Friday, February 04, 2011

Using Japanese on a Computer

I remember when I first started learning Japanese, I wondered how Japanese text entry could work on a computer. I pictured some horrible keyboard with hundreds of keys, with one for each kanji character, but in reality Japanese computers use the same QWERTY keyboards as the rest of us (though they sometimes have cool katakana printed on the keys). Japanese input is accomplished through a front-end processor, basically a program that ships with Japanese Windows, Mac OS X or whatever OS you're using, which handles converting your text into the correct mix of hiragana, katakana and kanji before it's pasted into your document. With Japanese text input selected, you type some text with the keyboard -- for example, the word ken -- then hit the space bar until the correct kanji comes up. In this case, ken can mean a ticket (like to a concert), one of Japan's 47 prefectures, a case (as in a murder case) or a sword. You need to become good at identifying which character is which, since sending an email with the wrong kanji inserted is as embarrassing as misspelling there-they're-their in English. When you get used to the system, you can enter Japanese text quite quickly, although there's a downside -- entering Japanese into a computer becomes so easy that you'll forget how to write kanji manually, and as a result, a person's writing ability drops off sharply when they graduate from school. As with operating systems, there are various kanji entry systems on the market, and users will rally around one product or the other -- users of EG Bridge might flame fans of ATOK, with both camps expressing their disgust for Kotoeri and IME. Transliterating words of Japanese with the QWERTY keyboard can be difficult, and Elecom has a handy Roman Letter Mouse Pad to help us out.
Ever wondered how to type kanji?

Humility and the Japanese

One of the defining features of the Japanese people is humility, known as kenson (ken-sohn). This manifests itself in interesting ways, most commonly in the form of Japanese people vehemently denying compliments paid to them about how good their language skills are, how attractive they look, and so on. It's a trait found in a lot of anime characters, like Madoka Kaname from the new (dark) magical girl series Madoka Magika, who in one scene describes herself as "thick-headed, lacking any positive character traits whatsoever." You might think of this as a cute caricature of actual Japanese personality types, but in my long years living in Japan and teaching ESL, I've encountered no small number of people like this, who felt it necessary to make it known how useless and/or baka (stupid) they were, for reasons that were difficult for me to understand. I've been told this kind of self-effacing personality is known as "the Dazai Spirit," after Japanese writer Osamu Dazai who penned such work as Ningen Shikkaku (No Longer Human) and Run, Melos! The concept can be encapsulated with by the ASCII [ Orz ] which represents a person kneeling low with humble apology, seen often on the Japanese interwebs.

A "low-to-the-ground" attitude of humility is especially important when interviewing for a job, something I've observed from both sides of the interviewing table during my time here. In a Japanese-style job interview you hand in a rirekisho, a standardized resume form which contains all important information about you, including school and work background, any certificates or qualifications you've obtained, plus your personal interests. During the interview, the job applicant essentially erases their personality entirely -- the Japanese word is jibun wo korosu, lit. to kill your 'self' -- presenting a calm, unemotional exterior while the interviewer asks questions. It's common for the interviewer to ask the applicant to list what they consider their personal strengths and weaknesses to be, and most Japanese will falter visibly when trying to come up with things they're especially good at. One thing I've noticed is that Japanese who have been overseas for a few years lose this natural humility. In the case of my wife, she attended a business school in California where they taught students to present their achievements in a proactive way to catch the eye of potential employers, but this approach was less than successful for her when she came back to Japan.
In Japan it's considered a good thing to be humble and self-effacing.

My Girlfriend is the President Update

J-List has always worked hard to bring fun and interesting visual novels and eroge to our customers in English, and we've got a great lineup of game titles for you right now, including convenient download and shrinkwrap package versions, all of which are included in our fun Valentine's Day Game Sale in which you can get Heart de Roommate free if you get 3 or more titles. We also have some great upcoming games posted for preorder, including the awesome Cthulhu-themed Deus Machina Demonbane and the newly announced epic all-ages RPG ASELIA the ETERNAL which we think you'll love. One game that's gotten a lot of interest from our customers has been My Girlfriend is the President , a game in which aliens brainwash the entire world into making your girlfriend the leader of the world. We've opened the full English site for this game, with tons of information on the story, characters and game system. Click here for the My Girlfriend is the President Official Site now!

