Hello everyone! It’s time for another slice of life from J-List.
It’s fun living in Japan and observing Japanese life and society, and some days I like nothing better than to sit and watch the Japanese people around me while pretending to work on my Powerbook in a Famires (a “family restaurant”). It’s also interesting to observe other foreigners living in Japan, and study the psyche of this “lost gaijin generation.” First of all, it’s been my experience that foreigners here are often jealous of other foreigners, especially of those who speak better Japanese than they do; hence, most are always willing to badmouth Dave Spector, an American “talent” who’s been on TV for two decades and who speaks perfect Japanese (bastard). Lafcadio Hearn, one of the first Western writers about Japan, also had to endure more than a little criticism by other foreigners living in Japan at the time. There seem to be three or more “stages of eye eversion” that foreigners go through when meeting another foreigners on a train, which I haven’t been able to understand. I’ve stuck up some interesting conversations with people from Ecuador to Iran to Sri Lanka, speaking Japanese when the gaijin in question didn’t know English. As Japan’s population continues to decline, the share of foreigners working in Japan can only go up, and I wonder how the dynamics of society will change when that happens.
You probably know some of the suffixes that are used at the end of names. The most famous is –san (SAHN, rhyming with “one”) which is added to the last names for politeness (e.g. Fujita-san), and sometimes to the first name (Tomo-san) to show a little, but not too much, informality. The –san suffix is used in business settings, too: for example, when we call Canon to order more Wordtank electronic dictionaries, we refer to them as Canon-san, and they call us J-List-san. Two other suffixes that are heard often are -kun and -chan, for boys and girls respectively (e.g. Taro-kun, Hanako-chan). Someone who is older (senpai, or upperclassman) would generally use one of these with someone who was younger than him (kouhai, or underclassman); the younger person would use –san when speaking to the older person. One suffix that comes up in anime frequently is –sama, for addressing high-ranking persons, samurai lords and so on. Actually, –sama is rarely used in regular Japanese life except in certain situations (addressing letters, for example). There are several polite phrases that have the -sama suffix in them, though, such as otsukare sama deshita (“thank you for your hard work,” said at the end of the work day) and gochisou sama deshita (lit. “it was a feast,” said when you’re finished eating).
One of the most popular category products in Japan right now are “candy toys,” miniature models and figures that usually come with some kind of candy inside the box. Today we’ve got a great item for Star Trek fans everywhere: Star Trek Alpha, a new set of Federation and alien ships from Furuta, the premier miniature maker in Japan. We’ve got full sets of these amazing toys for you.
The new Download Editions of our PC dating-sim games are proving to be very popular with J-List customers, which makes us very happy. We’ve posted the rest of the download versions of the popular G-Collections titles, allowing you to choose between shrinkwrapped CD-ROM or download versions (whichever you prefer). All titles are ready for your immediate order!