Greetings and salutations from Japan!
When I came to Japan in 1992, I excepted to see nothing but little tiny cars, because of course everyone in Japan had to be smaller than in the United States. I was surprised to see some very full-sized cars, such as the Toyota Land Cruiser and the ultra-huge Mitsubishi Pajaro. While Ford’s massive Explorer is a bit big for most Japanese roads, it’s not uncommon to see Chevy Blazers and PT Cruisers driving around, and we drive a Saturn (the first one sold in our prefecture). For drivers who want to maximize fuel economy, there is a class of car in Japan called “kei” (which means “light” in Japanese), which are identifiable by their yellow license plates. These cars all have 1000 ml-or-smaller engines and have very small, light bodies, about the size of a Geo Metro. Many types of cars come in small “kei” versions, including miniaturized SUVs and even vans (Daihatsu makes a tiny van called Vamos). The cars are legal for street and freeway use, although their lighter construction means a higher rate of fatalities in the event of an accident, so many avoid driving a “kei” car for this reason. There are benefits to driving Japan’s smallest class of car, however. Japan’s annual automobile tax is calculated based on the size of your car’s engine; the more economical the car, the lower your tax. Tomo pays just $30 a year for his Honda Life, a “kei” car, but an owner of a large-engine sedan might have to pay $1000 or more.
When you learn a foreign language, one concept you catch early on is that a given word will often have many different meanings or nuances when used in another language. One of the first words students of Japanese learn is “genki,” which is used in the Japanese greeting “Ogenki desu ka?” (Are you well?). In the context of this greeting, genki means “fine” or “well” and you can reply to this greeting by saying “Hai, genki desu” (Yes, I am fine). But genki can have other meanings, such as describing children running around (“energetic”), or someone beaming with happiness about something, or someone getting healthy after an illness. The word can also refer to a man in a state of sexual arousal. Studying a foreign language teaches you a lot about how words work and makes you think about your own language, too.
For today’s update, we’ve got a super mix of products for you including:
- First, we’ve got an item that I personally love, a very high-quality soft vinyl figure from the famous Hayao Miyazaki film Castle in the Sky Laputa
- A fun item from Japan, we’ve got an Ultraman coin bank that gives you toys when you put money in, just like the machines in front of supermarkets
- We love Japan’s super sexy Race Queens, and have a nice photobook for you
- Also, swimsuit and Japanese model photobooks, including a new offering from the lovely idol Megumi
- We sold out of our plush Totoro backpacks in record time when we posted them last month, but we’ve got more for you now — they’re so cute!
- We’ve got some cool items for fans of Hello Kitty, including a Hello Kitty recorder that plays real music, Hello Kitty band aids and wet tissues, little Hello Kitty and Daniel mascots, and more!
- Also, a fun “exploding Kitty” game you can play with your friends
- The very cute anime Tokyo Mew Mew is taking Japan by storm, and we’ve got several of the cute doll figures from Takara in stock
- We have some delicious snack items for you, including sesame seed cookies (they’re good, trust us), new miso soup and “Grave of the Fireflies” Sakuma drop candies, and more
- We’ve also got a new “Ocean Mint” flavor of Japanese chewing gum, for those who didn’t know the ocean wasn’t minty
- Finally, look for more Japanese “fude pens” (pens that make beautiful writing, as if you were using a Chinese writing brush), neat things for your kitchen, a beautiful Japanese “congratulations envelope” for giving money as gifts, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products, too. They include:
- For magazine fans, we have several nice amateur and love hotel magazines in stock for you
- Also, fresh stock of discounted magazines on our “magazines under $7” page, too
- We’ve got some very nice hardcover photobooks with lovely Japanese models in them, including the positively dynamite Ayami Sakurai (a massive G cup), and more!
- The Japanese have many fetishes, and one developed one is “medical fetish”: women being examined in the nude, probed with various instruments by doctors. The new issue of Karte Club is in for fans of these themes
- A manga magazine we’re happy to support of AG, the “art, sex and CG culture” which features *English translated* hentai manga by Shiwasu no Okina, famous at J-List, as well as many other great works — and volume 4 is now in stock in San Diego
- We have another volley of excellent Japanese hentai manga for you, including both all-new books from Hit Comics and Tsukasa Comics and more, as well as fresh stock of several volumes (updated by Yasu)
- Also, another great treat for doujinshi collectors, another volley of very nice brand-new books purchased from the past Comic Market — get them fast, since they won’t last long
- For hentai DVD fans, we’ve posted even more of the popular adult anime DVDs from Nutech, all translated into English with both English dubbed tracks and subtitles, and all uncensored! (stocked in San Diego)
- For Japanese adult video fans, we’ve got several new DVDs for you too, starting with a new No Cut!!, a wonderful collection of 180 minutes of prime footage starring the lovely Asuka Sawaguchi (region free)
- See super-famous idols try their hand at “super bishoujo kissing” in a new production from Hajime, starring Nao Oikawa, Yuna Akimoto and Sayaka Hijiri (region free)
- The lovely Nozomi Momoi is subjected to teasing and sexual torture, but is totally forbidden to speak or utter any sound at all, in a fun new production from Soft on Demand (region free)
- See a great science-fiction AV in SOD’s bold bukkake release “The Coming Sperm War” (region free)
- Ai Nagase is the younger step sister dreams are made of in a great new release by Dogma (region free)
- Another popular fetish in Japan is swimsuit fetish, the way wet swimsuit material looks against a woman’s body. See a great new “Swimming Girl” series release (region free)
- Finally, we’ve restocked several other titles from Kuki, Soft on Demand and other studios, see them all!
At J-List, we love DVDs, and are happy that we can provide so many unique titles to our customers from Japan. 95% of the DVDs J-List sells are “region free” meaning you can use them in any player, but some discs from Japan — Japan-released anime, hentai and high-end indies 18+ DVDs — require a special region-free player to view. J-List stocks three different players in our San Diego office for your convenience, two different models by Sampo and a nice compact unit by Lasonic, that will play NTSC and PAL discs from all regions. And our prices are also excellent!
Want to know the history of the invention of the elevator? The background of special characters we use in English, like the ampersand? The story of the first submarines? Next time you’re in a bookstore or at Amazon.com, pick up one of the Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers, a really handy book filled with all kinds of trivia and fun information. Articles are very short, usually 1-2 pages, so you can read one in its entirety while visiting the bathroom. I swear by them, and when I buy them for gifts for others they tell me how much they enjoyed them.