Hair loss is big business in Japan, and many companies provide services for Japanese who find themselves getting a bit of "bar code hair" on top. National chains like Adelance and Art Nature and Leave 21 use beautiful models like former Race Queen Miho Yoshioka to put a bright and happy face on the hair loss industry. Visit one of their clean locations and they'll use modern technology to investigate the reason your hair is thinning, and advise you on the best course of action (treatment, implants, wigs and so on). In Japan's aging society, treating hair loss is a booming industry, and I've even seen TV commercials advertising to women who experience hair loss in their later years.
Throughout the 1980s and early 90s, American companies struggled with the problem of how to do business in Japan. With its complex distribution systems and tendency to do business through shoukai (personal introductions), Japan was not an easy place for American companies to sell products. All that changed when Toys R Us entered the Japanese market, growing rapidly to 140 stores and changing the way toys were distributed in Japan -- and of course putting many smaller chains out of business in the process. Suddenly, American brands had a way to bring their products into Japan in large numbers, through the Toys R Us system, and dozens of products that would never have taken root in Japan, from Brio trains to Legos to Milton Bradley board games, are now quite popular. J-List has also had to deal with the changes brought about by Toys R Us's affect on the market -- in the seven years we've been in business, we've had several of the distributors we buy products from go bankrupt, forcing us to find other suppliers. Once, while driving in my Mazda Bongo Friendee, I saw a surprising thing: a small toy store that we had shopped at occasionally in the past went out of business, and was replaced by a store selling Buddhist altars and gravestones to elderly Japanese, a sure sign of the changes that are taking place here. As Costco and Walmart increase their interest in the country, Japan is probably in store for more changes.
Part of the reason why Japan can look so strange to outsiders is its tendency for them to do things as a group, something that's rarely done in America, a country that places importance on individuality rather than everyone working in harmony. One example of Japan's moving as a group is "koromo-gae" (koh-roh-mo-GA-eh, lit. "changing clothes"), when you put away your winter clothes and bring out the summer clothes you've got in storage. For Japanese school students, koromo-gae means the day you change from your winter uniform to the cooler summer uniform, or vice-versa in the autumn. For virtually every student in the country, the changeover takes place on June 1 and November 1 -- on those days and only those days, regardless of the actual weather or what part of Japan you live in. The prospect of millions of students changing from warm-weather to cooler-weather clothing on the exact same morning of the same day is vaguely unsettling to Westerners. Because Americans don't have a set day to switch from summer mode to winter mode, we tend to wear short-sleeve shirts fairly deep into autumn, and it's common for Japanese to ask "Aren't you cold?" to us even though it might still be a balmy October day outside
It's time for some "koromo-gae" at J-List, too. We're extremely proud of the success of our J-List trademark wacky Japanese T-shirts, and we thank all J-List customers for your support. Because not every part of the world offers T-shirt weather all year around, we've printed the first-ever long-sleeve crewneck and hoody versions of our most popular shirts, the classic "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend." Now you can don these wacky and bizarre message everywhere you go, even in the colder months! All shirts are printed in the U.S. and all sizes are standard U.S. sizes. For customers in other countries, we've got a convenient size chart so you can check the sizes.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for Hello Kitty fans, we've got a super item for you this Christmas: a "Hello Kitty Dancing Santa" that features Japan's most famous character dancing as she sings Japanese Christmas carols, so cool!
