Friday, November 21, 2003

Greetings from J-List November 21, 2003

Hello and Happy Friday from all of us at J-List! We've got a great update for you tonight just in time for the weekend!

One of the most frustrating things about living in Japan is being on a different wavelength from everyone else -- the common pool of "joshiki" (common sense) that all Japanese plug into doesn't seem to work for us foreigners. Japanese change from winter to summer clothes pretty much on the same day, due to the standardization of the educational system on a national level, but foreigners don't know that just because the first of October has come we should suddenly stop wearing T-shirts and start donning sweaters. In Japan, shops are often closed one day during the week, usually Tuesday or Wednesday, but gaijin don't know this -- and it seems we always make a special trip only to find the place we want to shop at closed. Christmas music usually stops around the New Year's Day, but Japanese shops and radio stations often play it all winter long, which is slightly odd to my gaijin mind. Oh well, it's all part of the fun of living in a place like Japan.

One of my favorites from my YBIJTLW list, located on my personal homepage: "You've been in Japan too long when it takes you several seconds of deep thought to recall the first name of the President of the United States." It's true -- you'd be surprised what living in a foreign country can do to your ability to recall seldom-used information, or even remember some English vocabulary words. Try going years without ever hearing or uttering difficult words, like "gynecologist" or "irreplaceable" -- they can be quite difficult to dredge up from the depths of your memory, even if English is your native language. It's especially bad for native English speakers who work as English teachers in Japan, because you can go for months without hearing any English except the simplified speech of your students, which invariably begins to affect your English in a negative way. In the same way that living in a country like India or New Zealand would begin to affect your own spoken English over time, living in Japan can takes its toll, too.

Japan is not, all things considered, the country you should come to if you're disabled in some way. Standards about wheelchair access are haphazard all around the country, with some cities trying to modernize their facilities, especially public places like parks, so that people with disabilities can use them. Some platforms on some train stations have some kind of wheelchair access, but if the station you're going to doesn't have the same access, it's quite difficult to use the train. One of the primary motivating factors for the progress of Japanese society is how their country looks in the eyes of the foreigners who visit or live here, and Japanese are aware that North American and European foreigners tend to look down on Japan's record when it comes to dealing with its disabled citizens. As a general rule, though, many Japanese will tell you that Japan is a small country without much land (Japan has a population density of 335 persons per square km, vs. just 29 in the U.S.), and just can't have the same amount of access that people in wheelchairs enjoy in the U.S. About a kilometer from J-List there's an interesting sports center for disabled people, with facilities for swimming, wheelchair racing, wheelchair basketball, and other activities.

Remember that we're in the middle of 2004 calendar season, with hundreds of great anime, JPOP, art, idol, traditional and nude calendars in stock for you to order. The warehouse that we constructed this summer is serving us well, allowing us to stock more calendars for you than we ever have in the past. Please note, however, that preorders are now closed for calendars, and already our stock of calendars is starting to sell out, with a half-dozen calendars selling out every day or so. Please check out our stock before the calendars you want are gone! Remember, order 4 or more calendars and get an extra 15% off, and free mailing tubes, too.

