Although you may think of certain foods as sushi, sashimi, tempura and sukiyaki as popular Japanese dishes, the national food of Japan has got to be curry, or as the Japanese call it, curry rice. Curry spread to Britain during the 1700s and from there went all around the world. In Japan, curry is eaten on steamed white rice, and became popular at the start of the 20th century -- and now it's eaten more than any other kind of food. Japanese curry is thicker than the soup-like Indian curry, and many companies here compete to make the best blend of curry to appeal to consumers, making products with names like House The Curry, Vermont Curry, and Java Curry. Although Thai food is quite popular in parts of America, it's not very common here in Japan -- but Indian restaurants are always seem to be packed.
The Japanese do love tests. In addition to their world-famous college entrance exams, the Japanese have standardized tests for just about everything, with levels that are similar to the belt colors in karate and judo. Just about every subject, from abacus to waapro (word processing) to accounting have national tests that students and adults are encouraged to study for and take. The most famous standardized test in Japan is Eiken, also known as the Step Test, a series of tests that Japanese students take over the course of their lives -- level 3 while in junior high school, level 2 while in high school, and level 1 if they really want to try a challenging test after college. There are standardized tests for Japanese brush writing, penmanship, and even a test for calculating rapidly and accurately with a calculator. All sports have their own various standardized tests, too, to give students goals to attempt and clear as they progress in learning the sport. For gaijin like you or me, there's a test for learning Japanese called the Nihongo Noryoku Shiken or the Japanese Ability Test, taken each December at various cities around the world. Level 4 tests basic kana and kanji, levels 3 and 2 are progressively harder, and level 1 is a really difficult test required for all students who want to enter a Japanese university. Japan's test mania may seem odd, but it is a good way to motivate people to study and better themselves. I think the test is a great way for anyone studying Japanese to set a goal to work towards each year. For information on the Nihongo Noryoku Shiken, see http://www.jpf.org.au/slc/proficiency/proficiency.htm
We love the popularity our wacky Japanese T-shirts have enjoyed with J-List customers. In addition to the standard men's size T-shirts we carry in all sizes (S through 3XL), which are all printed in the U.S. on 100% cotton, standard-size shirts, we also have some great fitted baby doll T's for girls. One design we think is really cool is "Koguaru" (kogal), a tribute to Japan's spoiled bad girls, who dress so fashionably and who would never be seen without their keitai (portable phones). We've added a great new color of Koguaru shirt, allow you to choose between three great colors. See all our shirts on the site now!
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of Hayao Miyazaki's films, we've got some great new items for you, including a Castle in the Sky Laputa deck of cards that's beautifully printed and a deluxe set of fabulous handmade Totoro stamps
- For fans of our unique Japanese snacks, we've got some new varieties, including seaweed and potato flavored pretzel sticks (they're good!), Japanese custard cookies, chicken in a can and Japanese-style worcester sauce
- Also, fresh stock of several delicious treats from Japan including Gummi Sushi (fruit-flavored sushi on marshmallow rice), Wata-Pachi (exploding pop rocks inside cotton candy), March of the Koalas chocolate-filled cookies and more
- We love to find cool Japanese toys for you, and one of our favorite series are the Kubrick toys by Medicom Factory -- see the fun Ponkikies bizarre toys we've got in stock for you, with full sets available!
- Got small electronics you want to protect? We've got some very handy soft foam cases that will protect just about anything from your iPod to a PDA and more
- For Hello Kitty fans, we've got some great new items, including a plush tissue box cover that will Kittify any living room, and cute Kitty reflective bracelets that are stylish and cute
- Another thing we love to sell are the very detailed die-cast Tomica cars -- see two cool colors of Mazda's RX-8, very cool!
- To beat the summer heat, why not get a folding fan in Ayumi Hamasaki-style leopard skin?
