Friday, October 21, 2011

How Kanji Names Work in japanese

Japanese names are generally written in kanji, and just as there are alternative ways to spell Western names (though I question if we really need nine different ways to spell the name "Jason"), there's a lot of flexibility when it comes to what kanji to write your baby's name with (for example, Tetsuya could be 徹夜、哲也、鉄也 and so on) -- or lack of kanji, in the case of names like Madoka from Madoka Magika, whose name is written in simple hiragana (まどか). An interesting facet of names being written with unique kanji characters is that when you perform a search using Google or Yahoo in Japanese, you need to already know the correct kanji if you want to get any results. Since this isn't always possible, Japanese net users will often do a search using hiragana or romaji (the Roman alphabet), which generally brings up the Wikipedia page for the person in question, containing the correct characters so that a second search be made. By the way, if you'd like to see your own name in kanji, you can get your very own Japanese hanko (name stamp) with your name in kanji characters, chosen by our native Japanese staff according to your specifications.!

Choosing a kanji name for a baby can be kawaii. Er, I mean complex.

Famous Old-Time Gaijin

Expats like me have a lot of fun coming to Japan and blogging about what we see here, but we're really just Johnny-come-latelys who have recently arrived on the scene. There's a large body of gaijin writers who came to Japan in the years after World War II and stayed here, writing books that helped bridge Japan and the West. Like Jack Seward, a Texan who'd learned a little Japanese from hired hands working on his family's ranch, which resulted in him being picked for General MacArthur's staff during WWII, leading to many books on Japan until his death last year. Or Boye Lafayette De Mente, a respected author who has published books on Japan since the 1950s. Then there's Donald Keene, a famed Japanologist who translated many of the best works of Japanese literature of the 20th century, and who hob-knobbed with the likes of Yukio Mishima, Yasunari Kawabata and the other literary greats of the period. Recently Mr. Keene retired from his professorship at Columbia University and came to live in Japan, announcing that he'd be taking Japanese citizenship and spending the rest of his days in the country he loved so much. I will raise a glass to Mr. Keene tonight.

Keene (right) chilling out with Yukio Mishima (center), who had one of the most
interesting deaths of the 20th century.

Anime Snacks @ J-List

J-List loves to carry fun snacks from Japan, and if the items have been shown in your favorite anime series, so much the better. From traditional anime snacks like neri ame (liquid "kneading candy" you mix on chopsticks until it's ready to eat) to the popular Kompeito star-shaped candy to wacky drinks like Pocari Sweat, Morning Rescue and Tentacle Grape, we've got plenty of fun items for you to browse. Click here to see the top-selling anime-related Japanese snacks on the site.

The Metric System and Japan

Coming to live in Japan means getting used to some new things. Pizza with squid, corn and mayonnaise on top. A land of vagueness where a phrase like so desu ne (literally, "yes, that is so") is often used to mean, "Although we will appear to politely consider your proposal, it will not be accepted." If you're from a country that doesn't use the metric system, it means learning to think in centimeters, meters, kilometers and kilograms, and to figure out that if it's going to be 20 degrees tomorrow you will need to bring a light jacket, all of which is very easy to pick up. Although Japan is a solidly metric nation, they actually use Imperial measurements for a few specific purposes. Distances in golf are always reported in yards, and the sizes of certain products like televisions and blue jeans are expressed in inches. Japan also has some homegrown units that can confuse gaijin. For example, the sizes of rooms are always expressed in the number of tatami mats (jo) it contains, or would contain if it were a tatami room, and after living in Japan for so long I'm able to perceive these units easily. I might visit a friend and say, "Your living room is very large. This must be least least a 20-mat space!"

Living in Japan means getting used to your weight in kilograms.

J-List Site Note

NOTE: Currently there are some issues with the J-List site, and 18+/NSFW products may not be displaying properly. We'll have this resolved within 1-2 days. Until then enjoy the PG products on the J-List site (or just visit the site).