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

  • First, for fans of incredibly cute things from Japan, we've got Hidamari no Tami, a happy character who rocks his head from side to side via solar power - a special Christmas item!
  • Also, a traditional wooden Christmas Tree that's popular in Japan this year
  • If you're a Star Wars fans, be sure to pick up the deluxe soft vinyl completed model by Kotobuki, featuring Luke Skywalker in Stormtrooper armor from A New Hope
  • For all fans of Japanese pop culture, we've got a great set of four photobooks, loaded with information on Japan as seen through movie poster art, cosplay and more
  • For fans of Japan's wonderful high-end character toys, we've got the new issue of Bean's, which features beautiful photography of cool Blythe, Kubrick and other great toys from Japan
  • Masumi Toyooka is one of the popular stars of Battle Royale II, and she has many fans in Japan -- enjoy her sweet hardcover photobook in stock now
  • For fans of Japan's famous school uniform culture, we've got two new photobooks that show many pretty models wearing some of Japan's most famous uniforms -- great for cosplay fans
  • We have some great snack foods from Japan, including traditional Japanese mustard, Milky Cocoa soft candies and Hello Kitty mayonnaise flavored fried squid
  • Also, we've restocked our popular Hello Kitty toilet paper (both colors)
  • We've also got super cute Fruit Yogurt Pretzels from the Nyanko Restaurant character series
  • Then enjoy the delightful swimsuit offering of Mai Mochizuki, a beautiful and popular cute idol in Japan today
  • For fans of CLAMP, we've got a great 2 volume set of their newest manga work, XXX Holic
  • We've got more wacky Japanese sign plates, including "Do Not Urinate Here" and a classic Japanese exit sign
  • Also, new wacky Japanese colorful "pin badges" for your collection
  • We've got some fun items for you, including more Japanese play money and Japanese train tickets (complete with ticket clipper)
  • We have some cool traditional cloth drawstring bags with hiragana on them, very cool
  • Finally, enjoy cute "Lucky Cat" stickers, more varieties of Pocky and Pretz in stock for you, a great way to make coffee in the Japanese style, Hello Kitty watercolor painting, and more!

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

  • First, enjoy the new issue of Senningiri, featuring delightful kogals from Shibuya
  • We've got the new issue of I'll Give Myself To You, for fans of erotic hardcore sex by Japanese amateurs
  • For fans with an international eye, we've got the new issue of Bachelor, Japan's magazine for fans of busty women all around the world, with girls from Germany, Czech, Latvia and more
  • Also: a great treat for our magazine customers, we've added abut 15-20 items that were previously out of stock, including many of our popular $5 magazine -- but they'll go fast!
  • For hardcover photobook fans, enjoy the very erotic offering of Kaori, with her dynamite body that will amaze you
  • For hentai manga fans, we've got some top-quality adult comics for you, with two great works by Sho Katase, Hiroshi Kawamoto's erotic Monstrous Big Breasts, and parody Shirow Masamune hentai
  • We've also got lots of restocked comics, including Buttagiri Sisters, Kunoichi Premium, Sacrifice, and more
  • For DVD fans, we've got some great new items for you, starting with a great parody of "sentai" or colorful combat teams like Power rangers, this time with a very erotic twist (region free)
  • Then enjoy the erotic sex of Mai Sakashita, who stars in 24 Hours Bukkake Semen & Sex, a great work from Soft on Demand (region free)
  • From SOD's Deep's label, enjoy a great 2-in-1 release of Lesbian Hospital vol. 3 & 4, collected on a great bargain-priced DVD for you (region free)
  • The erotic gals of Eastern Europe are back again, with more erotic Czech girls from Prague (region free)
  • Then enjoy the best lesbian sex of U&K's Lesbian Ecstasy Best Vol. 1, with their most erotic lesbian performances ever (region free)
  • From Waap Entertainment, enjoy a great Cosplay Bukkake Special featuring Nao. fulfilling your erotic wishes (region 2)
  • Then we've got a great treat for fans of our bargain-priced Soft on Demand Outlet DVD titles: a full dozen titles added to the outlet page, with great titles like Super Bishoujo Kiss, Cat Fight Network Manticore, Kiss Battle Royale and more available for a great price!

Remember that J-List carries something that's almost impossible to get outside of Japan: authentic, beautifully hand-sewn Japanese high school uniforms, made just for you by the famous Matsukameya of Nagoya. Each uniform is sewn just for you, to the sizes you specify on our detailed chart, and the quality is not to be believed. If you love Japanese "cosplay" and want to try on a real Japanese female high school uniform (the company takes pride in offering sizes large enough for men to wear them), please see the excellent items we have on our site. We also have uniforms for guys, too!

Monday, November 17, 2003

Greetings from J-List November 17, 2003

Hello again from Japan!

