Saturday, July 04, 2009
We're done with the first day of Anime Expo, and have spent the day meeting and greetings thousands of J-List fans, as well as giving our packed dating-sim game panel. We're tired, but it's a good kind of tired. If you'll be at the convention, we hope you'll swing by booth 825 and check out the awesome anime toys, bento boxes, T-shirts, manga and other products we've got for you. Just look for the really tall J-List flags in the room.
The fermented soybeans known as natto (NAT-toh) are one of the most famous foods in Japan, enjoyed throughout the country, although people from Osaka and most gaijin dislike it, including this one. Eaten by a wide swath of Japanese from children to the elderly and everyone in between, the sticky beans are usually mixed with yellow mustard and eaten over white rice. There are many legends about how natto was first discovered, but the most famous seems to be that in the year 1083 the general Yoshiie Minamoto was on campaign with 100,000 troops near a town called Mito, and stopped at an inn to rest. Some soybeans had been steamed and wrapped in straw for the horses to eat, and these fermented naturally while sitting on the floor of the stable. Some of the soldiers tried the beans and liked the taste, so they offered some to their lord, who loved it, which is where the name (which means "offered beans") comes from. If you're "natto curious" and would like to see what all the fuss is about, we've got an awesome item for you: authentic "drop" natto-flavored candies. Like the popular ramen, soba and and other traditional foods you can eat in candy form on J-List, these traditional Sakuma Drop-like candies taste just like the real thing.
Natto, one of the most enigmatic foods from Japan.
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Monday, June 29, 2009
By the way, J-List will be at Anime Expo, the most awesome place in the world if you're an anime fan -- and this from a guy who lives in Japan. We'll have a huge selection of everything from toys to cool anime and kanji T-shirts and dating-sim games and more. If you'll be at the show, be sure and come by our booth and say hi. Also: we'll be giving a super panel on our PC dating-sim games, giving out tons of prizes and making some major announcements. Hope to see you there!
Japan has two health insurance systems: shakai hoken (best translatable as "society-person insurance") which covers employees in larger companies, and kokumin hoken or "citizen's insurance," available to employees of smaller companies as well as the self-employed. Each system requires monthly premiums based on income and covers 70% of health care costs, as well as 100% for certain groups such as children under 5. The other day I got a a new insurance card with an interesting feature: a place to sign on the back if I agree that my organs can be harvested if I'm ever declared to be brain dead. This is part of a new movement to update Japan's outdated definition of death, finally allowing for people to specify themselves as organ donors and providing guidelines for declaring when a person can be removed from life support in accordance with their wishes. Lawmakers recently revised an asinine law that prohibited anyone under the age of 13 from participating in any organ transplant operations, which required that all patients with these needs travel outside of Japan to seek care, or die.
Japan has been trying to revise its laws governing brain death.