanese desserts you can make at home
- Also, kiwi fruit flavored Hi-Chew, as well as a general restocking of traditional Japanese foods that are very healthy
- For those who like burning fragrant incense, we've got a great "incense pig" that helps ward off disease and sickness
- The "Onyanko Restaurant" series of plush cats baked into famous Japanese dishes is just too cute for words -- you have to see it to believe it, so check the site
- For fans of cute Japanese signs and stickers, we've got more wacky items in stock for you
- For Hello Kitty fans, a cute Kitty shopping bag that is very sturdy, to last through many shopping trips
- Also, fresh stock of the very popular Kitty in summer festival yukata plush toys
- For lovers of Japan Hot Wheels, sold only in the Japanese market, we've got more stock of the AirWolf helicopter and the Knight Rider K.A.R.R. car
- If you love the beautiful artwork from Please Teacher, be sure and see the fresh stock of the official fanbook
- Then enjoy a cute wooden cup called a "masu," used for measuring rice or sake, but you can put all kinds of things in it
- Finally, enjoy camouflage hats, which are popular in Japan this summer, some great chopsticks made out of bamboo (the only thing to make chopsticks out of), more onigiri makers, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of great adult magazines from Japan, we've got the new Yasashite Shite ne, a great hardcore magazine about love and sex and bukkake
- Then for fans of Yulia Nova, we're happy to announce the new Bachelor, featuring many incredibly beautiful women from Eastern Europe and Russia, including the sweet Yulia Nova, featured in a great selection of photos including a pin-up
- We've got a great new hardcover photobook from Aida Garo's popular Imoto series, this time with the lovely Ami
- Then enjoy some other hardcover photobooks, including the great Ruri Anno hardcover photobook from SOD, fresh stock of the popular "Minx" and photobooks my Nao Oikawa, Yuko Ogura and Harumi Nemoto
- Fans of real hermaphrodites and shemales, a fetish known as "new half" in Japanese, will enjoy the great new photobook we've got for you
- Then for manga collectors, see the new works we've got for you, including Dirty Kaleidoscope, a collection of famous hentai manga from Dirty Matsumoto, and the erotic See Through Angel, featuring incredible "naughty tentacles" from the creator of the Vaginass series
- Also: fresh stock of over a dozen great comic works, including The Equation of the Immoral by Azuki Kurenai, the incredible Sex Friend by artist MoMo, and the excellent Saint Costume Play
- Also: we've created a handy value pack of the English Blue Eyes hentai comics, vol. 1-5, to allow fans of Tohru Nishimaki's superb busty hentai works to buy the whole set and save!
- For yaoi lovers, we've got a great new manga for you too, a great story of classic yaoi themes
- For DVD fans, we've got some superb items for you today, starting with Rino Kizaki's 4-hour special -- 240 minutes of the best hardcore of this sweet AV star from Japan (region free)
- Then enjoy Anal Fuckers, a bold new release from SOD, featuring the first anal sex of some of the cutest AV gals at the company (region free)
- If you love the smooth and silky Akira Watase, the lovely bad girl of the Japanese indies scene, enjoy her new Digital Mosaic by Moodyz, with super-fine detail for your total enjoyment (region 2)
- Also from Moodyz, a super new release -- an erotic "All Nude Sports Day" in which beautiful Japanese girls engage in a variety of fun nude sports (region 2)
- For those interested in our new Soft on Demand Outlet category, enjoy bargain priced versions of Assistant Director Haruna's erotic lesbian kissing, with Japan's top AV stars; the First Time Lesbian of Juri Wakabayashi; and the cute and erotic Sayaka Hijiri "Private Idol" featuring sex on the beach in Okinawa
- Finally, look for many restocked DVDs, including several of the bargain-priced "A Masterpiece Concentation" series, Super Zoom Up Erotic Parts, Semen Bank, Gold Bird, and Eri Yukawa's oh-so-erotic Super Bukkake Special
Remember that J-List carries a wide variety of snacks from Japan, with about 100 different items in stock at all times, with everything from Pocky (popular chocolate covered sticks) to Shigekix (super-sour "hard gummi") to Japan's famous spicy caffeine gum, Black Black. Because J-List is based at the source, right there in the heart of Japan, we've got hundreds of cool and fun items that have never made it out of Japan, which you can order. All items have a "freshness date" printed on the packaging, and we unconditionally guarantee that all the items we sell are within the date when the items are sent to you. So check out our fun snacks section!