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!