Hello again from J-List! We’ve got another minor delay on the massive re-launch of the J-List site, but we’ll get the site launched next week! Until then, enjoy the amazing products the J-List staff has prepared for you today.
Yesterday was a holiday in Japan called 敬老の日 keiro-no-hi or Respect for the Aged Day, a day to call up your older parents or grandparents and thank them for all they’ve done for you. One of the defining factors of the Japanese is their longevity, an amazing 80 years for men and 87 years for women, on average. It’s quite a nice thing for the individuals involved, though a challenge for the country as a whole, which must find a way to maintain a functional economy despite a third of the population already being over the age of 60. Why do the Japanese live so long? Well, there are quite a few reasons, including diet (plenty of rice, fish and soy products), lots of standing and walking, and a competent healthcare system that works well, even if Japanese hospitals lack some of the latest bells and whistles found in the U.S. One big reason Japanese live longer is their tendency to maintain lifelong relationships, and I’m in awe of my mother-in-law who’s got a circle of friends she’s known literally since the first day elementary school. Another reason they live so long is 生きがい ikigai, literally “reason for living.” The ikigai for my in-laws is the rural liquor shop they run, which occupies the first floor of our house, meaning that in addition to running J-List, I actually live in a liquor store. The shop doesn’t have many customers because they keep dying (the younger customers get their beer and sake from the 7-11 down the street), but getting up every day to open the shop gives them a purpose.
Another defining point of the Japanese, to me, has been their affinity for money. Japan’s high rate of saving is well known, and as of 2015 the average Japanese household has the equivalent of US$160,000 or so, nearly always in banks earning 0.025% interest. Over the years I’ve watched as my wife has instilled respect for money in our kids. Japanese children receive New Year’s cash gifts from family members every year, most of which was snapped up by my wife, who put the money in the bank, showing the kids their passbooks so they could see how much they’ve accumulated over the years. When my son entered university, she sat him down and presented him with a million yen in cash…which sounds like a lot of money, but it’s only around $8000. He was free to do whatever he wanted with the money, though she gave him some good ideas on how to earn interest on it as he went through his new life. I’ve done my part, too, teaching my son about how stock markets and IRAs work, since it’s something people should be aware of as early as possible.
One of the biggest game releases for us as a company has been Shiny Days, the massive sequel — prequel, actually — to the smash hit School Days, which tells the story of what would have happened if the characters had met the previous summer. The game release has been a complex one, in part because it’s such a massive game (16 GB of fully animated video, with over 35 endings and the ability to romance virtually every major and side character…and each character’s mother). The complexity of the game coupled with assembling the artbook, mouse pads, keychain and other items, coupled with J-List’s impending site refresh, has caused some unfortunately delays, but we’re finally going to start shipping the Limited Edition on Sept 30…and download codes will go out to all preorder customers on Sept 25! Preorder your copy now!