One thing I've learned about the Japanese is that they sometimes go overboard with love of things from America and Europe. There's a word for this -- seiyo suhai shugi, or worship of the West, which describes the tendency of some Japanese to view anything from America and Europe as better than Japan. I was reminded of this when Keanu Reeves came to Japan as part of the promotion of Matrix Revolutions. He was interviewed by several famous Japanese "talents" (television personalities), including Ai Iijima, who has a bit of an interesting past herself (she was the top adult film star of the 1990s until she quit to appear on talk shows). It's impossible to describe how excited all the Japanese talents were about meeting this big star from America -- Ai-chan could hardly breathe. In true Japanese fashion, the Japanese showered their guest with gifts, including a beautiful Japanese shamisen (he played it like an electric guitar).

It goes without saying that beside Keanu Reeves was Natsuko Toda, the Queen of Movie Subtitling in Japan, who never misses the chance to share the limelight of a visiting Hollywood star and interpret Japanese for him. Ms. Toda's translation skills are so much in demand by Hollywood studios that she effectively decides what movies Japanese will see and when. The art of compressing a complex film into two lines of subtitles is a difficult one, and if it's not done well Japanese moviegoers won't understand the story, and ticket sales will suffer. Big-ticket movies like Titanic and Spiderman and The Matrix all make sure to have her on board when releasing a film in Japan. In the case of Lord of the Rings films (the Japanese title for which sounds like "Road of the Ring" to Japanese fans, unfortunately), the choice of Toda for the translations may have been a mistake, because of her lack of familiarity with original works, either the English originals or established Japanese translations. As a result, there are several mis-translations and errors in the Japanese subtitles of the first two movies. You can see Natsuko Toda sitting beside Nicholas Cage in this funny commercial for a Japanese pachinko maker:

There's a wacky thing that Japanese do to money: fold a 1000 yen bill so that Souseki Natsume (the 19th century novelist who adorns the Japanese 1000 yen note) makes sad or happy faces, depending on which way you look at the bill. I'll teach you how it's done so you can amaze your friends with this great Japanese trick. First, take a bill and make an outward fold where each of his eyes are. Make an inward fold through the middle of his face, so that his eyes are higher than his nose (like little mountains). If you look at the bill from above, the face will look sad; from below, and he'll look happy. Virtually all Japanese known this silly trick, and would be surprised if any non-Japanese knew it. Here's an example of what it'll look like when you're done: . If you don't have any Japanese money lying around, it should work pretty much the same with other bills, too. (If you like the way Japanese money looks, we've got some cool Japanese "money choco" in stock today that you should check out.)

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

  • Our new long-sleeved crewneck shirts and hoodies are off to a great start, and we're helping them out by adding new designs already: a hoody version of Emergency exit and hoody and sweatshirt versions of Beware of Perverts
  • Our Totoro and Hello Kitty soft blankets from Japan are selling extremely well, and some have sold through more than half the stock we got in two weeks ago -- we've added three more deluxe Totoro blankets, which comes in beautiful gift boxes, to the site now
  • For fans of the timeless Street Fighter games, we've got a very special item: a special set of figures of Chun Li and Cammy, featuring sexy and exciting poses from the games -- and full sets are available!
  • Also: two new issues of Figure Maniacs, the last word in highly detailed anime figures from Japan, and the excellent volume six of Gothic & Lolita Bible, for fans of all things gothic
  • I am personally a big fan of Castle in the Sky Laputa -- we've got a very rare licensed character mirror in stock that is great
  • We have some interesting music CDs from Japan for you, one featuring famous folk songs of western Japan, and a bizarre item we couldn't resist adding to the site, "Reggae Christmas Carols"
  • For Hello Kitty fans, we've got more of the cool bathroom accessories that will turn your guest bathroom into a conversation piece among all your friends
  • Also, enjoy Hello Kitty ochazuke, delicious salmon, seaweed and rice cracker pieces that you eat over white rice with boiling water -- the nori comes in Kitty shapes, too!
  • For other fans of our delicious Japanese food items, enjoy deluxe miso soup, tasty chocolate 5 yen coins, fresh new Hello Kitty Pretz and Fran Strawberrya great way to try Japanese mayonnaise, and more
  • Ochaken, e.g. Tea Dog, is a super cute character from Japan who promotes healthy tea -- we've got some rare Tea Dog plush pets in stock for you
  • Studying Japanese? We've restocked our handy dictionaries which are great for customers who have studied some Japanese
  • For anime fans, we've got the original manga that Please Teacher was based on, a great treat for fans
  • We've got some more Japanese hot springs powder, this time from Kusatsu Hot Springs, the most famous onsen town in Gunma prefecture (and my own personal favorite place to bathe)
  • We've restocked the fun Japanese Money Chocolate, which looks like Japanese paper money and comes with fun-to-collect money cards inside
  • Finally, look for wacky Japanese danger signs, happy hooks that will brighten your room, more Japanese "congratulations envelopes" that are so beautiful, more delicious Melty Kiss, and other fun items!