Cool Products Friday, February 4, 2011

Here are today's "really cool products" that I've picked out for you, out of the 30+ new items we've added to the J-List and JBOX.com sites today. Note that some products may be "not safe for work" but that all links will allow you to redirect yourself either to the J-List or JBOX.com websites. To see all the J-List products, check out J-List or the JBOX.com updated products link.
Comptiq Jan 2011
Whether the Fortune Arterial anime is your thing or you're looking for the latest scoops on bishoujo games for your console, Comptiq to the rescue!
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Rei Ayanami Plugsuits Glasses Case
Cool Evangelion Products Restocked Get your Eva figures, glasses cases and much more from our selection of newly restocked Evangelion and NERV branded gear. All Gainax approved!
My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute 2  Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai 2 (Blu-ray Disc)
My Little Sister Can't Be This Cute 2 (Blu-ray Disc) My little sister can't be this HD! The definitive Blu-ray release of Oreimo is here, packed with tons of great extras.
Akihabara Cat Hand Warm USB Gloves
Akihabara Cat Hand Warm USB Gloves This is just the sort of wacky item we love to bring you at J-List - USB-powered cat mittens to keep your hands warm, straight from the otaku mecca of Akiba!
Sound Fit Muff  Leopard
Sound Fit Muffs Restocked On a similar theme, we've got the cutest, fuzziest earmuff-headphone combos back in stock for you today as well.
English Dictionary for Adult  Otona no Eitango Cho
This is about as ecchi as they get without completely straying into 'adults only' territory, a Japanese-English dictionary that focuses some of the most fascinating and important terminology that any language has to offer. Great as a study aid and packed with practical lessons, too!
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Girl's Avenue vol. 1
Restocked Artbooks Several artbooks back in stock today, including the awesome Girl's Avenue artbooks series plus more Moe Moe encyclopedia (ghosts and swords).
Nanoha Takamachi Plush  Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha  *Preorder*
Super Kawaii Plush Toys The chibi "SD" look is alive and well in the adorable plush characters produced by Japan every year. We carry a section of them for you here at J-List!
TSUKUMONOGATARI
TSUKUMONOGATARI A PSP game tale of the supernatural and mysterious where you capture spirits to defeat the evil Ayakashi. Persona fans take note!
Queen's Blade  Spiral Chaos
Awesome PSP Anime Games, Too Whether you're looking for games inspired by Toradora or Queen's Blade, we've got the PSP goods for you.
Re-ment Hello Kitty Hina Matsuri (Girl's Festival)
Japan's traditional Girl's Festival is in a month (March 3), so this is the perfect time to order your display to celebrate the occasion the traditional way, with lovely dolls on platforms. Re-ment and Sanrio bring an adorable Kitty twist to the tradition with this super-cute Hinamatsuri display you'll love.
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Hello Kitty High School Leather Bag
Hello Kitty High School Leather Bag  This is the most styling Sanrio bag we've seen in ages -- sleek black finish and a Kitty logo card case, looks great!
Hello Kitty Chopsticks Training Set w/ Stars
Other Fun Chopsticks, Too Also: a real treat for Hello Kitty fans: a pair of training chopsticks so anyone can learn, plus portable chopsticks you can take anywhere.
Oreimo iPhone 4 Case -- Ore no Imoto ga Konna ni Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Oreimo iPhone 4 Case There's no way my iPhone case could be this cute! Unless it was protected by the kawaii gals of Oreimo. Note that they cannot be restocked.
iTunes Japan Music Card
iTunes Japan Music Cards for JPOP fans You can find more than awesome anime songs, JPOP and enka at J-List. There are Japan-only apps, too, like the official SOS Brigade Twitter Client. Fun!
DECO Packing Tape  Keep Out
DECO Packing Tape ~ Keep Out Restocked "Deco Packing Tape" (a surprise hit J-List product), including the epic "Keep Out" tape you can see on some of our images.
