Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Greetings from J-List May 19, 2004

We appear to have had a hiccup with our listserver, which caused Monday's update to not be delivered to some readers until 1-2 days later. We're sorry for any confusion.

Each year in Japan, the list of who paid the most income taxes during the previous year is published in the newspaper. The actual incomes of individuals is private, but how much tax they paid is a matter of public record, and it's always fun to see who is making money (or who has bad accountants). For actors and "talents" (a Japanese catch-all word for any entertainer), the list was headed by Japanese TV personality Minomonta, host of Japan's version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? As usual, the comedy team Tunnels (one of whom played Japanese player Tanaka in Major League II and III) did well, taking the #2 and #5 spots, and another duo of comedians, Downtown, snagged #3 and #4. SMAP member Kusanagi, who learned the Korean language and is acting as a bridge of pop culture between South Korea and Japan, also did well last year, bagging the #6 position. In the JPOP world, Ayumi Hamasaki was bumped out of the top spot by the lead singer of B'z, who Tomo hates because he doesn't really play his instruments when he performs in concert. Manga artist Rumiko Takahashi also did very well -- worldwide sales of Inu Yasha pushed her to the #3 in the "other" category. But the person who paid the most taxes was Hitori Saito, owner of a successful health food company, who paid over $100 million in personal income taxes.

Did you know that the father of the tornado scale was Japanese? Tetsuya "Ted" Fujita was a Japanese scientist who came to the University of Chicago in the early 1950's to study storms and tornados. He was instrumental in making several breakthroughs in how we understand meteorology, and discovered many of the steps that tornados go through as they form. His research also improved air safety. So the next time you hear a casual report of an F5 or F3 level tornado, remember that the F stands for Fujita.

A quick update on the upcoming Yulia Nova DVD releases -- we're still waiting for them to come back from the duplicators. They'll be ready soon enough, and we hope you'll preorder them now. The discs offer lots of great new footage, never seen before, as well as complete English subtitling of all three discs. We're sorry for the delay, but we'll get these out for you as soon as we can.

J-List carries virtually every English-translated dating-sim game in print, and stocks them all for your convenience in our San Diego location. In addition to our special $1 shipping sale we're having right now, we're happy to announce reduced prices on all the Viper games by Hobibox, including Viper V16, Viper Paradice, Viper Limited edition, and Love Love Show. The hallmark of the Viper series is that the games feature full-frame animation, allowing for a very different game experience. Check out all the great titles we've got!

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

  • First, for all computers users out there (everyone), we've got some unique Japanese mice that we like a lot, the compact Elecom mice that feature wind-up cords, great for notebook users
  • For fans of our delicious Japanese snack foods, enjoy tonkatsu sauce-flavored rice crackers (yum!), more excellent Mobi crackers that are unique and tasty, and a delicious new gummi treat that's fun to eat
  • Also, taste the fun new Top Pokemon bubblegum, 60 individual pieces of delicious green apple flavored gum
  • Restocked snack items include Gummi Chocolate, Bisco mini cookies, delicious Ume and No Time gum, March of the Koalas, and much more
  • Also, the VERY LAST Pocky we'll be getting in stock before summer -- don't delay!
  • For fans of Japan' swimsuit idols, enjoy the photobook of Yukie Kawamura, a charming angel in a glossy hardcover photographic collection
  • Then enjoy some great new Japanese folk and traditional music, including a bizarre item -- more Japanese war songs from World War II
  • Sanrio fans, we've got a cute large Merry Melody plush toy that's really cute, as well as some totally fun Hello Kitty maracas
  • Then we've got more of the Japanese Girl Nagomi items, this time tea tins that you can put green tea in, or just about anything
  • Learning hiragana or katakana? We've got some handy stickers for you that are fun to stick, and very colorful
  • Then, for your kitchen, we have a handy item: an "ice ball" maker, which makes a perfect sphere of ice, perfect for serving drinks to guests
  • We also have other items for your kitchen, including the popular Kyoto and I.Kotoba Deluxe bento box set, the Hello Kitty mayonnaise holders (which you can put anything in), and more
  • We love gashapon, the capsule toys sold in Japan, and today we've got a cool item: miniature replicas of the tools police in Japan use to fight crime, totally wacky and very detailed
  • We've restocked several of the popular Domo-kun items, including the Domo-kun business card holder, the very large plush and "hug pillows," Domo pocket tissue, Domo all-purpose pouch and more
  • Also, look for fresh stock of the popular Japan Hot Wheels vehicles, sold only in Japan, including my all-time favorite, the Mach 5 Hot Wheels
  • Totoro fans, we've also restocked several Totoro items, including the Totoro Doll Collection and several plush toys
  • For fans of Re-ment's super detailed food toys, which are perfect replicas of real food, we have fresh stock of the Cafe Meshi series, including full sets
  • Want to have some unique fun? Try our Japanese Balloon Helicopter toys, which fly really high in the sky
  • Finally, find a great item for fans of Sony's cute cat, Anywhere With You, more cute Groomy plush pets that help clean your computer area, funny Japanese erasers, fresh stock of wacky English notebooks, and more!

