Although Japan is a modern, safe country, and Japanese are usually kind and helpful to foreigners, there are some things you have to get used to if you're going to ever live here. Seafood pizza, crowded trains, drunk men on those same crowded trains, bank cash machines that close at 7 pm, having a naked girl sandwiched between articles in a news magazine -- they're all part of life in Japan. One minor frustration I always had was getting used to the habit of Japanese shops and restaurants closing on a set day of the week, their "teikyubi" or regular weekly holiday. Whether you're going to the local department store to shop for new shoes you need, or heading to your favorite ramen shop, chances are you'll go there on the day it's closed, and have to make other plans. Japanese don't do this -- they have some latent knowledge about which stores are closed on which days, but gaijin aren't so lucky.
It's quite interesting to analyze how Japanese name their cars. First of all, names given to Japanese cars must sound "kakko ii" (cool, good style), and since nothing sounds cooler to the Japanese ear than English, most cars here get their names from English words -- like Honda Life, or Nissan Bluebird, or Mazda Roadster (aka the Miyata, although all Japanese think it means "road star" just as they think Pizza Hut is really "Pizza Hat"). But many other names come from slightly altered English words. Car names like Carolla, Tercel, Soarer, Sylphy and Premacy sound like English, but car companies can still "own" the original names. Japanese cars must never, ever have Japanese names, since that would be "kakko warui" (un-cool, bad style) -- Japanese are always amused to learn that the Suzuki Jiminy was sold as Suzuki Samurai in the U.S. However, there are some cars whose names started out as Japanese words before being "English-ified." Toyota Camry, for example, gets its name from "kanmuri," which means crown in Japanese -- which is funny, since Toyota sells a higher-priced sedan in Japan called Toyota Crown, and has sold a car called Corona in the past, too. (Incidentally, the Camry is not popular at all in Japan -- it's just too generic to be popular with Japanese drivers.) In the CLAMP anime Rayearth, virtually all the characters and place names were taken from cars -- Presea, Ferrio, there was even a character named Geo Metro.
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. Opening a bag of chips along its spine, so that the bag is spread out with the chips sitting on top, is called "manko ake" (MAHN-ko AH-kay), which literally means "to open so that it resembles the female genitalia." And if you sneeze, the Japanese say that someone must be gossiping about you (this comes up in anime quite often).
It's always fun to watch American politics as seen from outside the U.S., and the California governor's race is no different. Japanese are all very familiar with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is universally known as "Shuwa-chan" here, and having him in the race makes it extra interesting for Japanese viewers. Although I don't live in the U.S., I vote in most elections through the absentee ballot system. I personally plan to vote for Georgie Russell, a candidate who's smart and pretty, and who knows Unix. If you're in California and don't have a candidate in mind already, I recommend her. See her official site at http://www.georgieforgov.com
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, we've got a very special item for fans of Hayao Miyazaki's Kiki's Delivery Service: a super-deluxe Jiji the Cat plush toy from Sun Arrow, the high-quality toy maker and licensor of Mr. Miyazaki's creations
- Also for Miyazaki fans, we've got a set of really cute Totoro "teacher stamps" that are great for Totoro fans, as well as fresh stock of several of the popular Bou plush toys from Spirited Away
- Also, we've restocked the oh-so-cool Totoro cuckoo clock, which will be a treasure in your home for many years
- For fans of cute and wacky toys from Japan, enjoy full sets of the To-Fu Kubrick toys from Medicom, including Angel Tofu, Fake Tofu, British Tofu, and more
- We've got the new issue of Dengeki Gao, a superb monthly manga magazine that features a whopping 450 pages of great pages for you, and many fun extras
- If you love to worship Japanese pretty idols, we've got a nice hardcover photobook featuring swimsuit idol Nana Katase, which comes with a great DVD too
- Also, fresh stock of the much-requested Deluxe Bomb Marugoto Cosplay, which features 15 top-name idols like Yuko Ogura in super-cute anime and other costumes
- Also, enjoy a great photo magazine of Sayaka Isoyama, the cute and lovely bikini idol who is very popular in Japan these days
- For Shirow Masamune fans, don't miss the great new Ghost in the Shell TV series on DVD, featuring episodes 17 and 18 of this incredible high-budget series
