Saturday, October 29, 2011

"The sky in fall is like the Hearts of women."

I like most things about living in Japan. The people are friendly, the food is good, and I'm never at a loss for things to write about in my thrice-weekly J-List updates. Having four distinct seasons is also nice, especially coming from San Diego, where the seasons are "nice" and "slightly less nice." Still, I wish autumn would be a bit more stable. Just last week I was sweating during a hotter-than-average day, actually turning my fan on, yet this week winter has decided to hit suddenly, with chilly temperatures that have me wearing my momohiki long underwear. The Japanese have a proverb that describes this: onna-gokoro to aki no sora, meaning "a woman's heart is like the weather in the fall," e.g. that you never know when the autumn weather or a woman's mood will change on you suddenly.

You have to watch the weather in Autumn...and the hearts of women too.

Fast Food in Japan

One thing I like about Japan is their enjoyment of food, and I really appreciate their tradition of eating bento lunches and other dishes that are visually beautiful, which is known as shoku no bi (lit. "the beauty of food"). Still, the Japanese get busy just like the rest of us and occasionally turn to fast food when they need to eat conveniently. McDonalds is the #1 fast food chain in Japan, and it has competently marketed interesting products to consumers like the giant Texas Burger series, or the upcoming Korean BBQ Burger, which capitalizes on the current boom in Korean food and culture in Japan. There are other Western-style fast food restaurants, like MOS Burger, Freshness Burger or First Kitchen, makers of the famed "Scrambled Egg and Bacon Burger," plus adaptations of Asian favorites like udon and ramen you can eat quickly. My personal favorite Japanese fast food is Yoshinoya's gyudon, or beef bowl, a delicious dish of steamed beef and onions served over rice, which is ridiculously cheap, can be eaten in less than ten minutes and tastes great. (If you want to sample the taste, we've got the official Yoshinoya brand furikake to sprinkle over rice, in stock today.)

Mongol Ship ound

It's not every day you see a historical discovery that makes you exclaim, "Wow, awesome!" But that's what happened yesterday, when I saw that the remains of a ship thought to be part of the Mongol invasion fleet had been discovered with its keel intact. The story is quite famous: in 1274 and 1281, Kublai Kahn sent fleets of ships to invade Japan through the southernmost island of Kyushu, with both invasion efforts failing with the help of great storms
which ravaged the ships, which came to be known as kamikaze, or "divine winds." (In case you're wondering, the Western use of the word kamikaze to mean "reckless suicide attack" isn't used here; the word for that is tokkou, literally meaning "special attack"). The failure of the Mongols to achieve a "Norman Conquest of the East" was a pivotal point in history, and it guaranteed that Japanese culture would continue to develop internally for centuries, without being subject to outside influence.

A Mongol ship from 8 centuries ago.

J-List's H is Back

NOTE: We had a week-long issue with the site, which kept NSFW items off the J-List page, but this issue has now been resolved (premanently, we assume). Thanks for your patience while we put this database issue behind us. Since J-List's 15th Anniversary Sale is still going on for the rest of October, isn't it a great time to visit the site and get some cool products?