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

  • For fans of Japan's excellent 18+ photographic magazines, we've got the new issue of Bejean, filled with incredibly beautiful women (note: stock is limited on this issue)
  • Then we've got a deluxe issue of Iketeru Oneesan, a hard-to-translate title which basically means Good Lookin' Girls
  • Photobook fans, enjoy the dynamite offering of Kyoko Nakajima, an incredible model photographed in a wide array of innovative cosplay situations
  • Then we've got the new photobook offering of Yoko Kumada, the popular and very sexy swimsuit idol from Japan (and one of our favorites)
  • Restocked photobook items include Aki Hoshino's delightful hardcover release, the lovely photobook of Aya Koizumi, and more
  • For our H manga collectors, we've got some great new items for you, including the excellent and dreamy Halgion by EC Comics, Tsukasa's PaiPanYa, and a super new book by Chosuke Nagashima
  • Then look for various restocked manga titles, too, including Dark Crimson, Suicup Kiki Ippatsu, A Course in Nakadashi, and many more titles
  • For our DVD customers, we've got some great items for you, starting with the best 4 hours of Mizuho Kanou, aka Jun Kusanagi, one of the top JAV stars of the past decade and a woman with an incredible body (region free)
  • Then explore a world of fascination with a new release from Dogma, featuring the lovely Senna Kurosaki (region free)
  • From SOD, Female Director Haruna is back, this time exploring a new all-female "study" theme, filmed in beautiful Hawaii (region free)
  • From SOD's Deep's label, witness the lovely play of 15 different Tokyo girls, aged 18-23 (region free)
  • Next, enjoy the female "chikan" performance of Rei Aoki and Ruby Aiba, two amazingly sexy girls (region 2)
  • Then, Juli Wakatsuki explores how far she can go in a great new release from Wanz Factory (region 2)
  • Finally, enjoy various restocked DVD titles, including Mai Hagiwara's lovely recent releases, Sora Aoi's delicious Watermelon DVD, Maria Takagi's Perfect One Year, and the Minori Aoi Special Box Set.

Remember that J-List stocks over 100 kinds of Japanese snack items, with such popular products as Pocky, Black Black caffeine gum, and one of our favorite items, Sushi Gummi, little gummi sushi pieces (fruit-flavored, not fish-flavored) sitting on marshmallow "rice." We also carry the delicious "Bubble Ball" candies, inexpensive cola, ramune, grape and other candies that contain fizzing "carbonation" inside -- a fun item that's great to eat. We also recommend the Hello Kitty Chewing Candy, stick soft candy that looks like gum but is chewy like Starburst Fruit Chews. There's always something fun for you at J-List!

Monday, May 17, 2004

Greetings from J-List May 17, 2004

Hello from Japan, where stores play Auld Lang Syne to signal to customers that the store is about to close.

