Hello again from your good friends in Japan, J-List!
Japanese history is interesting to study, and one of my favorite periods is the Meiji Restoration, during which a handful of political radicals staged a coup against the Shogun-led government and create a constitutional monarchy under the Meiji Emperor. During the two decades after the 1868 restoration, the new leaders of Japan (who are considered the Forefathers of modern Japan today) wrought an incredible number of changes to the country, forcing the last Tokugawa Shogun to surrender his power and his vast holdings of land to the State, getting the samurai class, which received a welfare-like stipend of money from the government, to support the new changes and give up their birth-enabled entitlement, and creating Japan’s first constitution. Japan was ashamed at its terrible weakness when dealing with Britain and the U.S., and its goal was to create a modern nation that could stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the powers of Europe. To that end, Japanese men like Yukichi Fukuzawa (founder of Keio University, his face is on the Japanese 10,000 yen note) traveled to Europe and U.S. to study how best to modernize their institutions. Now, these reformers are respected by Japanese in same way as John Paul Jones and Paul Revere are in the U.S.
Renaming everything was one important goal during this period. To make sure the old loyalties and political groups could not interfere with modernizing the country, all the old “han” (kingdoms) into which Japan was divided at the time were erased, and new “ken” (prefectures) were created along different lines. (The name in Japanese for the removal of the “han” and creation of the “ken” is “Haihan-chiken,” if you ever want to impress a Japanese person with your knowledge.) Thus, every place you can go to in Japan has two names, the modern name and the “old” one. Gunma Prefecture’s pre-Meiji name was Joshu; Hokkaido was known as Kozuke-no-kuni. The capital of Edo was renamed during this time, too: it became Tokyo.
An unimportant bit of trivia I’ve picked up about Japanese: when they have the radio on, they don’t pay much attention to it. As a result, they don’t care if the radio station features nothing but people talking, playing very little music, and as a further result, Japanese radio almost always consists of people talking about music and current events, rather than the actual music. Whenever we go to San Diego, we’re absolutely overjoyed at the dozens of excellent radio stations available, playing interesting songs from the 80’s, 90’s, in a myriad of genres. The Japanese are far ahead of the U.S. in terms of chairs that massage your back while you sit in them, but the Japanese version of “radio culture” leaves much to be desired. On the plus side, NHK’s AM radio station does have live sumo wrestling coverage all afternoon.
Since we’ve got so many hundreds of DVDs in stock at all times, we’d decided to add some categories to the DVD pages,
For today’s J-List update, we’ve got some nice items for you, including:
- Three Sister’s Story, the best-selling bishoujo game from JAST USA, has been a huge hit over the years, with its rich story and interesting characters. We’re a little overstocked on this title, so we’re having a sale — with $10 off on this great game. It’s a great introduction to Japan’s interactive adult adventures, so get it today!
- We’ve got some excellent new magazines, including the new issue of the popular Ok!, Sennin-giri (a nice amateur kogal magazine), and the very erotic Hit Parade vol. 2
- Also for fans of our unique adult magazine items from Japan, we’ve got a major restock of previous sold-out issues, with new items appearing on all three magazine pages — including lots of back-in-stock $5 and $6 mags! Check new the top of each magazine page for the new items.
- For photobook fans, see fresh stock of many very nice items, including Garo Aida/Airi Kago’s Strawberry Diary photobook, Cam-Girl Fetish (for fans of Campaign Girls, similar to Race Queens), Love Target and Weekend Party, and more — all with lower prices, too
- Fans of Yellows, the erotic photography series by Akira Gomi, should see the Yellows 2.0 Photographs, the mini-photobook documenting 100 lovely nude Japanese women
- For doujinshi lovers, we’ve got another must-see update of new items for you, with some incredible new works for you, all from the recent Comic Market — check out the new items before they’re gone!
- In addition to the new doujinshi, we’ve posted a fresh slew of very high-quality ‘doujin-soft’ CD-ROMs, underground CG and other works made by doujinshi artists who publish on CD-ROM instead of in a book format
- Of course we have new erotic manga for fans of Japan’s incredibly talented hentai manga artists — see new works by Tachibana Seven, Persona, Fujimi Comics and more! We’ve also got a nice restock of other items, too, including fresh stock of many popular sold-out items
- For DVD lovers, we’ve got some nice new items, too, including a super new Idol Semen for bukkake fans, starring Rin Tomosaki, and Do Lesbian 2!, an excellent all-ladies lesbian DVD from Soft on Demand
- For anime and toy fans, we’ve got a super phone strap/keychain of E.T. (so cute), and a rare figure of Gizmo from Gremlins 2, as well as fresh stock of the sold-out My Neighbor animated alarm clock
- On the Wacky Stickers and Signs page, we’ve got more cute Japanese stickers, that wish “long life and happiness” and more — great for gift-giving or sticking on letters or postcards
- For Japanse snack fans, we’ve got handy individual packets of delicious Japanese “sauce,” a great new flavor of Shigekix, the extremely tart “hard gummi” treat (which I highly recommend, it is delicious), as well as fresh stock of Pucca (chocolate-filled fish-shaped crackers) and more
- Finally, on our Wacky Things from Japan pages, find two different authentic Japanese bento boxes, a nifty item to organize your cords and cables, Japanese study cards (for studying vocabulary), and a delicious “etiquette pipe” that will freshen your breath, containing aloe and lemon!