- If you want a really unique Harry Potter goods, we've got a great Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets bento box and matching spoon/fork/chopstick case
- For fans of our Japanese snack foods, enjoy tofu miso soup that comes in Styrofoam bowls, more Teddy Cookies, and furikake for kids or adults
- Also, enjoy herbal "throat candy" which lubricates your mouth and helps it function
- For the businessman or traveller, we've got a great all-purpose carrying case that can hold many things -- and it gives off "minus ions" (negatively charged ions) which supposedly gives you a feeling of well-being
- Just for the summer, some new wind chimes that are very nice and very Japanese
- For Hello Kitty fans, a cute all-purpose Kitty case for carrying many things
- Also, a major restocking of Hello Kitty items available only in Japan, including Kitty pachinko, Sanrio ice cube trays and the smash hit Columbus rolling egg toys (e.g. Weebles)
- We've restocked many fun parody and traditional Japanese goods, including toilet paper to help you learn Japanese, funny Japanese tattoo shirts, Safety Soldier condoms, and Japanese headbands
- For fans of popular Japanese fashion dolls, we've got a really cute Jenny doll, by Takara, dressed in her high school uniform
- We've restocked our popular Hello Kitty toilet paper, which makes a great gift for that Kitty-loving (or -hating) friend at work
- We've got even more wacky signs from Japan, more maps of Japan, chopsticks and other items for your kitchen, more "The Dog" stickers, fresh stock of Pocari sweat powder and loose socks glue, and more -- check them all out!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of Urecco, the #1 magazine at J-List, we've got a great new issue, featuring beautiful nude and sexy idols, kogals, top AV stars, cosplay bunnies and more
- For fans of hardcore magazines, enjoy the new issue of Desire, which features voluptuous Japanese amateurs having sex all over the place
- For photobook lovers, enjoy the sweet nude of "Subaru" (which is the Japanese name for the Pleadies, not just a car company), the delightfully erotic photobook of Nozomi Fujikawa, and more
- Also, a superb photobook featuring the "large breast and beautiful leg" of ten top AV gals, including Nao Oikawa, Ami Ayukawa, Maria Yumeno and Bunko Kanazawa
- Yulia Nova fans really let us know of their love for the popular Russian nude idol this week -- now we've added some new merchandise, two cute Yulia tote bags and a printed ceramic photo tile that's "signed" by Yulia
- For hentai manga fans, we've got a great new selection of adult comics, including a superb large-breast manga by Yukio Shijima, the cute little Devil Daughters, Lewd Play Machine, and more
- Also, a major restocking of popular adult comics, including Nami SOS, Tears from the Hell, Pururun Sisters, Drop Dead Sisters, and the very popular dick girl extravaganza "Tousaku - Delusion" by Gura Nyuto
- We've restocked several popular vibrators and other adult toys, including all sizes of the Japan Rotor (the most popular vibrator with Japanese women), Mr. Pink, and the Magical Mitten
- Also, we've got fresh stock of super erotic Hitomi Hayasaka Love Pillow (aka Dutch Wife), and the slipper and fun Japanese Soapland Kit
- For our DVD customers, enjoy a 3-hour collection of the great hardcore sex of the new AV star "EL," with three complete video releases compiled onto one bargain-priced DVD for you (region free)
- From Soft on Demand, a great new "Kiss Battle Royale" featuring AD Haruna, the lesbian assistant director who performs "lesbian kiss and fack" on ten of Japan's most beautiful professional AV starlets (region free)
- For fans of our popular SOD Outlet page, we've got not one but two great DVDs in the Private Venus series -- see the lovely and erotic Juri Wakabayashi perform sweet idol frolicking and hardcore sex by the sea (region free)
- For fans of the bold indies erotica of Wanz Factory, enjoy a great "best selection" offering" with the sexiest and slinkiest leg, stocking and panty fetish you've ever dreamed of (region 2)
- Finally enjoy fresh stock of several popular titles, including Ryoko Mitake's "Taboo," Aoi Sora's very erotic "Illegality Violate Tits," and more copies of the popular "The Lingerie vol. 1."
Remember that J-List carries authentic Japanese "loose socks" in two different sizes, and also carries "socks glue" which you can use to glue your socks to your legs to hold them up. Worn by virtually all Japanese high school girls (except those who go to strict schools where they are forbidden), they are similar to the leg warmers worn in the 1980s in the U.S., and look great when bunched up just so. Enjoy a little slice of Japanese fashion culture courtesy of J-List -- they also go great with the authentic high school uniforms we sell, too! Great for cosplay at anime cons.
On the "odd things Japanese come up with" front, we've got an interesting tutorial on rope bondage. See it here: http://www.flabber.nl/img/bondage.how-to.jpg