Hello again from a very hot and humid Japan. The mercury is topping 38 degrees (that’s a cool 100 Fahrenheit to our American readers), and it’s too hot to do much of anything outsise. Fortunately we’ve got a big central air conditioning unit here at J-List that can handle the heat. This sets the stage for another problem though: “air-con wars,” as Tomo sets the temperature where it belongs (at just above freezing), and Mayumi comes along and sets it higher when no one is looking.
First, a note on the site. A few customers reported problems with adding items to their shopping carts, or checking out through the J-List website, over the weekend. We think we’ve found the problem and it shouldn’t come up anymore, but if you do experience any problems with the site, please tell us about them right away. Also, you can always purchase through the secure email form (the link is in the upper left hand corner of the site, too).
We had a great time in Kyoto, and took in many wonderful sights. My son enjoyed drinking the water at Kiyomizu Temple, which supposedly gives you a long life, and the five-storied pagoda of Yasaka Shrine was just beautiful. As usual, the various ancient places we visited made some effort to provide explanations of the history of what we were looking at, in English as well as in Korean and Chinese. While the translations sometimes left something to be desired, in general the English explanations were fine, and very useful. What was lacking was the realization on the part of the Japanese that most of the foreign visitors would have little background in Japanese history and would appreciate something more than a quick translation of what was written for Japanese visitors. For example, in the Hall of 33 Bays, there are 1000 beautiful statues of “Kannon-Bosatsu.” What’s that? I don’t know, although I caught something about it being translated as “Goddess of Mercy,” although that wasn’t all that helpful. The statues are guarded by 30 beautiful images of other Buddhist “gods,” such as Raijin and Fujin, the gods of thunder and wind. In what respect are they gods? To my eyes, the beautiful statues looked like something imported from the Hindu religeon. What did the Buddhism of the 12th century have in common with other religeons of Asia? Unfortuantely, there was no larger attempt to explain any of this to visitors. The problem is that Japanese subliminally assume every foreigner automatically understands every English word just by virtue of being born outside of Japan. Doctors in Japan, who study eight years of medical English as part of their education, do this too: they throw around incredibly difficult English terms and can’t understand why gaijin don’t know what these words mean.
If you’ve never ridden in a Japanese taxi cab, I hope you’ll get the chance some day. Japanese taxis are probably the cleanest in the world, with sparkling white seat covers and polite, knowledgable drivers (especially in Kyoto). If you open the trunk you’ll see a miniature clothesline with rags hanging to dry — the drivers use these rags to constantly buff their cars clean when waiting for a fare. Taxi drivers always wear spotless white gloves while driving. Foreigners in Japan are always surprised to find that the left passenger doors on taxis in Japan open automatically, allowing the driver to open the door for you without getting out of the car — a nice touch.
At J-List, we love to find rare and fun things from Japan to make available to the rest of the world. We consider it our holy mission to carry not just mainstream products that Japanophiles are already familiar with, but unique and off-the-wall items as well, to further promote world peace through shared popular culture. One item we’ve wanted to make available for years are Japanese shoes for children which have little squeakers in them, so that your child makes fun squeaking noises while he walks. My children wore these shoes when they were younger, and as a parent I always appreciated knowing exactly where they were in a crowded store, based on the squeaking sounds coming from their feet. A great safety item, and your kids will love to wear them too. We now have these great squeaking shoes in stock for your little ones, in two cute colors.
Want to work at J-List? We’re hiring staff for our San Diego location. Applicants should have knowledge and interest in J-List’s products, and have good Internet and computer skills. You’d also need to be able to start quickly. Please email at [email protected] for more information.
For the new update, we’ve got a great update of new products for you. They include:
- First, for fans of our bold and fun wacky Japanese T-shirts, we’ve got a new treat: a white version of our popular Akira Lego parody T-shirt, with all sizes in stock
- For Hello Kitty and Sanrio fans, don’t miss the limited edition Hello Kitty PEZ toys, very well made PEZ dispensers that show cute Kitty, My Melody, and more. Very rare and hard to find — full sets are currently available on the site, but they might disappear soon
- For fans of Japanese snack foods, enjoy delicious sweet Gummi with juice inside, delicious canned ika (squid, a Japanese favorite food), dried fish furikake to put on white rice, and more
- Aya Ueto (her last name is pronounced OO-eh-toe) is fast becomming one of the hottest idols in Japan, thanks to many TV appearances and starring in Azumi, a samurai film by Versus director Ryuhei Kitamura — see her new photobook in stock
- Enjoy some of the best artwork ever in a new Chobits fan book, featuring great Chobits artwork from CLAMP and other popular artists who show tribute to the characters
- Medicom Toy’s Kubrick toy line is going strong — we’ve got a really cool pair of figures from Steamboat Willie for you!
