Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Greetings from J-List April 7, 2004

Hello from all of us in Japan! We're back safely from our trip to the U.S. We had a great vacation, and really soaked up the sun that San Diego is famous for. It was our ten year wedding anniversary, so my wife and I took a short cruise to Mexico, and really had fun. Now we've returned to Japan, laden with Pop Tarts, Starbuck's coffee, peanut butter and other icons of American life. It's good to be back.

The social phenomenon known as "kogals" -- Japanese valley girls who wear outrageous fashions, with blonde-dyed hair, silly elevator shoes and over-tanned bodies -- was one of the keywords of the late 1990's in Japan. Kogals themselves owe their origins to the fashion-conscious teen movement of the mid 90s called "Amulers," when every high school girl wanted to dress up like JPOP singer Namie Amuro. Now that the former generation of kogals has grown up, every once in a while you come across an interesting phenomenon: "gal mamas," ultra-stylish twentysomethings who got pregnant in their kogal days and are still dressing up in outrageous furs and false eyelashes, even though they're pushing baby carriages now. Seeing two "gals" exchanging child-rearing tips while they put on their thick make-up can be quite a sight, and is a uniquely Japanese experience.

Spring has come to Japan, and all throughout the country, beautiful cherry blossoms are in bloom. Every year we bring out our line of popular Japanese footwear, tatami sandals (called "zori" or "setta" in Japanese) and geta shoes that allow you to wear a little piece of Japan on your feet. We've added many new styles of Japanese sandals, from large sizes for men to stylish hand-sewn tatami shoes for ladies. Enjoy all the great new Japanese shoes we've got for you!

The Japanese believe strongly in talismans to bring good luck, and most Japanese carry a traditional good luck charm, called "omamori" (lit. "protector"), to bring them various forms of good fortune and protect them from harm. We've come up with a cool new item, a wearable good luck charm T-shirt that you can use to bring you good luck, too. Full-size men's shirts and fitted shirts for girls are in stock. Printed with your choice of seven wacky designs:

Ren'ai joju. Increased luck in love and romance.
Jinsei daikichi. General happiness and good luck for your family.
Kin'un appu. An increase in wealth and money fortune.
Zettai goukaku. Success in studying and passing difficult tests.
Housai ganbo. A prayer that you'll find a Japanese wife someday.
Sennyo banrai. A desire to have success finding many women to love.
Shougai otaku. Praying that you'll be an "otaku" forever.

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

  • Shirow Masamune fans, we have a super collector's box for Appleseed, including an official movie book and cool figure inside
  • Also, enjoy the new photobook of the lovely Chikako Sakuragi, a charming and lovely new sexy idol from Japan
  • For fans of our delicious Japanese snacks, we've got some fun items, including sweet gummi frogs in the Frog Style line, and chocolate cookies featuring toy mascots of the Nova Bunny, the cute pink rabbit who promotes English conversation in Japan
  • Also, enjoy tasty Purin Gummi, gummi treats that taste like Japanese caramel flan pudding, and traditional star-shaped hard candy
  • Restocked snack items include delicious Ramune candy, the famous Felix the Cat strawberry gum (a cult hit around the world), Hello Kitty cookies, and more
  • Curl is a famous puffed corn snack that's been sold in Japan for decades -- we've got some wacky Curl parody goods, including a plush Curl keychain and an all-purpose key case featuring Uncle Curl
  • Just in time for the new school year (in Japan anyway), we've got a line of really cool "kneading erasers," gum erasers that you can mold and play with like chewing gum, in many flavors
  • We love the miniature food replica items from Japan, and have restocked several for you, including Cafe Meals and the best-selling traditional Japanese dishes
  • For Sanrio fans, we've got a really cool item: an ice cube tray that makes great 3D Hello Kitty ice cubes, great for impressing friends
  • Also, a really fun Hello Kitty talking portable phone that lets your little one (or you) talk to Kitty herself, and a pack of Kitty playing cards
  • Fans of the super-cute Hidamari no Tami, we've got a cute new head-rocking pal for you that never needs batteries
  • Enjoy a new line of detailed anime figurines in the Leaf Collection vol 5, featuring the super cute character of the Leaf universe
  • Love the super-cute penguin character Pingu? We have a very cute PVC mascot of this world-famous character for you
  • Panda-Z is a popular cute character line that parodies Go Nagai's famous Mazinger Z mecha show, but with a cute twist -- we've added some great Panda-Z character items for you, including pens, mechanical pencils, and cute pencil cases
  • Enjoy your time in the bath or shower with a super Japanese goldfish bath sponge, which features a soft side and a rough side to clean your body
  • Finally, got a happy event you'd like to celebrate? We have birth and "I passed the test" announcements for you, very stylish and very Japanese.

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

  • For fans of beautiful Japanese women, we have the new issue of Bejean, the oversized magazine that features dozens of famous JAV girls as well as a super-giant poster of Nao Oikawa
  • Also, a super new photo-magazine featuring Sayaka Isoyama's dynamite sexy
  • Then we've got the new issue of Hip & Lip, the wonderful magazine that combines H manga with beautiful first-rate erotic photography
  • Photobook fans, enjoy a dynamite look at Ruka Ogawa's debut offering, featuring her wonderful G cup fantasy poses and top-quality glossy printing
  • Also, a super gouka-bon format photobook for fans of the genre the Japanese refer to as "New Half"
  • For our H manga customers, we've got some really excellent new items for you today, including a dynamite comic exploring hermaphroditism, the super new Heroine Insult by Matsuri Aki, and more
  • We've also posted a big restocking of popular H comics including a dozen back-in-stock items
  • Also for yaoi collectors, we've got a new issue of Kinniku Otoko (Muscle Men) as well as various restocked manga volumes for you
  • For our DVD customers, we have a great lineup of titles for you, starting with the very best of Nao Oikawa on the Million label, a dynamite 4 hours of her best work for a great price (region free)
  • Then see the "Heart Rending Love" of Kasumi Misato's first performance as a JAV starlet, a great new face for you to enjoy (region free)
  • Japan is famous for "print club" (puri-kura) machines which take your picture and print out stickers of the pictures -- now Soft on Demand boldly creates a new genre for you, "ero-puri" featuring hot kogals off the street (region free)
  • Momo Takai is a beautiful JAV actress with a girl-next-door face -- see her sayonara production in a new DVD by SOD (region free)
  • Garo Aida is the premier nude photographer in Japan today -- see his dynamite work on DVD, featuring the lovely Misaki (region free)
  • Finally, a big restocking of popular DVD titles by Ran Asakawa, Kurumi Morishita, Akira Watase, and "a group of lewd wives who have occupied your house."

Remember that J-List offers revolving subscriptions to some of Japan's most popular magazines, including anime magazines (Animage, Newtype), toy magazines (Hobby Japan), manga magazines (Young Magazine Uppers), and more. Some of these are very cutting edge and cool to read, such as Japanese street fashion magazines Fruits and Egg, and don't forget to check out Megami Magazine, loaded with posters and stickers and other cool things. These magazines will be sent to you as soon as they're available each month, before they're even sent to the newsstands here in Japan, and you can cancel your subscription any time. See the magazine subscription pages for more information.