Here are some pictures from Japan. One is the Christmas Cake my kids baked this year. The other is the computer room of a Japanese friend. As you can see, he really likes America ^_^
Today's J-List post is below. You can also read it on the J-List website or the JBOX.com site.
Hello and the warmest holiday greetings to everyone! We hope that everyone has a very "merii kurisumasu," wherever you are in the world. Since we're seventeen hours ahead of California, we've already finished our Christmas morning, and are enjoying a nice calm day with the kids, playing with all the great stuff we got.
Christmas in Japan is a lot different from the rest of the world. Without a genuine tradition of celebrating yuletide, the Japanese often choose to import some of the more "fun" elements of the season, with Santa-san (yes, they really call him that) and presents and fun Christmas songs, and few of the solemn, pleasant themes found in America and Europe. Christians do celebrate Christmas, attending a special mass after they get off work (Christmas isn't a holiday in Japan). For my first Christmas in Japan, I attended mass at the local Baptist church, and was surprised at how similar everything was to what I'd seen back home, except that the Bible was in Japanese. But by and large religious themes play a small part in Christmas here -- instead, Christmas is something for kids, for couples to go on that special date, and for friends to have a fun Christmas party with lots of loud music and maybe firecrackers. This is a major difference between Japan and the U.S.: we are usually solemn on Christmas and have a blast on New Year's, but this is done in reverse here.
Now that Christmas is beyond us, Japanese will be looking forward to the most important holiday in Japan, New Year's Day. New Year's is a time to visit the Shinto shrine and pray for happiness in the new year, and reflect on what kind of year you want to have. Over the next week, Japanese will rush to finish their nengajo or New Year's cards, which are sent out to friends and family as a greeting and to wish everyone a happy new year. People like me, who wait til the last minute, always have a problem getting their nengajo printed in time. We'll also be cleaning the house from top to bottom (oh-sohji or "big cleaning), so that we can start the new year with a clean slate.
We're extremely happy to announce that Little My Maid, the long-awaited dating-sim game from Peach Princess, is finally in stock and shipping now. This is one of the best-ever Japanese bishoujo games to be released in the English language, and we're very happy to finally have it in our hands, ready to ship out to everyone. Featuring a great story based on a centuries-old Japanese tale, memorable female characters, beautiful art and full mouth animation when characters talk, we hope everyone will try this fantastic new game. We've also got lots of cool free stuff to give out with each copy sold, while supplies last.
It's still not too late to send that special someone a J-List gift certificate, which can be delivered within hours to anyone with an email address. J-List gift certificates are a great way to gift wacky and fun things from Japan to anyone on your list. We'll be processing gift certificates every few hours, so if there's someone you forgot to get a gift for, they can take their pick from the over 2000 cool products we have on the site.
Well, that's all for now. Once again, have a super-duper Christmas holiday!
Here are today's "really cool products" that I thought were especially noteworthy. Note: the J-List links below may be for adult products and should probably be considered "not safe for work." See the JBOX.com site if under 18 or offended by this kind of stuff.
Little My Maid. How fun is it to port a game that has over 1800 text files and a walkthrough that's 70 pages? Really fun, or at least that's what we tell ourselves now that the game is shipping. It really is about the best hentai dating-sim game to ever be released in English
DVD-7890. As you probably know, DVD from other countries are zoned for different regions, meaning you can't play them easily on your home DVD player. Here's one of our most popular products, the Lasonic DVD-7890, which gets around this by letting you play DVDs from anywhere in the world. Damned reliable too.
Kinniku Otoko. For those who appreciate this sort of thing, Kinnuku Otoko (Muscle Man) is the most popular gay comic we sell. I'm not sure if I should say it's a 'yaoi' comic or not, since there seems to be a slight difference between the two. Or am I completely wrong? In general, yaoi comics seem to have more romantic and softer themes, and are bought by girls; guys seems prefer these macho comics.
New Year's Decoration. New Years is a very big deal in Japan, and there are all kinds of traditional decorations and customs. Here's a nice decoration which is hung on your door like a wreathe, to bring happiness for the new year.