Well, the Japanese military is off to Iraq. Amid a massive political debate that has Japanese questioning the nature of their support for their allies as well as grappling with how they should feel about their wartime past, Japan is sending the first 30 members of its Self Defense Forces to support peacekeeping efforts in Iraq. It's a very controversial decision for Japan's government to make, though, since most Japanese are against sending troops anywhere outside of Japan. Part of the problem is that Japan's constitution specifically forbids its military from waging war overseas, and so the decision to send troops is being viewed as a constitutional problem. But Japan is a country where in-groups are very important, and being "nakama-hazure" (nah-kah-mah ha-ZOO-ray), or outside the group that includes the U.S. and Great Britain, would be something Japan's government would not like at all. The decision to send troops is really based on wanting to be seen as doing their part in the world stage than anything else.
One of the core concepts to Japanese society is an unstated belief that all Japanese are basically "the same" (known as the Myth of Japanese Uniformity). While Japanese would be insulted at anyone insinuating that all Japanese look alike to foreigners (although I've been told that all gaijin look alike to Japanese), they do have a tendency to see themselves as coming from the same stock and having the same features, e.g. black hair, "black" eyes (brown pupils, but the Japanese always insist their eyes are black). This belief in genetic sameness is a useful social engine for creating a unified national identity and removing discrimination from Japanese society, but here's the rub: there is actually a wide variety of features among "Japanese" people, with obvious influences from Korean, Mongolian and Ainu blood, differences in skin color and the depth of facial features, size and shape of the eyes, and so on. Conveniently for their harmony-based society, the Japanese don't "see" differences in facial features of their own people, allowing everyone to feel that they're part of the same homogenous group.
A major challenge for men learning Japanese is to avoid picking up the nuances of women's speech, but since we're often learning from female teachers or girlfriends or wives, a lot of the input we receive is from females. There are many specific phrases that make up "female" Japanese, such as tag particles on the ends of sentences ("ne" or "kashira" on the ends of sentences, both of which mean "Isn't it?" or "Don't you?"), or using first-person pronouns that only females use ("atashi"). To balance myself out while learning Japanese back in college, I read lots of Fist of the North Star manga, which pushed me in the other direction, making me talk like a ridiculous parody of a macho man. When learning a language, there's no substitute for having native speaking friends of both sexes who can provide feedback to you. One great resource for me at SDSU was the Japan-America Friendship Club, a group where Japanese learning English and all students interested in Japanese could mingle and make friends. I wonder if it's still around?
Still looking for a really unique 2004 calendar for your wall? J-List still has 50 different really cool Japanese calendars in stock for you to choose from, although prices have been reduced to rock-bottom and they're selling fast. Choose from our great JPOP, traditional, photo, bikini idol or mature calendars -- you'll love the way these large-format glossy calendars look on your wall!
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you.
o First, for fans of the very detailed fish tank replicas from Tomy, we've got two new varieties for with new varieties of fish: clownfish (for fans of Finding Nemo) and really cool looking jellyfish
For our adult customers, we've got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of Japanese magazines, we've got the very sexy ONE-X, for fans of experienced "onee-san" (oh-NAY-san) type girls, aged 20-24
- Then for fans of the enduring fetish of "hitozuma" (lit. "a person's wife"), or married women, we have the new issue of Yappari Hitozuma Dechu, or "I'm sure I love married women after all"
- For lovers of Japan's dynamite leg, panty, stocking and up-skirt fetishism, we have the new Noble Legs by Costume Play, which you won't beleive
- For hardcover photobook collectors, we've got some new items for you, including great new stylish nudes in the style we've come to call "Girls in Underoos"
- For fans of doujinshi, the delightfully erotic underground comics from Japan, we have a huge volley of all-new books posted for you (but choose fast, they won't stay around for long)
- Also, we've got some great new hentai manga for you, including Nanami Shizuka's "Milky Girls," Toen Comics' "Dangerous Emissions," the very erotic manga "Lewd Touching" and more
- For fans ofour fantastic DVDs from Japan, enjoy Ai Kurosawa as an ultra-elegant "Highest Class Soap Lady," making men clean and satisfying their slippery desires at the same time (region free)
- For fans of "sentai" (fighting shows like Power Rangers), we've got Yui Kayama vs. Mai Haruna in a great deluxe Super Erotic Ninja sex-fest (region free)
- Then from popular director Hajime, enjoy the pure sex of pure Japanese amateur girls, great to watch because everything Hajime does is 100% authentic (region free)
- Finally, find various restocked and price-reduced DVDs in stock for you!
Remember that J-List carries virtually all English-language Japanese dating-sim games available, so you can find all the best games in one place, and at great prices. Peach Princess, G-Collections, Hobibox, Himeya Soft, JAST USA and Milky House, we've got them all and all are in stock in our warehouse in San Diego. If you're unsure which games you think you'd like, feel free to email us for a recommendation! Order 4 or more games and get 20% off, too!