Friday, September 19, 2003

Greetings from J-List September 19, 2003

Hello and Happy Friday from your friends in Japan!

I think that everyone should pick a country and go live there for at least a year -- no matter what else happens, you'll really come to appreciate your own home country like never before. In the U.S., most homes have central heating, and you can warm your entire house from one control panel. That's all but unheard of in Japan, where kerosene heaters the Japanese call "stoves" heat each room individually -- the smell of kerosene burning brings instant memories of frosty winters in Japan to me. Japan's doctors are very good, but when I buy medicine I prefer to buy what I'm used to in the States, Advil, Nyquil and so on -- they work much better on my large gaijin body than what's sold here. In America, it's not uncommon to start up a friendly conversation with someone standing next to you in a store, but in Japan, where people have invisible barriers around them, that's almost never done. Americans enjoy incredible choice when they shop, but they're used to that so they don't think much about it. When fruits or vegetables are out of season at the supermarket, they're shipped in from other countries, but in Japanese supermarkets, when a something isn't in season, it's usually not to be found at any price, and people just go without. Yes, I love Japan, but my time here has come to make me appreciate how great my home country is, too.

When learning Japanese, it's always fun to learn the "gitaigo," a category of descriptive words similar to onomatopoeia in English, which describe the state of objects or actions. Because they consist of repetitions of words, they are very cute and fun to use. If you're really hungry, the Japanese would say that you're "peko peko," a word which describes the way you feel when your stomach is very empty. Alternately, "kara kara" describes your throat when you're very thirsty. If you get soaking wet in the rain, you're "bisho bisho," and if your skin is especially smooth and clean, someone might say it's "sube sube" (SOO-bay, SOO-bay, a word which comes from suberu "to glide"). And if you're a little on the plump side, you might be described as "puyo puyo," a word which sounds cute to the Japanese. Some other fun repeating words are "zaa zaa" (the sound of rain falling loudly, to denote the concept of "pouring with rain"), "paku paku" (the sound of someone eating quickly -- this is where Pac Man got his name from), and "shiiin" (the sound of no sound -- i.e., of perfect silence). Also, "bishi bishi" (doing things quickly and efficiently, without delay), "dara dara" (doing things slowly, being lazy), "pika pika" (being sparking brand-new, e.g. the sound of gleaming with newness), "boro boro" (being old and dilapidated), "pera pera" (being fluent in a language) and "giri giri" (GEE-ree GEE-ree, with hard G's, a word that means "barely" or "just in time," as in, "we made onto the train in the nick of time," or in the case of a very revealing swimsuit, one that almost shows the woman's nude form). There is an endless supply of these highly descriptive words, and they're quite fun to use.

Dating-sim game price reductions! We're reducing the prices of three classic games from Peach Princess to just $24.95. Now you can enjoy X-Change, Snow Drop and Critical Point at these great new prices. All are great multi-scenario erotic adventures that are great for fans -- enjoy the new discounted games!

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

  • First, for all fans of wild and wacky toys from Japan, we've got Pulip dolls, a really cool full-sized doll similar to Blythe, but with fabulous modern gothic styling -- scary and cool
  • For Totoro fans, a rare treat -- plush fingerpuppets of the great Totoro characters, a product by Sun Arrow
  • For Shirow Masamune fans, we've restocked his best-selling Intron Depot 3 art book, filled with his most incredible artwork ever
  • For fans of our Japanese snacks, we have classic Japanese caramel corn, tasty blueberry "dessert jelly", and for those who want to sample the current health trend in Japan, goma (sesame seed) flavored hard candy...!
  • Also, fresh stock of one of my own favorite items, Japanese kuro-ame ("black candy") caramels from Morinaga
  • Enjoy to really cool Japanese cars, the Nissan Fairlady Z and the Honda S2000, rendered in perfect die-cast detail by Tomica
  • Licca-chan is a super cute line of dolls sold by the Takara toy company for three decades -- now she's been reborn into a "bishoujo Licca" series of cute anime-style figurines, check them out
  • For bento box fans, we've got a very special item for you: a deluxe Hello Kitty bento box that features separate compartments, large size, and is microwavable for your convenience -- comes with a cloth carrying bag, too
  • Enjoy the Nyanko Restaurant series, which features super-cute kitty cats baked into famous Japanese dishes -- comes with random Nyanko figures and chocolate cookies
  • We've got more Japanese signs, this time a Japanese no smoking sign
  • For those who want to enjoy some Japanese items in their homes, we have traditional Japanese "noren" curtains, which make a nice barrier between one room and another
  • For fans of famous Japanese swimsuit idols, we've got the superb "mook" (magazine + photobook) of Yoko Matsugane
  • Finally, enjoy wacky footwear from Japan, more variations of furikake and miso soup, more of the "Joyful Impression" soft cases that hold just about anything, more Hello Kitty business card holders, Japanese bamboo ear cleaners, and other great items. Check them all out!