Cool Products Friday, October 21, 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 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 websites. To see all the J-List products, check out J-List or the updated products link.
Dengeki G's Magazine Nov 2011
New issue of Dengeki G's, the square-backed anime magazine that's filled with awesomeness if you love anime and bishoujo games. This month you get a cool bathroom poster from ToHeart2DX Plus! As usual, this issue of Dengeki G's is a very specail one, so grab it before it sells out.
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Comptiq Feb 2011
Comptiq Feb 2011 The very special magazine dedicated to the pure and good elements of moe anime and games, including eroge that are focused on beautiful love.
Hitagi Senjogahara figma Action Figure
Cool Figures In Stock See Senjogahara Hitagi from Bakemonogatari wielding her stapler in fine figma style, plus Araragi-kun for her to tease.
Kuro Neko Figma Action Figure  Ore no Imoto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai
Other Awesome figma Figures If you love the anime Ore no Imoto as much as we do, then you'll want to take home this excellent Figma, which we restocked today. K- Kawaii!
Kuroneko Nendoroid Figure  Ore no Imoto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga nai
Great Nendoroid Figures In Stock You'll want to checkout our great selection of Nendoroid figures, including Kuroneko, which is finally in stock. Can you resist her cuteness?
Revoltech No.110 Battousai Himura  Rurouni Kenshin
Revoltech No.110 Battousai Himura ~ Rurouni Kenshin You've got to love this badass samurai. Rurouni Kenshin has this amazing figure, that is just amazing. In stock on the Revoltech page.
Totoro Large Clover Blanket (140x100)
Keep warm with winter with a mountain of love and warm, fluffy blankets of Totoro and his friends. One touch of these super soft blankets and you'll want to snuggle up with a Totoro plushy and watch your favorite Ghibli movie. This year's blankets are extra warm and special, and will become treasures in your home.
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2012 Desktop Calendar -- Totoro Bus Stop in a Rainy Day **Preorder** **Preorder**
2012 Totoro & Ghibli Calendars And, since we love Ghibli so much, we'd like to show off these amazing calendars again. Consistently the most popular calendars among J-List customers.
Totoro 2012 Schedule Book -- Embroidered Patch **Preorder**
Totoro & Ghibli 2012 Schedule Books Also, see the top selling 2012 calendars and related items from Japan. Totoro, Pixiv art, Lucky Cat, they're all ready for you to order.
Totoro Backpack Large
Awesome Totoro Products Restocked Carrying excellence. Your child will be the coolest kid in school when they show up with a Totoro on their back.
Super Mario Bros. Wii Watch Collection Full Set of 5
Super Mario Bros. Wii Watch Collection Full Set of 5 Lovers of the 8-bit/16-bit and now 3D world master Mario should strap one of these to their wrists and try to search for their lost princess (or prince).
Hiragana Times Nov 2011
The quintessential new and language learning guide to Japan has released their newest issue, this time featuring artciles on Japan's "wonderlands," an ice cream serving robot, language tips and tons more. Your language still with skyrocket after reading this.
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Catchy Japanese Phrases  Nihongo Maruanki Cho
Japanese Study Books Restocked Today we're restocking Catchy Japanese Phrases, which present a "situational" way to learn the language that's something, which I recommend a lot.
SANRIO Cinnamonroll Kanji Practice Notebook  84 Squares
Kanji Practice Tools, Other Notebooks Then, practice your Japanese the kawaii way with the Sanrio Cinnamoroll Practice Notebooks we've restocked today. Many popular notebooks restocked today.
Tokyo Sky Tree Extending Pointer + Pen  634mm
Tokyo Sky Tree Extending Pointer + Pen ~ 634mm The new Tokyo Sky Tree (the new super Tokyo Tower) is almost finish. Show your support by showing off this great pen/pointer at work.
Zebra Sarasa Ball Point Pen 0.5 Set of 5 Pastel Colors
More Amazing Japanese Pens We've restocked the best pens in the world (the Sarasa line from Zebra), my favorite pen in all Japan. Click to see these awesome offerings.
Spicy Holic Sexy One Piece -- Black
Spicy Holic Black Dress Straight from the streets of Tokyo comes the black version of the popular white one piece dress featured last month. Just screams "sensual goddess."
Fluffy Long Room Shoes  Dot Pink
Fluffy Long Room Shoes from Japan We always have fun footwear products, from sandals to "room shoes" style slippers and more. Click to see the new items today.
Grief Syndrome  Tasogare Frontier
Grief Syndrome ~ Tasogare Frontier A fan produced game based on the characters from the Madoka Magica universe. Install this stunning game on your PC and enjoy it with friends.
Ikki Tousen  XROSS IMPACT (PSP the Best)
Ikki Tousen ~ XROSS IMPACT (PSP the Best) Pull out your PSP, pop in this game and prepare yourself for an amazing gaming experience you'll want to never give up. Wonderful ecchi goodness on your PSP.
Restocked Visual Novels from Japan We love all manner of unique games from Japan, and have restocked Rewrite, the gorgeous visual novel. Also restocked, the popular Steins;Gate!
iTunes Japan Music Card