Pocky Chocolate Parody Chopsticks
Pocky Chopsticks Also back in stock: the cool Pocky chopsticks, which come in chocolate and strawberry versions. J-List lives to sell products like these.
Aselia  The Eternal **Preorder**
Aselia The Eternal *Preorder* Remember, we posted this outstanding Japanese RPG for preorder last time, so fans of Japanese gaming can enjoy the titles in English. Preorder now!
Japanese T-Shirt - 'Looking for a Certain Japanese Girlfriend'
'Seeking a Certain Japanese Girlfriend' Shirt One of our most popular T-shirts ever has been our "Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend" designs. See this and many more in stock.
Glico Pretz -- Honey Milk
Enjoy amazing new Honey Milk Pretz, like eating pancakes in baked stick form. Also, Xylish sugarless gum in Lemon Lime Mint and Peach Grape Mint + Ginger Chocolate?` Learn about Japan through its awesome snack culture!
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Hotei Canned Yakitori -- Yuzu  Pepper Flavor
Japanese 'Otsumami' Goes Great with Beer Hunting for that unique new taste to go with your next drinking party? Try a Japanese 'otsumami' drinking snack!
Kompeito  Five Color Traditional Japanese Candy
Restocked Kompeito, Other Snacks Also, restocked snacks, including traditional Kompeito from Spirited Away, plus Large Ball Milky, Seedless Ume, Japan Oreos, My Cube Gum and more.
OURAN  Red Sakura Bento Box With Chopsticks  Elastic Band
A bold new bento set in a traditional sakura pattern style, great for all your lunch box needs. Includes matching chopsticks!
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Zojirushi Warm Bento Box Set  Black
Zojirushi Warming Bento Box Designer Set If you like modern and stylish bento boxes with many features, we've restocked those Zojirushi Designer Bento Boxes that are kawaii!
Red LEGO Block Style 2 tier Bento Box with Built-in Chopsticks   Elastic Band
LEGO Block Style 2 tier Bento Boxes Or if you're more of a LEGO type person, enjoy the restocked bento boxes from Japan. You can even stack them!
Niko Niko Punch 2 -- Face Bento Decoration
Niko Niko Seaweed Punch, Egg Shapers A fun way to decorate your bento lunch is to use one of the nori punches we sell to cut sheet seaweed into interesting and cute shapes, like ASCII art.
Basic Obento  Kihon no Obento
Bento Book, Japanese Cookbooks Life is a little better with bento, and we've restocked several bento books to give you ideas for making healthy and delicious Japanese boxed lunches.
Gunkanjima Odyssey Archives  Gunkanjima Zenkei
More 'Haikyo' Photobooks Take a trip to the most desolate and mysterious place on Earth, Japan's Battleship Island. Many other eerie and cool photobooks in stock too.
3 Functions Memo Pad  Sticky Page Marker  Ruler  Magnifier
3 Functions Memo Pad Never forget an important note again with this handy memo pad set complete with magnifying sheet/ruler.
HAKONE ONSEN Bath Salt 6 Packs  Peach Scent  Pink
HAKONE ONSEN Bath Salt 6 Packs Hakone Onsen is one of the most famous hot springs in Japan, and now you can relax in a bath reminiscent of the experience of your very own onsen.
Chirimen YOKOBUE / Chic Color  Traditional Bamboo Flute
Random Traditional Items Restocked Enjoy our Chirimen Yokobue flutes from the Edo Period, a fun sumo game played with wooden pieces, traditional toy set and more.
HEROMAN Lina 1/8 Figure **Preorder**
Check out Lina, the saucy cheerleader heroine from the Stan Lee-created, BONES animated show Heroman, now in figure form from Alpha Omega. Also, a Jack Sparrow Revoltech from Kaiyodo (and of course, Pirates of the Caribbean!) Preorders open today.
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Blu-ray Disc de Cho Real Eizo! Amateur Girls 30
Blu-ray hits the magazine stand with this 3+ hours HD videos extravaganza along with the sexy photos inside this great magazine. Check it out!
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White Love -- Alice Miyuki
White Love ~ Alice Miyuki New AV star Alice Miyuki shows off her gorgeous curves in this exclusive full nude photobook, over 100 pages of glossy ecchi imagery.


