Japan is reeling after the capture of three Japanese citizens in Iraq, a journalist and two humanitarian aid workers, by terrorists who demand the removal of 550 Japanese troops from the country. It's a very sad situation, and we pray for the safety of the three innocent hostages. For the past 120 years, Japan has had a strong desire to be seen as a modern nation that can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with other great countries of the world, and this is partially why Prime Minister Koizumi decided to send troops to Iraq, to show the world that Japan is a full international citizen. The Japanese people are very peace-loving, however, and public support for sending the troops is very low, as it has always been whenever the issue of sending Japan's military as peacekeepers to other lands crops up. Japan is such a peaceful place, with no guns or wars and little violence, that Japanese can be pretty naive about what the rest of the world is really like. There's a word for this in Japanese: "heiwa-boke" (hei-WA BOH-kay), which literally translates as "peace stupor."
Japan is very different from other parts of the world, and some concepts that operate in the U.S. or Europe don't work here at all. Unlike in America, where buying a home is one of the best investments you can make, houses in Japan are virtually valueless because no one would ever want to live in a "used" house -- it's far more common to tear down whatever house is on the land you've purchased and build a new house for yourself. In the U.S., making improvements to your home is usually free, since your house goes up in value after the improvements are completed. This doesn't work in Japan, since homes don't have much value of their own. Nevertheless, remodeling homes (which the Japanese call "reform") is getting very popular as Japanese discover it can be easier to use what you've got instead of building a new house from scratch. We're "reforming" our Japanese home right now, tearing out several old rooms to create separate bedrooms for the kids and an office for me.
High school baseball is really big in Japan, and teams from each of Japan's 47 prefectures try all year long to win the right to go to Koshien (KOH-shi-en) Stadium near Osaka, where the national championships are held. To go to Koshien is the dream of every high school baseball player, and there are many manga comics and anime shows that capture the romance and adventure of a Koshien race. By an amazing coincidence, the creator of the popular baseball manga Touch was born in Isesaki, where J-List is based, and baseball fans here seem to have an extra keen affinity for Koshien, vicariously reliving their youth while they watch the games that are broadcast on national television. They're also watching for the professional stars of the future -- Hideki Matsui gained national attention while he was at Koshien a decade ago, when he was walked every time he got up to the plate by pitchers who feared his powerful swing, creating a public outcry. We have Battle Stadium, a great Japanese film about Koshien, in stock today.
For the new update, we've got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for Totoro and Studio Ghibli fans, we've got two really cool items for you: wind-up Totoro and Cat Bus plushes that you can play with
- Japanese film fans, we've got a great new film on DVD for you: Battlefield Stadium, the ultimate movie about Japan's popular high school baseball championship at Koshien
- Awa Yumi shines in a new photobook offering starring this lovely swimsuit idol from Japan
- Fans of Panda-Z, the super cute panda mecha character line, we've got two great Panda-Z notebooks in stock for you
- We've got some delicious Japanese snacks for you, including delicious creme-filled cookies with the odd name of Collon, delicious cola gummi treats, and a chocolate cookie snack that comes with Gundam figures inside
- Also, delicious varieties of Recaldent sugarless gum from Japan, which is tasty and long-lasting
- We've restocked our Japanese snack page too, with super-tart Shigekix, delicious Koeda chocolate treats, and Hello Kitty Petite Chocolates
- I am a big fan of Ultraman, the rubberized defender of justice from the 1960's, we've got a really cool soft vinyl series of figures, including various versions of Ultraman and the monsters he must fight
- Candy toys, miniature toys and figures that usually come with candy inside, are hugely popular in Japan -- we have a new series of figures and vehicles from Aliens, very cool
- For fans of the classic Miyazaki anime Future Boy Conan, we have a very rare soft vinyl bottle cap series in stock for you
- Shirow and Mamoru Oshii fans, we have the official basset hound of the new Innocence movie, a really cool collectible item for Ghost in the Shell fans
- We have a handy ear cleaning device from Japan, a great way to keep your ears clean
- For fans of fude pens, the Japanese calligraphy pens that write like a Chinese writing brush, we've got a new deluxe model from Pentel
- We love wacky things from Japan -- see printed plastic bags with funny logos on them
- We love to stock fun things for your kitchen -- we have a handy doughnut ladle from Japan for you
- For fans of Black Black caffeine gum from Lotte, we have a cool new item: Black Black pencils, which go great with our giant Black Black pencil case
- We've restocked many wacky parody items, including wacky Japanese toilet paper that helps you study Japanese, Pokemon parody condoms, and more
- Also, look for fresh stock of many varieties of Japanese headbands, with messages like "I Will Pass the Test" and "Certain Victory"
- We've restocked our popular Japanese minty eyedrops, too, including the best-selling FX Neo
- The delicious Bubble Ball fizzy candies we sell have been popular in Japan for decades -- we've restocked all flavors of this best-selling Japanese candy treat
- Finally, there's a great way to wash yourself in the bath or shower, a handy gauze mask for blocking germs, more "power stone" good luck charms, wacky yakuza tattoo shirts, wacky ramen erasers, and more!
For our 18+ customers, we've got many new products. The new items include:
- For fans of Japan's top-quality 18+ magazines, we've got the new issue of Gokuh, filled with incredibly beautiful JAV idols
- Then enjoy another great magazine that captures 100% real Tokyo girls in love hotels
- Next we've got the lovely "Su H" (which means pure H, H being a Japanese euphemism for anything sexual) of Anna Fukuyama, yummy
- Also, a great stocking fetish photobook featuring some incredibly stylish photography
- For fans of Japan's unique culture of H manga, we have a great selection of new titles for you, by Megastore Comics, Hot Milk Comics and Plaza Comix -- check them out
- We've also restocked over a dozen books, with many great comics back in stock, including T.S. I Love You, Onapet Doll, Hi-Leg Venus, Queen Bee and more
- Also restocked are the fantastic Paradise Lost Evangelion doujinshi anthology manga, a full-sized perfect bound manga volume filled with Eva parody manga
- J-List stocks bold and interesting toys for adults that are sold only in the Japanese marketplace -- check out the super new Finger Snowman and traditional Japanese "bear kokeshi," both very unique vibrating massagers not sold outside of Japan
- DVD fans, we've got some great new items for you, starting with a great new release from Million featuring the very best performances by Hitomi Hasegawa (region free)
- Sora Soi is one of the most beloved JAV idols in Japan today -- enjoy her elegant new release from Samansa (region free)
- From SOD, we've got a great collection of the best "doggy style" performances ever filmed by the company, with selections from 20 titles for you to enjoy (region free)
- Then from Soft on Demand's Chujitsudoh label, a tribute to the famous late-night TV show of the 1990s, Gilgamesh Night, featuring all kinds of sexy sporting events (region free)
- Ami Ayukawa's debut as an indies actress has caused her to become one of the most popular JAV gals in Japan today -- enjoy a new "Best Onanie of You" release that comes with a latex toy (region 2)
- Then we've got a big restocking of cool DVD titles for you, including Leg Best Beautiful 4 Hours, Super Angle of Oppai, Beauty Legs of Office Ladies, and many other great titles!
The JMATE.com website has been updated with two new reviews and a great English interview with petite JAV actress Rei Itoh and reviews of great products from Japan. Check out all the great material and screenshots we have for you there. The URL is http://www.jmate.com/
Remember that J-List carries the famous Japanese gum Black Black, a caffeine-laced gum that will wake up you and keep you awake -- it's especially loved by truckers and students who use it to keep alert. And as with most of our gum and snack items, if you buy 10 or more you get a 15% discount at checkout.