Cool Products Friday, October 28, 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.
Shonen Ace Dec 2011
Shonen Ace is one of the most popular monthly manga magazines not only in Japan, but around the world. Every month is packed with amazing manga like Evangelion, Steins;Gate, R-15, and Nichijou. This month's omake (gift) is pretty amazing, too.
View products »
Kimono Ageha 2012
Kimono Ageha 2012 This new issue of Ageha is all about how to look beautiful in a Kimono, from hair, make-up and accessories.
Totoro Koroin Melody Music Box  Totoro Acorn Car
Totoro & Catbus Melody Music Boxes This one is definitely on our Christmas wish list of cool toys we want to see under the Christmas tree. We also have a Nekobus!
Mayoi Hachikuji Figma Action Figure  Bakemonogatari
Awesome Figma Figures In Stock Check out these new figures we just got in stock, like the amazing Michael Jackson (complete with Thriller face), Mayoi Hachikuji and Strike Witches.
Charlotte Dunois 1/10 Figure Stand Series IS
Charlotte Dunois Figure Stand Series IS  A wonderfully crafted 1/10 scale figure of the charming Charlotte from Infinite Stratos, ready for display in your home or office.
Evangelion Zeruel Figure Key Chain
Evangelion Figure Key Chains These awesome key chains from the new Evangelion movies are so cool. They are a bit oversized, so your keys will definitely never get lost.
Monster Hunter Smart Phone/MP3 Player Carrying Case  White ivory
Monster Hunter Smart Phone/MP3 Player Case Get yourself a case with style, like these cool ones with monster hunter characters on them. They're compatible with Android phones and iPhone.
GATSBY Large Container  Brown Men's Hair Wax / Multi form
GATSBY Men's Hair Wax / Multi form Japanese men know how to style their hair. Gatsby is the hair product used by many celebrates, most famously SMAP. Great for cosplayers too!
Kawaii Pink Cotton Swab 150pcs
Kawaii Pink Cotton Swab 150pcs Pink is the new white when it comes to cleaning your ears. These kawaii cotton swabs definitely look cuter than regular ones.
Yotsubato Himekuri Daily Calendar 2012 April  2012 Mar ** Preorder **
Yotsuba's 2012 daily calendar, filled with cute awesomeness every day, will be here before you know it. The release date is just over 4 months away, but due to high demand we're getting preorders ready now. A super product for Yotsubato fans!
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2012 Calendar -- Totoro
2012 Anime Calendars! We posted a huge volley of new 2012 anime calendars including OreImo, Index/Railgun, Naruto, Totoro/Ghibli, Pokemon, One Piece and more!
2012 Calendar -- Michi  Japanese Proverb  **preorder**
Other Gorgeous 2012 Calendars Posted We've got other outstanding 2012 calendars in stock, incl. kanji calendars, traditional art, plus Japanese tea gardens, wow!
I am Maru
I am Maru DVD (w/English Subtitles!) If you don't know Maru already, let us introduce the YouTube cat sensation with millions of viewers, now with his own DVD. So kawaii!
Deluxe Mousse-chan Kira-Kira Paper Clay Full Set  Sweets Shop
Fun Crafts from Japan Craft your fun with this new edition of the Mousse-chan clay sweets shop, the most artful and inventive "paper clay" molds you will ever seen.
Akihabara Nekomimi Club  Pink (Cat Ear and Cat Gloves set)
Akihabara Nekomimi Club ~ Pink (Cat Ear and Cat Gloves set) Get your cat cosplay fixation under control after getting this full set, ears and paws. You'll look super cute. Also, the paws make good winter mittens.
Kaomoji Pop up Toaster  Black and White
Attack of the Japanese Memes From toasters that make ASCII kaomoji faces in your toast to the (un)official Twitter "now" cushion, we've got some cool items in stock.
Super Mario Bros. Wii Sound Figure  Dokan In and Out
Super Mario Bros. Wii Sound Figures Restocked Wow, this is so cool. Press Mario down and he goes down, and even includes the pipe sound GU GU gu. We've got other Mario stuff restocked too.
Miku Hatsune Pitamin
Miku Hatsune Pitamin Stress Toy You can squish her, you can poke her, you can even hug her. This squeezable office stress toy of Miku is something we know you want.
I Have Few Friends Portable  Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai ***Pre-order***
I Have Few Portable Friends After preordering this PSP game of Boku ha Tomodachi ga Sukunai, you'll always have portable friends nearby.
Panda no Sweets and Gohan
Panda no Sweets and Gohan These cool panda-shaped sweets are neato, and you can make them yourself thanks to this cute recipe book. Tons of ideas in this great book.
The Insider's Guide to Sake
The Insider's Guide to Sake There are a surprising variety of sake that comes from Japan, a country smaller than California. Get a new view on the rice wine center of the world.
Healthy Rice Flour Pancake Mix
Healthy Rice Flour Pancake Mix  Experience a new taste to a classic favorite with this pancake mix made from authentic Japanese rice flour.
YOSHINOYA Gyudon Furikake
YOSHINOYA Gyudon Furikake  If you don't have the luxury of living near a Yoshinoya restaurant, then you'll at least be able to experience the taste, thanks to this new furikake.
Morinaga Coffee Caramel
Restocked Japanese Snacky Goodness Jagarico potato snacks, Glico Pretz, Meiji Qun Gummy, Morinaga Coffee Caramels (yum), Uranikko Gum that tells your fortune, plus Country Ma'am cookies.
Wacky Kanji T-shirt - In Case of Emergency, Commit Seppuku Here
'In Case of Emergency, Commit Seppuku Here' We love to sell T-shirts and hoodies with kanji on them. One of our favorites is, "In Case of Emergency, Commit Seppuku Along the Dotted Line."
ASCII Art Bento - 2-tier Tight Box KITA
ASCII Art Bento Boxes & More Collect all three parts to this ASCII Art Bento set before they sell out. We love these kind of Japanese kaomoji art, which is so popular online.