- If you missed some of the limited stock of Star Trek toys posted ove the past few weeks, we’ve added stock of both the Furuta and Yamato toy ships for you!
- Also, enjoy the delightful swimsuit photographs of Emi Kobayashi in her new hardcover photobook offerings, very lovely indeed
- For fans of die-cast Japanese cars, enjoy the new Honda Fit, one of the cutest cars ever made in Japan
- Do you have back pain? Enjoy a great “cool ion sheet” that will help your discomfort, from Japan
- For MD collectors, we’ve got the ultimate Hello Kitty MD case, both stylish and cute
- For fans of the great flying turtle monster Gamera, we’ve restocked the Engish-subtitled DVDs for you
- If you love the highly detailed miniature toys that are so popular in Japan, we’ve got a major restocking for you, with more realistic sushi, famous Chinese dishes from Yokohama’s Chiinatown, famous Japanese desserts, Family Restaurant meals, and more
- For Hot Wheels fans, we’ve got fresh stock of the very cool Airwolf helicopter and Knight Rider KARR car, both sold only in Japan
- Finally, enjoy a Japanese way to peel vegetables, a stylish storage bag that Japanese kogals love, and much more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- We’ve got the great new issues of Penthouse in stock for you, featuring beautiful and famous stars like Yuko Ogura and Sayaka Isoyama, Yoko Matsugane, and Yinling — just beautiful, and all models are Japanese!
- Then enjoy the new issue of Junk Magazine, which has some sweet Japanese amateur hardcore for you
- For fans of great value, we’ve got stock of the new Adult DVD Heaven, which gives you 2 hours of great AV sampler action on a DVD, with a color magazine too
- Then we’ve got a dynamite update of new hentai manga for you, including a super Nami SOS! work with fabulous erotic artwork, the super erotic of “the Lowers are the Lovers” (odd title, but very good content), and a new all-stewardess erotic manga anthology — more, too!
- Also, fresh stock of several popular manga works, including the dynamite “The Girl Who Belongs to the Nation” and the best-selling dick-girl comic Parasite Miki
- For fans of Tohru Nishimaki, the creator of the Blue Eyes series, we’ve got a great erotic doujinshi available for preorder now
- For yaoi fans, a great new manga of drama and love and sex by Be Boy Comics
- We work hard to support AG, the English-language magazine of love, sex and CG culture, which features great English-translated hentai manga for manga fans — the new volume of this great manga magazine is in stock in our San Diego office!
- We’ve got some great items for you DVD collectors out there, starting with 4 hours of the erotic sex of Ran Asakawa Special (region free)
- Then explore a wonderful world of the lesbian sex of five amateur Japanese girls — 200 minutes for a great price (region free)
- Poor Senna Kurosaki must endure 24 hours of “anytime and anywhere sexual intercourse” in a new release from SOD, om which she must have sex immediately, without warning (region free)
- Enjoy the hardcore sex and service of Moe Nishimura in a new release from Moodyz, featuring her super sex, fellatio, anal exploration and more (region 2)
- Then, a dynamite release for fans of Mai Hagiwara, erotic fantasy scenes with the wonderful girl, shot with the direction of four different AV directors, and four totally different erotic styles (region 2)
- Finally, Tomo has gotten in some new stock of DVD titles, including various lesbian sex and deep kissing titles, fresh stock of Rio Sannomiya erotic sex, and more!
Remember that J-List allows you to get many great magazines sent to you from Japan, right when they’re in the newsstands. Enjoy JPOP, anime, manga, fashion, toy and many great adult magazines each month. We’ve just added reserve subscriptions for both Penthouse Special and Penthouse Japan, which feature beautiful Japanese models shot by Japanese photographers. Very lovely!
Also remember that J-List carries that great symbol of Japanese wacky pop culture, the Hello Kitty Vibrating Shoulder Massager, which is of course intended as massager for your neck and shoulders, although some would call it a Hello Kitty vibrator (imagine!). A licensed Sanrio item sold only in Japan, the unit features high and low massage modes, and a beautiful image of Kitty and her rabbit friend. It looks just great, in or out of case — display it as a wonderful pop culture icon. Why not get a few, and give them out as gifts this year? (If you get 3 or more you get a 15% discount through the J-List shopping cart.)