First of all, the J-List image server, which serves up product images for the site, was down for about 90 minutes today, due to a router upgrade issue. Sorry if you were trying to view the page at that time. Everything is fixed now though!
My daughter is back from her month stay in the U.S., and once again, we're utterly floored by the ability of the human brain to assimilate a second language in an incredible short amount of time. While Rina was in San Diego she made many friends at Girls Scout girls and actually was more comfortable with English than with Japanese, amazing since she uses Japanese 99% of the time while she's in Japan. When she told us all of how she went to Disneyland and rode Splash Mountain, everyone was amazed at her perfect American pronounciation. Due to Japan's difficult syllable-based phonetic system, the Japanese say "su-pu-RA-sshu ma-OOn-ten."
When a person learns a foreign language they actually develop a second personality, which takes over when they're speaking that language. In Japanese, my personality is very different, and I'm often surprised at how different both halves are. Japanese tend to be humble, and in Japanese you often use the word "sumimasen" (excuse me) where Americans would say "thank you." My wife is much more assertive in English than she is in Japanese, since English is built that way -- you always say the subject of sentences and use "yes" or "no" to clearly indicate your opinion, unlike in Japanese where meanings are often more vague and nuanced. It's been very interesting watching the development of an "English personality" in my children, too. In English, Rina is very cute and feminine, since she usually plays with other girls in English, but in Japanese, she's a pure tomboy, even using the male first person pronoun ("boku," used by boys, instead of "atashi" which is used by girls).
Have you ever wondered who's on Japanese money? Well, we'll tell you. The Japanese 1000 yen note features the famous 19th Century novelist Souseki Natsume, who wrote such famous books as "I am a Cat" and "Kokoro." As part of the Japanese education system, the first sentence of famous novels is memorized by students, and nearly all of his novels are famous (his face adorns one of our funny Japanese T-shirts, too). The 5000 yen note sports the face of Inazo Nitobe, one of the "forefathers" of modern Japan, and among the first Japanese to become fluent in English (he was a student of Professor Clark, an American who founded Sapporo University, and left the famous words "Boys, be ambitious"). Nitobe toured Europe and the U.S. to observe how the government and military worked, for later incorporation into modern Japan. The 10,000 note, pretty much the "basic" unit of currency in Japan (roughly equal to a $100 bill), features Yukichi Fukuzawa, another modernizer in the Meiji Period, and founder of Keio University.
Since our son got to go to Kyoto while Rina was in the U.S., now it's her turn to take a special trip, and this weekend we're going to Fukushima, a prefecture in Northern Japan. Fukushima is famous for many things, including ramen, hot springs, and in the winter, lots of snow. It's also the home of Licca-chan Castle, a small theme park dedicated to Licca, the cute fashion doll made by the Takara toy company. My wife collects Licca dolls and we've always wanted to see what Licca's Castle was like. We'll tell you when we get back!
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, just in time for the potential political career of Arnold Schwarzenegger, we've got a very detailed series of Terminator 3 miniature toys for you, with full sets available!
- We've got a superb item we've wanted to carry for years: Japanese happi (sometimes called "happy coats"), small cotton kimonos that are worn in the summer festivals in Japan -- we've got several in stock, including some that are quite large for our big gaijin customers
- For bento fans, we've got two deluxe bento boxes in stock for you, both featuring large compartments for holding delicious rice and "okazu" (the word for whatever you eat with your rice), built-in eating utensils, and more
- If you like our fun Japanese snack foods, enjoy newly posted items, grape and blueberry milk candy, tasty miso-stewed fish, yum
- Also for the summer, we've got some cool adhesive pads that relieve the pain of sunburn
- If you've got a cool car, make it cooler with a fuzzy gear shift cover from Japan -- we've got some in stock
- See small things close up with a cool miniature magnifying glass, which can be attached to objects to make it easy to work with
- Kitty fans should enjoy the cute Hello Kitty Cubys phone mascot, which blinks when your cellular phone rings (works with 1.5 GHz phones)
- Then enjoy a really cool item, a high-quality PVC anime statue of Mizuho from Please Teacher, a beautiful item that comes with metal framed glasses and her trademark Pocky candy
- For Domo-kun fans, a pair of really cool printed notebooks for you, which capture all the cuteness that is Japan's most famous monster
- Then, for fans of "The Dog" items, which have recently spread from Japan to the U.S., we've got some great doggie stickers for you
- Finally, look for cute bento related items, delicious new Japanese tea and miso soup products, fresh stock of Lotte No Time gum which brushes your teeth and Blue Toppo baked pretzels, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of high-quality Japanese magazines, we've got the new Bejean, the oversized magazine that has been one of the top adult magazines in this country for years -- this month's issue is really spectacular!
- Then enjoy the new issue of Aishite Ageru ("I'll Love You"), a great hardcore magazine featuring real amateur Japanese girls in love hotels
- For photobook fans, we've got the wonderful lingerie photo magazine of Sayaka Isoyama, and the very erotic "Sexual Desire" photobook offering of Miyoshino
- Also, explore the erotic world of onanism, with the beautiful Kaede Matsushima in her new glossy photobook, followed by the sweet sexy photographs of Ami Ishii's "Kiss"
- For our hentai manga collectors, see some great new erotic books for you, including Fujio Okamoto's High-Leg Venus, Shamefull Princess by Toen Comics, and the excellent erotic Fight for Justice, by MEE-kun
- Also, look for several restocked manga books, including the best-selling Colors Anthology Comic (with great hermaphrodite fetish), a superb "wide manga" work
- Also, we've gotten the newest issue of the very erotic Bootleg, featuring super hentai artwork and a Tohru Nishimaki Blue Eyes special!
- For yaoi fans, enjoy some really cool yaoi trading cards -- they are so cool! -- as well as various freshly restocked yaoi manga for you
- Enjoy some great new erotic DVDs from Japan, starting with the new 3-hour No Cut!! release of Mizuho Asahi, a lovely and small-bodied AV star from Japan (region free)
- The five lovely Million Girls -- Nao Oikawa, Hitomi Hasegawa, Saori Kamiya, Hitomi Hayasaka and Ran Monbu -- go on an erotic "Million Mystery Tour" that fans will not want to miss -- 210 minutes of action! (region free)
- Then enjoy the excellent Lestcha 2, which features the tender lesbian kissing and sex of two beautiful lesbian idols (region free)
- Then explore the world of "Perfect Anal," featuring anal sex and ass-centric fetish with ten beautiful AV stars (region free)
- Then enjoy the "Bukkake, Nakadashi and Anal Fuck" of Ami Nakamura, a beautiful Tokyo girl who does it all for you, including having sex with a bunch of guys on a fishing boat in Tokyo harbor, a first in Japan's adult video world (region 2)
- Then enjoy great fresh stock of some of our most popular erotic DVDs, including Campaign Gal Party 7.5 Hours (great for Race Queen fans), Anna with a Change of Costume (Japan's bustiest AV star), 24 Hours Bukkake Semen, Gokkun Bazooka with Kokoro Amano, and Yui Kayama's great bukkake title "Mydol Semen."
Remember that J-List stocks virtually every English-language Japanese dating-sim game available, with great games from Peach Princess, G-Collections, Hobibox, and JAST USA. You can also preorder some of the great games that aren't shipping yet but will be available for preorder, such as the upcoming Brave Soul, a fabulous action RPG world in which you form parties and go on quests with beautiful companions who fight alongside them. We've updated the descriptions and graphics for Brave Soul, so preorder it now for free shipping when it ships!