Den Fujita, the father of McDonald's in Japan, died last month at the age of 78. A respected business leader here, Mr. Fujita fought hard to win over Ray Kroc for the right to bring McDonald's to Japan in 1971, beating out over 300 more established rivals who wanted the franchise for Japan. He did so by showing passion and eagerness, and he was also aided by his fluency in English and understanding of Western business models. Although McDonald's Japan went into the red as a result of trying to cut prices too far, the company is back in black now. I believe McDonald's Japan could teach some things to its American parent. The restaurants are always clean and pleasant, and they only serve 100% orange juice with Happy Meals, not Hi-C sugar water, which makes me happier as a parent. The portions are reasonable without being too large, and you can choose a small salad instead of french fries with any meal at no extra cost. And green tea shakes are great in the summer ^_^ In addition to founding McDonald's, Mr. Fujita was one of the founders of Toys R Us in Japan.

Before I came to Japan, I never thought that I had much in common with men from Sri Lanka, Peru or Pakistan, but here, we're all part of one big happy gaijin family. Gaijin (lit. "outside-person") is the Japanese word for foreigner, and because it can have a slightly rude connotation to it, the softer word gaikokujin ("outside-country-person") is the preferred term. But although all non-Japanese living in Japan are ostensibly foreigners, there seem to be some subtle rules for how Japanese label members of different groups. Koreans and Chinese, who are much closer culturally to Japanese, aren't described with the word gaijin; instead, they're referred to specifically by their nationality. But the rest of us are usually grouped together with the term gaijin, as if the word were acting as a catch-all word to describe people whose nationalities aren't recognizable by looking at their faces. While foreigners often dislike being addressed by the term gaijin by Japanese, most friends of mine use it among themselves freely.

When learning Japanese, it's always fun to learn the gitaigo, a group of words similar to onomatopoeia which describe the state of objects. Because they consist of repetitions of words, they are cute and fun to use. If you're hungry, the Japanese would say that you're "peko peko," a word which describes the way you feel when your stomach is very empty. Alternately, "kara kara" describes your throat when you're thirsty. If you get soaking wet in the rain, you're "bisho bisho," and if you get indigestion, your stomach is "muka muka" (MOO-ka MOOka). If your skin is especially smooth and clean, someone might say it's "sube sube" (SOO-beh SOO-beh, a word which comes from suberu, "to glide"), and if you're a little on the plump side, you might be described as "puyo puyo" (POO-yo POO-yo), a word which sounds quite cute. Other fun gigaigo words include "paku paku" (to eat rapidly; this is where Pac-Man gets his name from); "beta beta" (beh-tah beh-tah; to be sticky); and pan pan (pahn pahn; being so full you slap your stomach like a sumo wrestler).