Love Venus R
A new twist on the love doll concept from A-One Tokyo, this is Love Venus R, the interactive stress relief novelty item that gives you all you need. Truly a deluxe entry to the genre with a firm, soft build and a bolster-style composition that gives you plenty to lean against. Fully modular for however you choose to 'line' her. Great novelty item from Japan!
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Sexy Twins Perfect Body  Atkkina
Restocked Tenga, Sexy Twins Products See restocked stress toys, including the 'sexy twins' simulators, so realistic you'll buy it dinner, plus the TENGA Flip Hole Hard Gel version.
G.II  Special Private Massager
Even More Vibrators from Japan We also carry the best "rotar" [sic] toys from Japan for our female customers, incl. the e-Rotor, Pink Rotar, G.II Special Vibrator, and many more.
My Girlfriend is the President **Preorder**
My Girlfriend is the President Preorder Be sure and see the the new official English site for the game. We hope you'll preorder it today!

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Setsubun, Throwing Beats at Oni, and my Year of Calamity

Tomorrow is Setsubun, a fun day for anyone with small kids in Japan. Originally falling on New Year's Eve of the old Lunar Calendar that Japan used until 1873, it's a day when oni (devils) will be symbolically chased out of the house so that happiness can reign during the New Year. The father of the house will assume the role of a devil, wearing a paper mask that makes him look scary. When the devil attacks, the children pelt him with baked soybeans and chase him off, shouting Oni wa soto, fuku wa uchi! ("Out with devils, in with happiness!"). When the devils are sufficiently vanquished, everyone eats their age in soybeans to help guarantee good health in the coming year. I'm happy that Setsubun is finally here, because it also marks the official end of my yakudoshi or Year of Great Calamity, which is the age of 42 for a man or 33 or a woman. During this year a person will experience bad luck (unless they counter the bad luck with a special omamori good luck charm), and it's forbidden to buy a new car or start construction on a new house during the unlucky year. I look forward to less bad luck in my life -- 2011 was not the best.
This is a bit more terrifying than the oni masks you normally see.

The "New Moe" Volcano in Japan

As you probably know, I love Japan's culture of onsen, bathing in volcanic hot springs. But nothing good in life is free, and the wonderful hot water pouring out of the Earth does come with a cost in the form of volcanoes and earthquakes. Japan is an extremely active place seismically, with 108 live volcanoes (a very Japanese number indeed) which represents about 10 percent of all active volcanoes in the world. Currently a volcano called Mt. Shinmoe on Japan's southernmost island of Kyushu is erupting, blasting smoke, ash and lava into the sky and causing residents to head for the hills. Happily, there have been no deaths so far, since if there's one thing Japan is good at it's disaster preparedness. While Mt. Shinmoe's name sounds like surprisingly moe (the word that's come to describe the super-cute anime characters seen in modern anime), the mountain's name uses the kanji for "burning," much more applicable in this case. The volcano is famous because it was the evil lair used by the villain in the 1967 James Bond film You Only Live Twice.
"No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to burn."

Panty & Stocking with Ecchi Jokes

I'm currently catching up on various anime shows, including the hilarious Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Gainax's ribald new anime which can essentially be described as Dirty Pair meets the Power Puff Girls with ecchi jokes. In each episode, angels Panty and Stocking have various adventures as they do battle with "ghosts," parodying everything from Transformers to High School Musical to South Park along the way, and as a fan of Gainax since the Daicon IV opening animation, I'm having a blast. It's funny to deconstruct the many ways anime influences the West and vice-versa. Fist of the North Star is basically Sylvester Stallone wearing Mel Gibson's clothing from The Road Warrior, and the Magical Girl genre owes its birth to the local popularity of Okusama wa Majo, "The Lady of the House is a Witch" a.k.a. Bewitched, and I've definitely heard Hannah-Barbara feet-running sound effects in Totoro, who incidentally gets his name from the troll in the story Billy Goats Gruff. Even the large, expressive eyes anime is famous for were based on Mickey Mouse and Betty Boop. Nothing is ever totally original, and I'd love to see some future Western animation that's influenced by Panty & Stocking.
Panty & Stocking is a hilarious show from Gainax.