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

  • For fans of Japanese magazines, we have the sexy new Dela Beppin, the deluxe Beppin that features knock-down gorgeous AV idols and amateur Japanese gals for you
  • Also, the new issues of Shuffle and Sasotte Ageru ("I'm gonna ask you out"), two great amateur magazines from Japan
  • For photobook fans, enjoy the sexy "giri giri" (almost nude, see above) fetish of Haruka, along with the sexy CC Girls, and Ayano Yoshikawa's lovely body
  • We've got fresh stock of the very cool pocket-sized photobooks too, including fresh stock of the popular photobooks which feature pretty high school girls wearing the uniforms of famous schools in Japan
  • For hentai manga customers, we've got another volley of great books, including Apple Comic's Dangerous Play, a new issue of Love Junkies, and the superb Secret Service by Towai Raito
  • Also, a dozen or more restocked items, including the dynamite Nami SOS series, Oshiri Excellent, Older Sister's Secret, as well as a general restocking of Paradise Lost, the excellent hentai Evangelion doujinshi anthology series
  • Also, a great new yaoi comic with erotic kemono themes, great for yaoi fans everywhere
  • If you love doujinshi, we've got more brand new ones, with great books parodying Final Fantasy X-2, Mobile Suit Gundam, and more
  • We've also some great CD-R releases of erotic artwork by Japanese doujin-soft (amateur made computer images) circles
  • Also, an artbook with the collected visual works of talented hentai artist Keisuke Kawara
  • For the pre-weekend update, we've got some great DVDs, starting with a new Masterpiece Concentration release featuring 120 minutes of Shinobu Kisugi -- very erotic (region free)
  • The lovely Aoi Sora (also written Aoi Sola) really shines in her new erotic release, The Secret of Younger Sister (region free)
  • The super busty G-cup Ayami Sakurai is dynamite to see in the new SOD release, My Only Pet is Female Teacher (region free)
  • For bukkake fans, enjoy the great Idol Semen Super Edition, which brings some of the best cup-showering scenes in SOD's history on one disc for you (region free)
  • From Moodyz, we've got value-price reissue of one of our favorites, Akira Watase's poetically erotic "Do you wanna Fuck?" (region 2)
  • Then, enjoy more Japanese women vs. big, black men from the U.S. in a new Moodyz release, "The Girl of a Beautiful Big White Bust, a Black Man, and Sex" (region 2)
  • Finally, we've got fresh stock of some cool DVDs, including Lesbian 120 Minutes, the massively popular Gold Bird and Euro Angels (featuring the Romanian gold medalist Lavinia Milosovici doing nude gymnastics), and fresh stock of the sold-out Animation & Marchen hentai DVD collections.

Remember, J-List carries videos, magazines, photobooks and other items featuring the lovely Yulia Nova, the famous Russian nude model who has become a sensation in Japan and all over the world. J-List is the official international distributor for Yulia goods, and we've got an excellent lineup of her products for you. If you buy 3 or more of Yulia's products (videos, photobooks etc) you get an automatic 10% discount when you checkout, too.

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. If there are any terms we haven't covered adequately, please let us know.

Monday, September 15, 2003

Greetings from J-List September 15, 2003

Hello from Japan, where some English words don't always mean what you think they mean -- for example, a "manicure" means painting your fingernails, and lipstick is called "rouge."

One of the biggest changes to come to Japan during the decade-long Japanese hangover after the bursting of the bubble economy, has been the complete removal of "shushin koyo" or the lifetime employment that most Japanese working for established companies enjoyed for most of the 20th century. Ever since the day Sony announced a major round of layoffs in the late 1990s -- something that just wasn't done in Japan until the company took the bold step -- there has been silent acknowledgement that all employees are subject to potential "risutora," or restructuring, the word the Japanese use for laying off employees. Japan has had trouble coming to grips with a high rate of unemployment, especially for workers over age 50. At the same time, people in their 20s are less interested in joining companies as full-time employees, and are often happy to remain "freeters," or people who work at part-time jobs, changing jobs frequently when it strikes their fancy.

Today is Respect for the Aged Day, a national holiday. There is a high percentage of elderly Japanese, and thanks to the low Japanese birth rate, that number is going nowhere but up, and this day was created in 1966 as a day to celebrate longevity and respect elders. We're going to take Jiichan and Baachan (that is, grandpa and grandma) out for a popular treat in Japan, yakiniku, or Korean style barbecue. Yum!

Announcing the start of 2004 calendar season! Every year at about this time, J-List lists hundreds of fabulous large-format JPOP, anime, idol, art, movie and adult calendars for Japanophiles who want to have something special on their walls in the coming year. Japanese calendars are really beautiful things, with giant poster-sized sheets, high-quality glossy printing, and fabulous photographic and art images for you to enjoy. Since J-List wants everyone to love Japan as we do, we go the extra mile for you, making over 200 unique and special (and sometimes quite bizarre) calendars available to everyone. No matter what your taste, you can find something worth getting -- and these calendars make fantastic Christmas gifts too!

