Because the Western names are rare in Japan, they can tend to become larger than life to the Japanese. You might know several people named Jason, but in Japan, there's only one: the famous killer from the Friday the 13th movies. If your name is Jason and you introduce yourself to Japanese people, they're likely to associate you with the films and laugh privately. While Japanese pop singer Seiko Matsuda was in New York trying to break into the American music scene during the mid 90's, she had an affair with a man she met in a restaurant named Jeff. The affair became public knowledge, and suddenly everyone in Japan knew about Jeff, to the chagrin of a friend of mine with the same name, who had to endure the giggles of high school girls for months whenever he mentioned his name. If your name is Bob, Japanese might think of Bob Sapp, the American K-1 fighter who appears on Japanese TV almost nightly. Even my own name is famous, thanks to an anime show from the 1970s, Heidi, Girl of the Alps. Heidi's friend is named Peter (although it's pronounced "Peh-tah" in the show, using the German pronunciation), so whenever I introduce myself, Japanese have the image of Heidi's friend in the back of their minds.
Japanese names are interesting to study, too. Japanese put their family names before their first names, so that Maria Takagi's name is Takagi Maria if you're speaking Japanese. It can be confusing, which is part of why we developed the J-List search engine to bring up the same results no matter what word order you use. Japanese female names often have "ko" in them (Keiko, Miko, etc.), which means "child." Boy's names, on the other hand, often reflect their status in the family. If a boy is the oldest son, he'll often have a name that indicates this, by having the number one in it, like Ichiro or Hajime (which means "to begin"). The second son in a family will often have a name like Koji or Kenji -- the "ji" character means second or next. The most "vanilla" sounding names in Japanese (i.e., the names that correspond to John and Mary Smith in English) are Taro and Hanako Yamada. Japanese names are nearly always written in Chinese characters (although they can be written in hiragana), and just as there are various spellings for Western names, there are often many ways to write a person's name in kanji.
When you order a taco in Japan, be careful: the Japanese word for octopus is tako. To differentiate the crustacean from the Mexican food, the Japanese use the plural word "tacos" (takosu) for referring to the food, even if they're talking about just one. One of the most popular snack foods in Japan is takoyaki, which is fried balls of batter with pieces of octopus inside -- it's very tasty on cold winter afternoons. Osaka is the world capital of delicious takoyaki, and if you ever get to that city, be sure to go to Otakoya, a takoyaki shop near the famous Glico neon sign in Osaka's Dotonbori area. Be warned though: you may have to stand in line for a couple of hours to be served -- that's how popular takoyaki is in Japan. Once in rural Japan we happened across a takoyaki vendor who decided to call his shop Tako Bell. My wife and I were completely floored with laughter at this unexpected sight.
Announcing the start of the 2003 Pocky Season! J-List sells hundreds of types of Japanese snacks, gum and traditional Japanese foods for you to try. One of our most popular items is Pocky, the chocolate covered pretzel treat from Glico. Customers love our Pocky selection, but unfortunately, Japan's summer months are very hot and humid, which causes the Pocky to melt -- so we have to stop carrying it during the hottest part of the summer. Now Pocky is back at J-List, with some great new flavors, including Sweet Pumpkin and Extra Chocolate Mousse Pocky, as well as your old favorite classic flavors. Yum! As always, you get discounts for buying 10 or more boxes of Pocky.
We're happy to see Phantom of Inferno, a great PG-rated interactive anime game you play on a DVD player, is proving to be a popular item. We had mistakenly stated that this was a region 1 DVD, playable on North American players only, but the disc is actually region free, so customers all over the world can try it out.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of the classic anime Urusei Yatsura, the hit manga and anime by Rumiko Takahashi, we've got a really special item: a series of extremely detailed PVC figures from Furuta, with full sets in stock (including full sets with the rare item)
- The Japanese don't really have Halloween like they have in America, but their tradition of cosplay is just as strong -- we've got some fun items for anyone wanting to dress up, including fake boobs, a sexy leopard's outfit and more
- In addition to the new Pocky, mentioned above, we've got great miso soup, tasty furikake (just sprinkle it over white rice for an instant meal), and traditional Japanese throat candy
- For fans of extremely cute stuff from Japan, enjoy cute Nyanko Restaurant stationary, featuring those super cute cats by SAN-X
- Also for Kitty fans, fresh stock of the ultra-cool Sanrio Columbus roly-poly toys, like the old Weebles that we played with back in the 1970s
- In the same vein, we've got Usako Friends shrinky-dinks -- so cool!