2011 Valentine's Day Eroge Sale

2011 is shaping up to be a great year for fans of visual novels, dating-sim games and eroge. JAST USA, Peach Princess and Nitroplus have some great titles coming like the uber-cool Cthulhu mythos game Deus Machina Demonbane, the hilarious My Girlfriend is the President or the recently announced RPG ASELIA the ETERNAL, plus other titles we'll be bringing out. Since February is the month of love, we're announcing a great Heart de Roommate Valentine's Day sale, too. Buy 3 or more English-translated dating-sim games (package, download or preorder) and get the moe comedy title Heart de Roommate free.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Thinking in Japanese (or English, or Whatever)

One of the holy grails of speaking a foreign language is thinking in your target language, a process that seems unattainable at first, although it's really not. Like most Japanese people, my wife has a great knowledge of the inner workings of English grammar and structure, having studied 8-10 years before she went to Wisconsin and California to study in the U.S. She made a Japanese friend in Los Angeles who knew almost no proper grammar, who got by with half-formed sentences that weren't grammatically correct, and often my wife would think to herself, "What is she saying? Doesn't she know she needs to use the past perfect tense there?" when hearing her friend speak. The funny thing was, her friend got much better at English, able to use the language more naturally in a short time, while my wife was stuck over-thinking and translating in her head from Japanese -- so it seems there's something to be said for not over-burdening your brain with a lot of grammatical rules. In my own case, I found memorizing "base sentences" that I could swap out the subject, object, verb etc. in was helpful, and I treated each new kind of sentence as a mathematical formula until my brain had internalized it naturally, which helped a lot. If you want to make 2011 a year of learning Japanese, browse our Japanese study supplies.
It's every language learner's goal to think in their target language.

Why do the Japanese get red-faced when they get drunk?

You learn certain things about the Japanese when you live here. For example, you discover that 5'8" (172 cm) is actually quite tall, and that when your boss says so desu ne ("yes, that's so") in response to the suggestion you've just made, he really means, "no, that is not so." You also learn that Japanese often get really red in the face when they start drinking, a phenomenon known as the Asian Flush Response, which has to do with some Japanese (and many other East Asian people) lacking a liver enzyme that breaks down chemicals in alcohol. It's hilarious to see -- my wife can have one highball and suddenly she turns as red as a lobster, although she's not drunk at all. You occasionally see this phenomenon represented as a slight reddening of the face in anime characters when they drink too much, but don't be fooled: the real thing is much more brilliant to behold. A similar phenomenon unique to Asians is the "Mongolian Spot," a blue bruise-like spot visible on the rear ends of Japanese babies until the age of 2.
The Japanese get very red-faced when they drink.

Japan Chocolate Update: Valentine's Day 2011 Edition

Valentine's Day is an important day in Japan, a time for couples to show their affection through the medium of chocolate. As is probably well-known by now, in Japan it's common for women to give chocolate to the special men in their lives, and in the days leading up to February 14 millions of fathers, husbands, boyfriends and would-be-boyfriends look forward to scoring some chocolatey goodness. There are two kinds of chocolate, honmei-choco or "real heart" chocolate, given to someone you actually care about, and giri-choco or "obligation chocolate," the kind female office workers feel obliged to give to the male employees at work, and their bosses. Chocolate companies are always trying to create new chocolate-giving trends, like the year they promoted gyaku-choco or "reverse chocolate," trying to get males to give chocolate to females as they do in the West, or this year's new buzzword of tomo-choco, chocolate given between friends. Of course, you never get a gift in Japan without giving one back in return (called o-kaeshi, a return gift), and March 14 has been designated as White Day, a day when men who received chocolate from women the month before should give something back, usually white chocolate or sometimes lingerie. South Korea also observes Japanese-style Valentine's Day and White Day, and has added a new tradition: Black Day on March 14, a day when single men who received no chocolate bitterly eat a kind of noodles in a black sauce. (Incidentally, we have lots of Japanese chocolate products in stock on J-List, plus Hello Kitty items for making hand-made chocolates, too.)
Every man in Japan looks forward to receiving chocolate on Feb. 14.

New Game announced! ASELIA the ETERNAL

J-List has been involved with licensing PC dating-sim games, visual novels, RPGs and eroge for a long time, and we're happy with the titles we've helped bring out. In addition to the popular upcoming game My Girlfriend is the President, we're announcing our second new game for 2011, which is called ASELIA the ETERNAL. A strapping good fantasy RPG with great characters and story. we think this will be a great game to play in English. You can view the ASELIA the ETERNAL official site, and if you'd like to support our localization efforts by preordering the game, we'd appreciate it!