Get Great Anime Songs from iTunes Japan Enjoy all the newest songs for Macross fans, including the new Frontier series plus the old school stuff. Also, a special set of Kanno Yoko songs!
Gakken Otona no Kagaku Special  Science Projects for Adults -- Synthesizer Chronicle 'SX-150'
Oh neat, we restocked some of the awesome Otona no Kagaku (Science for Adults) science kit + magazine from Gakken, one of our favorite companies. Build a retro microcomputer, make your own electric guitar, assemble a working electronic synthesizer, or make a Pinhole Planetarium. All parts included, and English instructions is often available.
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Halloween Hello Kitty Lovely Gift Bag  4 bags
Halloween Hello Kitty Lovely Gift Bag ~ 4 bags Just in time for your Halloween party, we've got these super cute Hello Kitty trick or treat bags, that you can fill with delicious Japanese goodies.
Hello Kitty Die Casting Glasses Stand  Megane Stand
We Liked Hello Kitty Before She Was Cool Japan's most famous feline is back with great restocked products. See Hipster Kitty Glasses Holder, who holds your glasses for you overnight.
Gold  Black Kanji Men's Cotton Satin Kimono  Size XL
Gold & Black Kanji Men's Cotton Satin Kimono ~ Size XL Take on the role of a Samurai of Kanji, with this very cool men's cotton kimono. Comfortable to wear, but stylish enough for when guests visit.
Panda Style One Piece  FREE Size
Restocked Japanese Fashions Look for further than J-List for kawaii clothes, coming at you from Harajuku and Shibuya, the fashion capitals of Japan.
Chupa Chups Bath Ball  Do not eat!!
Chupa Chups Bath Ball ~ Do not eat! Make bath time a fun time with a ball of Chupa Chups bath salt. The "flavor" is unknown until you unwrap it and add it to your relaxing tub.
Lucky Cat Shiny Snow Globe
Lucky Cat Shiny Snow Globe  These cute little cat globes features a maneki neko (lucky cat) waving for you to join him in his sparkly home. A fun random item from Japan for you.
Kabaya Strawberry Saku Panda Chocolate Monaka
More Panda Chocolate Cookies, Other Snacks We've got pandas on the brains here at J-List, so we've got some new panda chocolate and strawberry cookie pies, plus lots of other great items too.
Kuriyama Bakauke Cream Cheese
Kuriyama Bakauke Cream Cheese Live a little and try something new with a flavor you already enjoy. This time Bakauke mixes the Japanese senbei with cream cheese for a flavor adventure!
Peko-chan Milky Candy
Many Restocked Snacks Today Enjoy new stock of Peko-chan Milky Candy, Zerosh Shigekix, Pure Mist Candy, Match Milk Caramels, plus awesome Mammoth Meat Snacks.
Chocolate Banana Crepe (Harajyuku)  Japanese Food Drops
Restocked Traditional Food Drops Candies Enjoy Harajuku style Banana Crepe flavored traditional "Food Drops" candies, plus Kobe style flan pudding. Awesome!
Bento in the House  Ouchi de Healthy Obento
Want a way to save money, save the environment, become a better chef and lose weight at the same time? I know, shows too good to be true, but with this bento set you'll be able to make your own instant microwave dinners in this reusable Japanese silicon bento, saving you time and money and also bringing guaranteed portion control for your lunch.
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Blue LEGO Block Style 2 tier Bento Box with Built-in Chopsticks   Elastic Band
Cool Bentos for Children & Adults These are just awesome. Kids (or kid-like adults) will love these wacky bento boxes and bento related goods. The nerdiest bento boxes ever.
Red Mini Lacquered Jubako Style Multi Case
Origami Red Mini Lacquered Jubako Style Multi Case  That really nice jubako, or stacking box, that look like a bento box but is a gorgeous box to store your stuff. It would hold D&D dice pretty well.
NORI-PIYO Egg Carrying Case
NORI-PIYO Egg Carrying Case  Neat! It's a carrying case for a hard-boiled egg for bento fans that's modeled after my favorite onigiri bento case, the NORIO Angry Face item.
Deco Animal Cookie Cutter  Face Stamp
Today's Restocked Bento Accessories Then we have a big restocking of popular bento accessories for cutting and shaping vegetables, rice and more. These are so much fun to use!
The New Kimono
The New Kimono A great new book from Kodansha which introduces Western readers to the beauty of the kimono, Japan's most famous traditional outfit. A great book!
Japan Atlas  A Bilingual Guide
Bilingual Japan Atlas & Maps We have more new Kodansha books too, including the Bilingual Atlas and Map for planning a trip in Japan, plus the excellent Sentence Paterns guide.
Kotetsu.T Kaburagi Plush  Tiger  Bunny **Preorder**
Kotetsu. T Kaburagi Plush ~ Tiger & Bunny *Preorder* Kawaii!! This new plush doll of the Tiger & Bunny hero, Kotetsu, will be coming out soon, so get your preorder ready.
Yuko 1/10 Figure Beach Queens  A Channel **Preorder**
Yuko 1/10 Figure Beach Queens ~ A Channel *Preorder* You'll want to show off your love of A Channel by showing off your newest edition to the Beach Queen collection! So darned cute!
TENGA Flip Hole, Hole Warmer, e-Rotar Massager Even more stock of the popular TENGA Flip-Hole, which is incredibly well-designed and popular with our customers, and more.
Angel Hole! 01  Angel Beats / Haruhi Parody Toy
Angel Hole! 01 ~ Angel Beats / Haruhi Parody Toy If you're serious fan of the anime Angel Beats, you can be ironic and buy this onahole love toy. You know, because of the name, heh.