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

  • For those who love big, busty Japanese girls like Alice Hoshi, we have the great new issue of Gal's Dee, featuring only girls of size "D" cup or bigger
  • Then don't miss the new issue of Shuffle, featuring super erotic amateur having sex in love hotels
  • For fans of the Japanese fetish of "hitozuma" or married women, we've got a new issue if Bizuma Hacker for you to enjoy
  • For photobook fans, we've got some great items, starting with the hardcover offering of Yoshimi Asada, Dolce
  • Then enjoy the super sexy photobook of Noriko Aota, a stylish and erotic Japanese woman with European elegance
  • Leg fetish fans, don't miss the super sexy Micro Mini, featuring elegant long legs, silky stockings and short mini-skirts for you
  • Also, we've got fresh stock of some great photobooks that had sold out, including Kaori Shimamura's PREM, Alice Ogura's erotic 2nd photobook, Ayuri Iisaku's erotic Flexible photobook, Kaoru and Kaoru Private Collection, and more
  • We have some great hentai manga for you, starting with the sexual exploits of newscaster Miki, top quality erotica and tentacle sex with the oddly-named Do Tomorrow is a New Day?, the busty Secret Service and more
  • Also, we've restocked our adult manga, including branded, Condensed Milky, Sexy and Charming Wife's Apron, and more
  • For Shirow Masamune fans, look for fresh stock of Jashin Hunter (often translated as Demon Hunter) Japanese novels illustrated by the master illustrator, as well as fresh stock of the popular Intron Depot 3 art book
  • For yaoi fans, we have another popular issue of the top-quality Gush Mania, featuring erotic stories by ten different yaoi artists
  • For our DVD customers, we've got more great new releases from Japan, starting with a new Nao Oikawa's Bukkake Ittassho, the bizarre late-night sex TV series that is available on DVD (region free)
  • Hitomi Hayasaka, one of our favorites here at J-List, satisfies your every wish in a new cosplay DVD -- she looks great dressing up in different uniforms as she performs for you (region free)
  • From Dogma, see a great team of four "chijo" (slutty women, the opposite of the word "chikan"), who take on a roomful of virgin guys and take their cherries with vigor (region free)
  • SOD's Fan Thanks Day tradition continues as Kokoro Amano shows her gratitude to her fans for supporting her, by gathering two dozen fans and performing sex acts on them (region free)
  • See the best erotic works of Nao Oikawa in the new Remix, by Soft on Demand, featuring her great works at a great price (region free)
  • From Moodyz, we have a new Clothed Female naked Male, featuring bold and fun adventures with girls who want to tease and perform experiments on the male penis (region 2)
  • Finally, look for various erotic DVD releases, including fresh stock of Super Angle of Oppai and Tease Fetish Angles in Huge Boobies, by Anna Ohura, Triple Lesbian in Office, Manami Suzuki Drinks Semen, and the great "Best Choice Edition a Couple of Female Lovers from Cover to Cover." Also, fresh stock of the popular Gold Bird and Euro Angels!

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. 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 the objet d'art that it is. Why not get a few, and give them out as gifts? We now give you a hefty 20% discount for getting 3 or more, so they're a great idea for Christmas gifts. Production has totally stopped on this item, and we expect that our stock will run out sometime within the next couple of months.