Cool Products Monday, January 31, 2011

Here are today's "really cool products" that I've picked out for you, out of the 30+ new items we've added to the J-List and JBOX.com sites today. Note that some products may be "not safe for work" but that all links will allow you to redirect yourself either to the J-List or JBOX.com websites. To see all the J-List products, check out J-List or the JBOX.com updated products link.
Megami Magazine Mar 2011
It's Valentine season in Megami Magazine, with this latest issue just in time for celebrating with the latest anime girls, posters, and chocolate, with more moe than you can shake a stick at. Yummy!
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Shonen Ace Mar 2011
Shonen Ace Mar 2011 The new issue of Kadokawa's signature manga mag Shonen Ace is here! Packed with all your favorites, get the latest "Bakatest" and more.
Hobby Japan Jan 2011
Hobby Japan Jan 2011 If models are more your thing, get caught up to speed on all the latest gunpla and figures with Hobby Japan magazine.
Ui Hirasawa Nendoroid Figure
Ui Hirasawa Nendoroid Figure  Ui is the popular younger sister of Yui from K-On!, and she's developed a huge following of her own with anime fans. Her Nendoroid is now in stock!
EVA01 Trophy Head
EVA01 Trophy Head It happens every time: we post an item for preorder, and most of the stock ells to preorder customers. We have one of these left, sorry if it sells out.
Kobato Fuwa Fuwa Pillow  Night Sakura ver.
These are great -- large, soft pillows featuring the popular CLAMP characters of Kobato, which will turn your room into an otaku's paradise.
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Chopper in Winter Sakura Kingdom
Chopper Man 'Tenugui' Towels Tenugui (teh-noo-goo-ee), the traditional hand towels of the Edo Period, meet One Piece with these new products.
Samurai Girls Strap  Cleaner  Tokunaga Sen **Preorder**
Samurai Girls Strap & Cleaner In Stock! Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls has shown that Japan's feudal history doesn't have to be dull and boring -- check out these epic bishoujo phone straps!
CHAOS HEAD  Love Chu Chu!
CHAOS HEAD ~ Love Chu Chu! Neat -- a new Chaos;Head game for the PSP! Superb visuals and a great playing experience. Compatible with PSPs anywhere in the world.
Kanji Test DS 3 Deluxe
Restocked DS Study Software Study Japanese with your Nintendo DS! We've restocked the Kanji Test DS 3 Deluxe, Kanji Test DS ~ Let's Start from Zero, and DS Japanese Literature 100 Works.
Magical Girl Lyrical NANOHA  The MOVIE 1st
Anime Blu-Ray Restocked We love anime on 1080p Blu-ray, and have restocked the epic Nanoha THE MOVIE 1st for you, as well as The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya.
Moe Moe Cthulhu Encyclopedia
Moe Moe Cthulhu Encyclopedia, More See fresh stock of awesome Moe Moe Encyclopedia artbooks incl. Cthulhu, dragons, special guns and more, and other delicious artbooks.
Cassette Hub -- 4 Port USB Hub 2.0  PINK
Add some retro to your computer setup with this awesome old-style audio cassette that's really a high speed USB 2.0 hub! It's a perfect recreation of a casette, being just the right weight and even having the right "rattle" sound.
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Anime Song Guitar Code Book  Nessho Anison
Anime Song Guitar Chord Book Wow, the guitar book of anison (anime songs) we posted sold out in a few hours. Happily we've gotten more stock today! Aim for the Budokan!
iTunes Japan Music Card
iTunes Japan Music Cards for JPOP fans It's easy to keep track of popular JPOP releases in Japan using the iTunes Japan store and prepaid cards from J-List. Click to see this week's top singles.
Aselia  The Eternal **Preorder**
J-List is proud to announce the newest English-localized bishoujo RPG, Aselia The Eternal, a famous game that has many fans in Japan and out. The game is in translation and will be available in the coming months -- click here to preorder!
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Chocolate Mini Tape Dispenser
