I'll teach you three words of Japanese that are fun to know, and which pop up in anime or our PC dating-sim games rather often. First is yappari (やっぱり, ya- PAH-ree, with a small pause where the double consonant is), a word that can be translated as "just as I thought" "as I suspected" or "now that I think about it." If you were to discover that a suspicion you had about someone was true, you'd shout out Yappari! Next is osana najimi (幼なじみ) or childhood friend, a close friend you've played with since before you can remember. In anime it's common for there to be a girl who grew up with the main character, who knows everything about him and who sometimes beats him to a pulp for comic relief. Third is the famous Japanese word gambaru (頑張る), which can be translated as "to work hard" or "try one's best." Japan has a country has great respect for hard work, and they gambaru to pass their college entrance exams, gambaru for the success of their companies -- cute girls will even gambaru to win the hearts of the boys they like. It often appears as a request, gambatte kudasai (gahm-BAT-tay koo-da-sai-ee, "please do your best") or as a command, gambare! (gahm-BAH-ray, "give it your all!").
Each country is different, and the way people buy goods in each country is different, too. One thing I've noticed is a lack of "DIY culture" in Japan, a tendency to take the comfortable route and rely on the services of established companies rather than doing things for yourself. If you're a college student needing an apartment in the U.S., there are probably a lot of places where you can go and read ads for people looking for tenants -- just call them up and make the arrangements. In Japan, though, you'd usually go through a real estate agent or other company who will take one month's rent as a fee. Want to sell a car? In most cities there are areas where people park their cars along the street with a price and a phone number posted, but when Yasu saw this in Philadelphia he experienced culture shock, since you always sell your old car to a professional dealer in Japan.
We've got two big announcements on the J-Snack front today, our first being a welcome one to Japan Kit Kat fans: the availability of the new Green Tea Kit Kat for 2006! This year's Green Tea Kit Kat is better than ever, with a delicious mild taste made with real Uji Matcha, grown near Kyoto. We've got limited stock of what was our single most popular snack item last year, a deluxe package containing 17 individually wrapped Kit Kat bars. We weren't able to get as many of these Kit Kat packages as we wanted to this year and are worried that we might sell out, so if you're a fan of Kit Kat, order yours now!
Then, by massive customer request, we've got another cool item for you: the Final Fantasy XII "Potion" Premium Bottle from Suntory, which are health drinks containing royal jelly, vitamins, herbs and caffeine, made into the shape of health potions. It's really a great concept: you get a one of six beautifully designed large bottles of hit point-healing health potion in a special box, great for displaying or drinking when out doing battle. Each box also has a cool foil-wrapped card, too. Please hurry though, as they are probably not going to last the weekend. If we do sell out, we'll be taking backorders and filling them on a first-come, first-serve basis as we try to get more stock.
Looking for something really unique to wear? J-List has dozens of our original "wacky Japanese T-shirts" featuring unique designs and funny messages, from the bizarre ("Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend") to the aesthetically beautiful. All shirts are full U.S. sizes, printed with loving care by our staff in San Diego. We've updated the photos of our T-shirts with larger images that hopefully make it easier for you to choose which designs might be right for you. Why not browse our wacky T-shirt page today?
Try living in a country with no real peanut butter and no guacamole chips. You'll beg to buy it when you find some. Note: I didn't eat them together.
Picture of a Really Big PC at Yamada Denki. This is like a 32 inch monitor with TV function. It was not actually terrible as far as these things go, but it was being closed out so I guess it didn't take off with customers.
DS Lite is making such a splash right now. I've got one on order for my wife, since she wants to try one out.
A boat of sashimi. This is the best thing in the world. Good with lots of wasabi.
Image of the pathetically small cereal aisle in a Japanese supermarket, not really something you could call an aisle at all. Special K has been on sale here for a few months, but it's just not the same thing as the real stuff back home.