- For bento fans, a very special Hello Kitty bento box with two large compartments and a cool cloth carrying bag
- Got a portable phone? Keep it clean with special phone wipers that we've got in stock
- Then, from Dr. Ion, we've got a handy train pass/credit card/ID holder that emits what the Japanese call "minus ions" or negatively-charged ions, a great and wacky item from Japan
- Also, more Hello Kitty ice cube trays, a hit item!
- For fans of our miniature food toys, which are extremely details, we've added fresh stock of the Family Restaurant, Sushi and Japanese Food toys, with both individual items and full sets available
- Totoro and Ghibli fans, we've added fresh stock of several items, including Totoro stamps, Totoro and Catbus plush toys, and the ever-popular Bou Nezumi plushies from Sun Arrow
- For Race Queen fans, we've got more copies of the very cool Race Queen Hundred Costume Catalog
- Also, a restocking of many other nice photobooks, including popular works by Yuko Ogura, and more!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of incredibly beautiful Japanese kogals, we've got the new Urecco Gal, just loaded with the most beautiful girls you have ever seen
- For photobooks fans, we've got some great new items for you, including Kaori Shimamura's elegant new nude hardcover offering
- The lovely Haruka Nayuta is an incredibly beautiful "Cat Lady" from Japan, and we're sure you'll enjoy her sexy new photobook
- Also, we've got a very erotic "pop de cute" mini-photobook of the private love and sex of four fab girls from Tokyo, as well as fresh stock of many other great photobooks (Giri Giri Fish, Chinatsu Ride That Bicycle, and Smart Girls Remix)
- For hentai manga fans, we've got some great items for you, including SM Love Song by Onihime and the fantastic The Girl with Peek-a-Boo Breasts, by The Seiji, as well as a great new Love Hina/Please Teacher hentai doujinshi anthology manga
- Also, another large update of some really popular manga, including Pururun Seminar, See Through Angel, Lovea, and the dynamite Colors Anthology Comics
- Like erotic doujinshi? We have a half dozen or more new books for you, with great new items, Gundam Seed parody books, lesbian dick girl doujinshi and more, including the English-language Dirty Pair doujinshi Nostalgia
- We've restocked one of the most popular adult toys in our history, the cute and highly functional Rabbit Rotor, a compact little bunny that can do some amazing things
- For our DVD customers, we've got a great volley of new works for you, starting with more erotic late-night Japanese TV on DVD for you, with lots of fun sexual antics hosted by Nao Oikawa (region free)
- Then, for fans of Maria Takagi, who has become one of Japan's top AV stars almost overnight, we've got a super hardcore release by Calen (region free)
- See four beautiful girls in a major smack-down, in SOD's latest release in The Lesbian Fight series (region free)
- For fans of the old "Love and Ero Pop Magazine" by Soft on Demand, Lovers Pop, we've got a great SOD outlet release, featuring bold and fashionable sex in Tokyo's Yoyogi Park, and much more (region free)
- Then, fans of the busty Anna Ohura rejoice, as we've got a superb new DVD by this incredible woman, featuring four hours of her best busty sex! Enjoy some of her best sex ever, by customer request (region free)
- Then, for fans of dynamite hentai anime on DVD, we've got the new Let's Go Marine-chan, a fabulous Japan-released hentai anime title from PinkPineapple (region2)
- Finally, some great newly restocked DVD titles, including Masterpiece Concentation Outdoor Nude, Aoi Sora's super erotic Contrary Soap Heaven, Big Morkal's 4 hour sampler DVD and more Adult Video Wrestling for you to enjoy!
J-List has a lot of products, so it's not always easy to find what's new. You can use the easy "three day link" form, which we've re-enabled on the site, to easily find products that have been updated since you checked J-List last. Also, to see all products in J-List in order of when they were updated, just click the "view all products" in the upper left hand corner.
Do you love the anime films of Hayao Miyazaki? Remember that J-List stocks all the excellent region 2 DVD releases for Studio Ghibli movies like My Neighbor Totoro, Castle in the Sky Laputa, Princess Mononoke and his Lupin III classic, The Castle of Caliostro. These DVDs are released in Japan directly by the studio and include many features that make them great for collectors. All discs feature English subtitles and/or dubbed tracks and are great for fans who want the definitive versions of these anime classics overseen by Mr. Miyazaki himself. The only catch is, you need a region free DVD player to watch them -- and J-List humbly recommends the three excellent units we currently sell.