Chocolate Mini Tape Dispenser  A tape dispenser that looks like...delicious chocolate? Once again the Japanese have proven their eternal awesomeness.
Pentel Tradio Pula Man Pen *Fountain Pen Style Tip*
Moar Japanese Pens! Imagine the cool things you can draw or write with these pens from Japan. The ENERGEL pen for women, Pentel Fude Pen + Kanji Entry Pen for school.
Anime Picture Book (ehon)  Ponyo on the Cliff by Sea
Kawaii Ponyo Products We love Ponyo, the cute little fish with a round tummy, and we've restocked some fun items today including the easy-to-read Ponyo picture book.
Rilakkuma Microwave Rice Cooker
Restocked Rilakkuma Cuteness Enjoy truly awesome Rilakkuma ("Relax bear") products, incl. the microwave rice and pasta cookers, Rilakkuma soft wallet, plus salt & pepper shakers.
Glico Pretz -- Ham  Cheese
New Snacks from Japan Long have I waited to write about delicious Pretz pretzels in Ham and Cheese flavor. We've got them, plus Mr. Donut snacks, Kiwi Fruit gum + more.
Calorie Mate -- Cheesecake Flavor
Restocked Japanese Snacks are Restocked Enjoy restocked Yakisoba noodles and ramen, awesome takoyaki mix w/ Okonomiyaki sauce, Royal Milk Tea, plus all flavors of Calorie Mate!
Red Stuffed  Rabbit Bento Box Band
Traditional Rabbit Bento 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit, and we've restocked rabbit-themed bento boxes and accessories from Japan for you.
HENOHENOMOHEJI Genuine Lacquered 2 Tier Square  Bento Box  Elastic Band
Hiragana Man Bento Restocked, Too Also for fans of traditional bento boxes, we've restocked the awesome "hiragana man," know as "HENOHENOMOHEJI" to the Japanese.
Electric Takoyaki Maker
Takoyaki Items Restocked We love takoyaki, the batter balls that contain a bit of octopus meat inside. See restocked takoyaki mix, sauce and oil brush today.
SAND de PANDA  Push Style Easy Sandwich Maker
Epic Japanese Sandwich Makers See fresh stock of that awesome SAND de PANDA sandwich maker, plus other similar items. Because Japanese sandwiches are awesome.
Handbook for Newcomers, Migrants and Immigrants to Japan
Restocked Japan-Related Books Restocked books, including the popular handbook for living in Japan someday, plus Japanese study books (various).
Unexplored Train Station III  Hikyo Eki 3
Restocked Photobooks from Japan We always carry cool and random photobooks from Japan. See fresh stock of the lonely train stations books.
Magical Sakura Kimono Wearing Woman with Mt. Fuji Tree Sexy Nude Transforming Towel
Mighty Cool Traditional Items Restocked The Lucky Charm for "Safety Driving," plus Ukiyoe Postcard Collection, Bamboo Rice Washer and Magical Towel with Disappearing Kimono.
Domo-kun (Black Outline) - Standard Men's
Domo-kun (Black Outline) - Standard Men's In addition to anime, kanji and other awesome T-shirts, we carry a line of Domo-kun T-shirts for guys, girls and kids. Enjoy.
Hitagi Senjogahara Plush  Bakemonogatari **Preorder**
Bakemonogatari Plush Toys *Preorder* Then, we're posting two awesome new plush toys from Bakemonogatari, Hitagi and Araragi. I love both of these.
Queen's Blade Nendoroid Aldora **Preorder**
Queen's Blade Nendoroid Aldora *Preorder* We love any figure from Queen's Blade, and here's the Nendoroid of Aldora, beautifully crafted by the Good Smile Company people.
Airi 1/6 Cast off Figure by Kaitendo  Queen's Blade **Preorder**
Airi 1/6 Cast off Figure ~ Queen's Blade *Preorder* Also enjoy a superb rendition of Airi, the maid in Queen's Blade whose clothes disappear as she fights and loses energy. Love the detail!
Princess Hunting Dungeon Meister
Princess Hunting Dungeon Meister Another deliciously cool import eroge from Japan from Eushully, this is a great game for fans of full Japanese RPGs with ero content. Enjoy!
HIP ONA BEAT K-On! Parody Toy
Restocked Parody Hole Toys Then enjoy fresh stock of some popular K-On! stress toys, including the deluxe "Ona Beat" toy that lets you be with Yui for her special first time.
Honey Love Buru Buru Oppai
Honey Love Puru Puru Oppai Sometimes a man wants to touch something soft and warm and round, and we're restocking these popular oppai today.