Black KEITAI HASHI  ECO My Own Chopsticks
Awesome Chopsticks, Other Bento Accessories If you are serious about bento making, you'll want to invest in some nice accessories, like chopsticks, straps, and other such essentials.
Japonica Kanji Practice Notebook (84 squares)
Japanese Study Notebooks & More Also: writing kanji and hiragana repeatedly is the best way to memorize it. See fresh stock of our kanji notebooks.
Yubisashi mini  Japan (Tabi no Yubisashi Kaiwacho)
Yubisashi mini Japan Guide Book A wonderful traveling guide for those planning trips to Japan, navigate bilingually for the full experience when you visit. Great for studying too!
365 Days of Danboard
365 Days of Danboard Danboard, the strangely cute cardboard figure, has a photobook showing off the beauty of life, nature and great photography.
How To Draw Manga Character Posing Book  Onnanoko no Karada Hen
How To Draw Manga Character Posing Book Nice! Fresh stock of that book of a girl posing in her underwear, I mean that important resource for artists seeking to draw the human body.
Hello Kitty Chirimen Bag
Hello Kitty Chirimen Bag Then see our elegant Hello Kitty traditional bags, made of chirimen fabric. Features an outstanding design and plush ribbon for Kitty-chan's hair.
Fundoshi -- White  Traditional Men's Underwear
Also: Fundoshi, Hachimaki, More Fundoshi (pronounced foon-DOH-shi) is the traditional underwear worn by the samurai, which we've restocked. Also: kanji headbands!
Make a Wish!  Temple Bell Strap with Fortune
Fun Traditional Items Restocked Fun traditional keychains and phone straps, including a replica of the bell you ring at Buddhist temples in Japan. So cool!
SENKYAKU-BANRAI   TORA Lucky Cat Happy Message Mini Display
Lucky Cat Message Display, More Those Lucky Cat figures with good luck messages written on their tummies are back. They make great decorations for your home.
Evangelion  Logos Field Operation Stainless Mug Cup for  EVA-02 Pilot (Asuka ver.) **Preorder**
New EVA Mugs for Preorder These high quality, stainless steel mugs are designed by the popular outdoor sports company LOGOS, so they'll last nearly all your lifetime.
Fate/Zero Mofu Mofu Lap Blanket Sleeping King ver. **Preorder**
Fate/Zero Blanket *Preorder* We've featured blankets before, but recently none as otacool as these Fate/Zero blankets, now ready for preorder.
Dengeki Moeoh Dec 2011
You'll never find a magazine so full of moe than Dengeki's Moeoh. It's always filled cover to cover with kawaii and slightly eroi illustrations by top artists in Japan. This month we have a Ro-Kyu-Bu figure omake. One of the best "H" magazines on J-List -- get it now!
View products »
2012 Yulia Nova Calendar
JAV and Ero 2012 Calendars In addition to anime, photography, traditional art and other 2012 calendars, J-List has awesome JAV and nude offerings. Click to see.
Zettai Ryoiki  The Absolute Zone
Zettai Ryoiki ~ The Absolute Zone We are fans of the concept of the mysterious 'absolute zone' between the top of stockings and bottom of a skirt, and this photobook has it all. We love Japan.
Queen's Blade Vol. 12  Cattleya
Queen's Blade Artbooks Restocked We love the Queen's Blade books, which feature great ero art and all your favorite characters. See today's restocked items including Cattleya.
Chinraku! Tako Musume  Wave Version (Ika Musume Parody)
Chinraku! Tako Musume (Ika Musume Parody) This has been a popular product, a parody of Ika Musume, but substituting octopus (tako) for squid (ika). It will take away your daily cares.
HIP ONA BEAT K-On! Parody Toy
The Most Amazing Anime Stress Toys We have other wacky items too, including Yui from K-On! simulated with more realism than ever before. Will you be that special someone for her?
The Dignity of Great 'Maria Ozawa'
Toys for JAV Fans: Ozawa Maria Version If you're feeling down in the dumps, maybe you need an incredible experience with a famous JAV actress. Happily, Maria Ozawa is willing and eager.
Peach Princess's Tokimeki Check-in!! + Doushin Set
Find Love in a 2D Visual Novel Remember, you can find sweet love in a 2D world with the translated eroge J-List brings you. New game combo packs this week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

NSFW Products at J-List

NOTE: Currently NSFW/18+ products are not displaying on the website. Good news, though: you can access these items as a temporary workaround domain, (NSFW) if you are looking for these products. (Note that products in your cart from the site will be erased.)
(Sorry for this ongoing issue, will be fixed soon...)

Today's Random Japanese Lesson: Kore, Sore and Are

Learning a new language means getting used to new linguistic concepts, and there are constructs in Japanese that are very different from English. In English we have two demonstrative pronouns, "this" and "that," but in Japanese there are always three: kore, sore and are (koh-reh, soh-reh and ah-reh), which correspond to "this" (something near me), "that" (something new you, or a short distance away) and "that one over there" (something far from both of us). Getting used to three location concepts instead of two was a challenge, and my brain felt uncomfortable at first. What was the exact distance in inches where something went from being sore to are? We bugged our teacher with many questions like this, to her great annoyance. The word are ("that thing over there") takes on an additional role as a vague catch-all term for any word you can't recall or don't want to specify for some reason (yes, including some ecchi ones). It's also used as a generic exclamation similar to "huh?" or "what?"

"No, that one, that one over there! あれだよ、あれ!"