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

  • First, we have more excellent traditional Japanese shoes, this time great setta and zori sandals for men which sport really neat ukiyoe prints on them, capturing the spirit of Edo period art -- they're so cool!
  • For those interested in learning to prepare a traditional Japanese treat, we've got a real tako-yaki cooking set, allowing you to make delicious tako-yaki, balls of batter with octopus meat inside
  • For fans of the cute Hidamari no Tami ("Sunshine People") relaxation aids from Tomy, we've got two new varieties: one little person holding a fishing pole, another with a pretty flower
  • For our snack fans enjoy traditional Japanese whistling candy (sold in Japan for decades), tasty chocolate malt balls with an Astro Boy toy, tasty mini-snacks and more
  • Also, a new delicious full box of Mix Fruits bubblegum, tasty and delicious
  • For fans of super detailed Japanese candy toy figures, we've got a cool set of Men At Work, roadside construction crews that are really fun to display
  • Fans of the beautiful swimsuit idol Chisato Morishita, we've got a great item for you: collectable trading cards featuring the lovely girl's glossy photographs on them
  • For anime fans, we've got a great deck of Princess Mononoke playing cards that are fabulous
  • Also, a superb item for true Totoro fans: various restocked items including Totoro magnets, knapsacks, and our Totoro Cukoo clock that must be seen to be believed
  • We've got a new Pink Nipple Cream item in stock for you, a useful item that's helpful in returning dark nipples to their younger pink color
  • We just love the beautiful contemporary nihonga paintings of Seiichu Hayashi -- enjoy several new Japanese Girl Nagomi items for your room, in stock today
  • Have fun in the bath with a cute Lucky Cat egg toy from Takara -- a fun egg that dissolves in the bath, releasing a cute Lucky Cat toy to play with or display
  • Also, we've added two new cool Power Stone good luck charms, which help bring good luck to you (they also help you diet)
  • We're big fans of wacky parody items from Japan -- we've got more hamster ramen erasers for you that are really fun
  • We've got fresh stock of the Character Design Bible, a great artbook that examines beautiful manga and anime character structure
  • We've added stock of items to help you study Japanese, including hiragana/katakana quiz cards and the cool kanji quiz booklets that Japanese elementary school students use
  • We've added stock of cool things for your kitchen, including the sausage cutters that you can use to turn small sausages into octopi, crabs, etc.
  • Finally, check out a great traditional all-purpose box, an ashtray you can use to putt balls into it, fresh stock of the Pictorial Pocket Book series, restocked display cases for our popular candy toy items, more miniature shogi boards, and more!

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

  • For fans of big Japanese girls, we've got the new Gal's Dee, featuring many lovely girls of D cup or larger
  • Next, we've got the new Yappari Hitozuma issue, for fans of mature, experienced Japanese married women
  • For photobook fans, don't miss Rui Hayama's delightful hardcover photobook, just released (it's still warm)
  • Chikako Sakurai is heir to Yuko Ogura as one of Japan's most incredibly cute idols -- see her sexy new hardcover photobook release
  • Then take in the delicious Moe Yoshizawa first photobook, a superb item shot in a luxurious location
  • Restocked photobooks include items by Minako Komukai, Kaoru and the incredibly beautiful Ryo Uehara (wow)
  • H manga fans, we've got some superb items for you, including an excellent new work by Yumisuke Kotoyoshi and Hot Milk Comics, an exploration of many sexy themes by EX Comics, the "secret smell" and more
  • We also have various restocked manga for you, including Twiny Attraction, Refrection (sic) and many more titles
  • Also for yaoi fans, a super new work from Aqua Comics that will knock your socks off
  • For our DVD customers, enjoy some great new releases, starting with the bargain-priced "Concentration" release of Misato Sugihara, a really gorgeous Japanese JAV star (region free)
  • From V&R Planning, enjoy another 100% authentic performance by two former Japanese Campaign Girls, similar to Race Queens -- very nice (region free)
  • Then from soft on Demand, enjoy a fanatics 5 1/2 hours of deluxe JAV featuring Ai Kurosawa, Mai Haruna and Miyuki Hourai (region free)
  • Then experience the world of esthe, Deep's style, as experienced Manae Sugimi expertly guides to other ladies to health and beauty (region free)
  • Next up, there's a brilliant new release by Ami Ayukawa on the Wanz Factory label, featuring the Complete Ami that her fans should not miss (region 2)
  • Then from Moodyz, a truly wacky parody of Joshi Juni Gakubo ("12 Girl Musicians"), the group of sixteen beautiful Chinese girls who play on traditional Chinese wood and string instruments -- this time it's a much more devious project indeed (region 2)
  • Finally, look for various restocked DVD titles, including Stairway to Heaven & Highway to Hell (one of my all-time favorites), Ballerina, Stewardess Best 4 Hours, Marina Matsushima's recent DVD release, and more!

Remember that we're still having our great $1 shipping sale on all English-translated dating-sim games. Since we've got a huge variety of games in stock for you, with a variety of themes from romantic to dramatic school sim to comedy and more, we hope you'll check out what we've got for you. If you buy 4 or more games, you still get our regular discount of 20% off. Why not stock up on these excellent games today?