To order, just add any calendars you want to your shopping cart and check out normally. We'll automatically separate all calendars from other items you order, so that they can be held without being charged until we get the calendars in stock and ready to go out to you. In order to ensure that your calendars reach you in perfect condition, we'll need to send them in strong mailing tubes which we've got here. Mailing tubes are $2 each, and two calendars can be rolled carefully and sent together in one tube. Order 4 or more calendars, and your tubes are free. We expect to start to get the calendars in around the middle of October. Note that the window for these special order calendars is very narrow, and preorders will have to be closed by the end of October...so we humbly recommend that you get your orders in as quickly as possible!

A note about the images on the website. The company that publishes these calendars is a very old one, with a century of history, and they don't make the image files for the calendars available in a digital format. We scan small thumbnail images from a large poster which the company sends us, which makes the images kind of blurry. But rest assured, the printing on the actual calendars is all beautiful, full resolution color printing with great quality. To help you decide which calendars you'd like, we've added reference images to the calendars, with art that is representative of what should be inside this year's actual calendars.

In addition to the 200+ calendars we've added to the site, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you, too. They include:

  • First, for fans of the timeless Macross 1984 movie, we've the Catseye fighter that Misa flew in during the battle in Saturn's Rings -- another really cool toys that really transforms
  • We were amazed at how fast the Alien Kubricks sold out -- in less than a day! So we've added more of these really cool detailed toys from Japan's famous Medicom Toy maker
  • Also, look for fresh stock of popular miniature food toys, including Japanese food, Chinese food and desserts
  • For Evangelion fans, a rare Eva 02 toy that you can really have fun with
  • Hiroko Sato has a delightful photobook for you, hardcover with lots of cute photographs inside for your enjoyment
  • For anime fans, check out cool notebooks and notepads of Naruto which we've got for you
  • For fans of our Japanese snacks, we've gotten in some nice ones, including seaweed & potato snacks, miso stewed salmon, and wasabi nori!
  • We have a very nice new bento box set that comes with everything you need for a bento picnic
  • For Kitty fans, a cute Kitty plush that you can change the clothes of -- so cute
  • Also, a cute Kitty kigirumi toy, Kitty wearing a panda costumes
  • Harry Potter fans, we've got a rare item -- Harry Potter ChoroQ cars, although stock is very limited
  • For fans of Japanese food, find more easy-to-use chopsticks in stock, great for full sized hands
  • Then, for fans of Japanese film, we've got Resurrection, a touching story of death and l ife, starring Tsuyoshi Kusanagi and Yuko Takeuchi
  • For Totoro and Miyazaki fans, we've restocked the great Spirited Away plush toys and keychains, including Bou and the No Face window mascot
  • Find fresh stock of Yuko Ogura photobooks, Race Queen photobook, and more -- until they sell out again
  • Finally, we've got plenty of cool and wacky things for your kitchen, office or kitchen -- check out all that we have for you!

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

  • We've got the great new issue of Gokuh, the oversized erotic magazine that's filled with superb angels for you, including a giant poster too
  • For photobook collectors, enjoy the superb G cup 100 cm giant breast idol Yuria Yoshinaga -- you won't forget her beautiful body
  • Then enjoy the sexy anime cosplay of Sayaka Isoyama, who dresses up in many fun costumes to make your fantasies come true
  • If you love hentai manga, enjoy some great new works, including a large format deluxe book by a famous hentai illustrator, Miho Hirose's delightfully erotic "Call Me!!" and more
  • Also, look for a major restocking of over a dozen popular books that had been sold out, including Tag, Love Colle 2, and Immoral
  • For our doujinshi fans, we've got some great new books in for you, brand new erotic doujinshi that just came out at this summer's comic market -- also, we've restocked popular books by Okachimentaiko, TGWOA and more
  • Also, we've got a great hentai CG collection for Lum fans, courtesy of artist Fujio Okamoto
  • Also, we've got a nice new yaoi comic that tells the story of how Lucifer fell from Heaven -- it's quite a believable story ^_^
  • For our DVD customers, enjoy a great bukkake festival with Nao Oikawa and Maria Yumeno (region free)
  • Then enjoy some great sex with Akira Watase, the super-erotic indies idol -- she stars as the ultimate love slave in a new work from IEnergy (region free)
  • Moodyz' "Clothed Female, Naked Male" series continues with 110 minutes of "girls who want to see penises" -- great for fans of the Japanese fetish known as "penis study" (region 2)
  • Then, the incredible Bunko Kanazawa stars in a a new Dream Woman bukkake production from Alala Kurosawa, featuring some of her best bukkake facial work you've ever seen! (region2)
  • Finally, there are various restocked DVDs, including lesbian "deep kiss," fun in SOD's Magic Mirror go-anywhere adult video studio, and more!

Interested in learning Japanese? Remember that J-List loves Japan and always wants to promote the study of Japanese all over the world. To that end, we carry cool things like study cards (blank cards that make it easy to study vocabulary), and the spiffy Zebra Check Set, a system that helps you memorize anything and test your memory. See the "Notebooks, Study Aids" category inside Wacky Things from Japan for these items. Also, be sure to see Peter's general overview of the Japanese language and his advice for students or would-be students, at http://www.peterpayne.net/