- We love Japanese bikini models, and one of our favorites is the lovely Megumi -- see a new photo magazine dedicated to this lovely girl
- Also, look for a great photobook featuring Hikaru Kawamura, the famous idol and Race Queen
- For fans of extremely cool miniature toys from Japan, we've got fresh stock of the Amazing Weapons series, featuring bizarre weapons invented during World War II (w/ full sets in stock)
- Also, fresh stock of the popular Japanese Summer Festival miniature series, so very cool
- For fans of high-quality anime statues from Japan, we've got a positively dynamite 1/6 scale pre-painted statue of Morrigan from Vampire Saviour, which stands a massive 13 inches high and is incredibly beautiful to behold
- For our female customers, we've added a cute new color of "Koguaru" (Kogal) T-shirts in a great fitted style that will make you look great -- a super item for girls who want to show off sexy
- Finally, sleep well with "minus ion" sheets for your pillow, more sushi makers and bento related items, cute Hello Kitty plastic bags, more funny Japanese signs, unique Japanese ear cleaners, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of amateur sex in love hotels, we've got the new issues of "I'll Give Myself to You" and the perfect-bound issue of "I Want You To Look At Me" (love those Japanese names)
- Also, we've got the new issue of DVD Explosion 10 Hours, a great color magazine that features two 5-hour DVDs with a whopping ten hours of great sexual samples and quickies (region free)
- If you love big, glossy Japanese photobooks featuring beautiful women, why not check out the new photobook of Kyoko Fujikawa
- Also, we've got other great photobooks, including a selection of nudes by real "soap girls" who work in Japanese soaplands, where a man can get a pretty girl to wash his body
- For hentai manga fans, we've got some great new works for fans of bukkake, nurse fetish, dick girl and other classic erotic Japanese themes
- If you love dick girl and hentai game girl themes, we've got a great item for you: a new CG collection from Rebis, the "Androgynous ONLY circle," featuring extreme hentai artwork of your favorite video game gals
- For yaoi fans, we've got a new story of the exploration of love between friends, as well as fresh stock of several popular yaoi works
- For our DVD customers, rejoice: Aoi Sora stars in a great new release of the Contrary Soap Heaven series, in which beautiful AV idols go to be serviced by men instead of the other way around (region free)
- Then from SOD, enjoy a fun "penis study" release in which four beautiful rich girls study the male member in front of the camera (region free)
- From SOD's Chujitsudoh ("Hall of Sincerity"), we have a superb selection of bukkake and sweet sex featuring Mio Asakura (region free)
- Then for fans of the Soft on Demand Outlet, where you can find older titles at great prices, we've got the delicious seaside sex of Ruri Ayase, in her Virtual Venus release (region free)
- Then from Moodyz, we've got a great new bukkake with four delightfully erotic chijo (slut fetish), who explore bukkake and lesbian sex and more (region 2)
- Then enjoy a beautiful Dream Shower release featuring Nao-chan, the hot new indies AV star who's growing in popularity because she's so beautiful (region 2)
- Finally, we've added fresh stock of several popular DVDs, including cat right (girls slapping the shit out of each other), lesbian titles, black men and Japanese girl fetish, and more great titles by Asuka Sawaguchi, the clean sex idol from Japan.
Remember that J-List carries great collections of CG images from famous Japanese doujin-soft artists, who publish CD-ROMs of their computer artwork in lieu of comic-book format doujinshi. We especially love the Creamy Angel series, which features excellent hentai artwork with famous and original characters, as well as Dream World 2, featuring beautiful erotic images based on Evangelion. All art is uncensored, and images are included in full size so you can print them out, use them as desktop wallpaper, and more.
Also remember that J-List carries that great symbol of Japanese wacky pop culture, the Hello Kitty Vibrating Shoulder Massager, which is of course intended as massager for your neck and shoulders, although some would call it a Hello Kitty vibrator (imagine!). A licensed Sanrio item sold only in Japan, the unit features high and low massage modes, and a beautiful image of Kitty and her rabbit friend. It looks just great, in or out of case -- display it as a wonderful pop culture icon. Why not get a few, and give them out as gifts? (If you get 3 or more you get a 15% discount through the J-List shopping cart.) We're down to a few hundred of these left, so whether they will be in stock or not by Christmas is very doubtful.