- We've got other cool Kitty stuff in too, including Kitty Monjayaki (a traditional Japanese food), Kitty Monaka (chocolate in waffle cone) and more
- For fans of our other Japanese snack foods, we've got fresh stock of the delicious Mont Blanc and Tira Misu Pocky-like snacks, new sugarless gum from Japan, and more
- If you didn't get enough Domo-kun last update, we've restocked even more cool Domo-kun items, including the popular plush Domo-kun cubes that turn any room into a great Domo-kun shrine
- Also, some great traditional Japanese green tea in easy-to-prepare tea bags -- just like being in a sushi shop
- Want something esoteric from Japan? We've got part 2 of the Shows Enamel Signs series, featuring real signs that are incredibly famous to all Japanese, advertising products that have been around for half a century or more
- Another cool thing from Japan, we've got a series of mysterious phenomenon from around the world, rendered in fun miniature toys
- For fans of wacky Japanese messages, we've got more wacky Japanese "pin badges" with super cute messages on them
- We've also got a great deluxe idol magazine featuring super cute and famous idols lke Yuko Ogura, Yumiko Shaku, Nao Nagazawa and more
- It's getting cold, so you should warm yourself with the popular heating pads that are so popular in Japan -- a pack of 5 large heating pads that last up to 18 hours is just $3.50, a great price
- Studying Japanese? We've got some handy pocket dictionaries in stock that are great for those with some Japanese
- For fans of cute things from Japan, we recommend the Ham-Chan cute hamster rocket pencils that are really fun to write with, along with cola-scented gum erasers
- For fans of Japan's high-end cold cast anime statues, which really take your breath away with their detail and beauty, we have a Guilty Gear X "Millia Rage" figure
- Do you like funny English? We've got more wacky notebooks with funny English printed on them
- For fans of our unique anime toys from Japan, we've restocked the popular Bluer Than Indigo figure, the cool Haro robot clock from Gundam, two often-requested items
- Look for fresh stock of Tsutomu Nihei's popular art book "Blame! and so on"
- For Shirow Masamune fans, fresh stock of the Ghost in the Shell bilingual comics as well as the last stock of the poster books which are one of the best-selling items at J-List today
- Finally, for fans of Japan's cool Gothic fashion culture, we've got fresh stock of the Homemade Gothic Lolita, which includes patterns to make the cool-looking clothes in the book
- Finally, various other cool toy and characters items in time for Christmas, including Jiji pencil cases, Hello Kitty pachinko (cool!), Sanrio Weebles-like egg toys, cute Nyanko Nabe cats, and fresh stock of the popular Hello Kitty USB hub!
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- First, we've got the new issues of Video Boy and Best Video, two great magazines that are filled with the most famous professional adult video idols in Japan
- Also, a super erotic magazine featuring Kirari Koizumi and a host of other cute girls in fun cosplay
- For fans of our discounted $5 magazines, we've got a great volley of products that turned up in our stock room -- so you have the chance to buy these formerly unavailable books and save money too
- Super cute "campaign girl" (similar to a race queen, they promote products with their sexy bodies) Yuu Misaki looks great in her new hardcover photobook
- Also, enjoy the very erotic bondage photographs of famous Japanese pro wrestler Takako Inoue in her newest release
- Super cute swimsuit idols Sayaka Uchida and Sayaka Numajiri appear together in a super-cute double photobook, filled with great kogal style
- Then we've got fresh stock of several popular photobook items, including Yukari's oh-so-sweet Chance photobook and the dynamite Endless Race Queen photobook
- Yui Toshiki's full-color Yui Shop series set records for hentai art sales, and now there's a great remix, Yui Shop Mini Black, issued at a great new price
- We've restocked the popular Chichinoe Plus erotic art book, also
- For our hentai manga fans, enjoy many great new books, including the erotic Honey Angel Slave by Hashi Cube, Let Me Lick Your Stick by The Mikikazu, and a great new kemono manga by Masaki Kamitou
- Also, a major restocking of popular hentai manga including Private Teacher Miki, Leave it to Big Breasts, Comic Maker, Capricious of You and many more
- For our DVD fans, we've got some more great items for you, starting with a new Nao Oikawa's Bukkake Itassho, featuring wacky Japanese late-night television for adults, captured on a great DVD for fans all over the world (region free)
- Then we've got a new "roshutsu" (outdoor nude) offering from Dogma's Tohjiro, featuring nudity and sex in public places, starring four top-name actresses (region free)
- There's more "penis study" for fans of "tamakeri" or ball kicking/teasing from Soft on Demand, as inexperienced girls play with a man's testicles for the first time (region free)
- Also from SOD, enjoy the Super High Class Beautiful Legs Club, featuring erotic women with gorgeous legs, silky stockings, high high heels, and sexy mini-skirts (region free)
- Finally, we've got two great "Semen Champion Carnival" releases from Moodyz, in which top stars combat each other in teams or individually, trying to earn the Moodyz Cup for Scramble Semen Actress, directed by the father of bukkake, Kazuhiko Matsumoto (region 2).
Looking for some really unique gifts to give out this Christmas? J-List stocks over 2500 different unique products from Japan, from bizarre things that you never knew existed to supremely cute items for your home or room, to products for adults, of course. Why not browse J-List's list and see what we have for that special Japanophile on your Christmas list? Note that if ordering items from Japan, SAL shipping should be avoided as it tends to slow down as Christmas draws near.