Hello again from Japan, home of cars with funny names like the Mitsubishi “That’s.”
There are many approaches to learning a foreign language — the Army Method (stress on learning through memorization), the Grammar Translation Method (learning a language by parsing its grammar), the Communicative Method (leaning by speaking and listening in the target language), the Natural approach (trying to replicate the steps that children go through when they learn a language). Another approach is the “get attention” method, which I’ll label the Social Feedback Method to give it a proper name. Basically, you learn whatever vocabulary and phrases that will make you the life of the party among your new linguistic group, be it cute ways to begin conversations with attractive Japanese girls or interesting phrases that will amuse Japanese people around you. I have a friend who worked his way across Asia using this method, learning just enough of the local languages to be social and have fun with his hosts, and he swears by it.
It’s “shinmai” season in Japan right now, when “new rice” (the rice that was harvested in October) makes its way into the marketplace, and everywhere in Japan, restaurants and stores advertise that they’re using delicious, fresh rice in their products. Although annual consumption of rice decreases every year, as the Japanese diet slowly changes, the Japan still eat rice two or three times a day. Rice is so ubiquitous that the word for cooked rice (gohan) is used to refer to any meal, even if it doesn’t include rice. Virtually all Japanese cook rice in an electric rice cooker, which allows rice for the whole family to be prepared with the press of a button. Companies like Mitsubishi and Zojirushi complete to bring the best rice cookers to market, with features like automatic timers, inner pots made of copper to simulate the taste of cooking rice a hundred years ago and the ability to bake bread.
The country music of Japan is known as enka, a style of sad traditional music that probably originated in Korea and which is the most popular music in Japan with Japanese over 40 years of age (truck drivers also love it). Enka songs often deal with the more bittersweet aspects of life, drinking alone in a cold bar, pouring your own sake because your wife left you. Sung by both men and women, enka songs capture the sweet pain that we all feel in life. Enka songs often employ tremolo vocals, singing while changing the pitch of your voice (not totally unlike yodeling), to express the emotion of the singer. Because enka songs are the last thing Japanese would expect a gaijin to be able to sing, I always made a point of singing enka whenever I go to karaoke — it’s really fun. Here are some samples of enka if you’d like to hear what it sounds like (Real Player required).
For the new update, we’ve got some super products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for Domo-kun fans, we’ve got a super set of Domo-kun postit notes, that you can use to really brighten up the office
- We’ve got some cool Medicom Toy products in, including individuals of the Kubrick Alien, and a deluxe detailed Planet of the Apes figure that’s really cool
- For fans of the super-cute Morning Musume gals, we’ve got a great hardcover photobook of Nozomi Tsuji, whose nickname is “Nono”
- For fans of Japan’s incredible tradition of creating detailed 3-D anime models and figurines, we’ve got two new issues of Figure Maniacs, filled with top-quality photographs of the most incredible toys you’ve ever seen
- Then enjoy the newest issue of Gothic & Lolita Bible, filled with super photographs of all the best gothic fashion that Japan has to offer — along with a do-it-yourself gothic pattern, right in the book!
- For fans of swimsuit idols from Yellow Cab, the most famous talent agency in Japan, we humble recommend the delicious new photobook of Eriko Satoh, who looks great
- We have some really cool Japanese cloth banners that feature the wisdom of Japan, including the Ten Commandments for Health and more
- Hello Kitty fans, we’ve got a great item for you: Kitty placemats that are incredibly cute and very unique
- We have some great all-purpose canvas bags with classical Japanese images on them, very attractive
- Also, some great traditional Japanese trays that look like they’re made out of lacquered wood (but ours are more economical plastic)
- For fans of Japanese snacks, we have some unique items today — delicious chestnut flavored Toppo just for winter, traditional ochazuke (one of my favorite foods), salmon furikake, and Calpis soft candy
- For those studying Japanese or any language, we’ve restocked our popular Campus Word Books, great Japanese notebooks for recording vocabulary words
- Finally, look for fresh stock of our popular wacky notebooks with funny English on them, more Hello Kitty items including a cute Kitty photo case, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- First, prepare to enjoy Yuko Ogura and Japan’s other sexy swimsuit idols as you’ve never done with the new issue of Sabra
- Then, the new issue of “I’m Gonna Ask You Out” is in stock, featuring hardcore with real Japanese amateurs
- Enjoy a full color magazine and 4 hour sampler DVD, in the new Ura DVD Deluxe vol. 1
- For Ran Asakawa fans, a real treat: her boldest, most erotic photobook ever, which includes parodying of The Matrix (Ran-chan as Trinity works really well)
- For hentai manga collectors, we have some great items in stock, including Yuki Tomoka’s The Love Affair in the Sunny Place, Megastore Comics’s DV, and a superb erotic comic work by Takuma Harazaki (!)
- We have some great new erotic doujinshi for you, including an all-Gundam Seed parody comic and a hentai parody of Aura Battler Dunbine
- For our yaoi customers, we have a great anthology of stories with works by eight different talented yaoi artists
- For DVD customers, we’ve got some great items, starting with the 2nd “No Cut!!” release of Haruka Tsukino, with three hours of her beautiful sex at a great price (region free)
- Then enjoy the super-busty Marina Matsushima in her newest release, Tease Fetish Angles in Ultra Breasts (region free)
- For leg and stocking fans, we’ve got a great new erotic release by Shinkosha featuring erotic and thrilling bondage-themed let fetishism (region free)
- From Soft on Demand, enjoy the erotic sex of Ayami Sakurai, the horse-riding male virgin hunter (region free)
- Then enjoy great lesbian sex in “My Female Teacher is My Lesbian Pet 2,” featuring Naomi Hirose and Mei Asou (region free)
- Then from the popular Bejean, enjoy the beautiful erotica of Hitomi Hayasaka as you’ve never seen her before (region 2)
- Finally, look for many restocked DVDs, including Aika Miura’s Fantastic, Re-MIX 3-in-1 DVD releases by Ayami Sakurai and Sakurako Kaoru, 32 Lecherous Ladies Lesbian Maniax, more great erotica with Anna Ohura, and more!
Remember that J-List is your place to find wacky and bizarre Christmas gifts that your recipients will remember for years. If they love Japan — and who doesn’t? — we have hundreds of items that would be great to give to them, from bizarre T-shirts to cool Japanese calendars to delicious snacks and more. Our staff is working at a very fast pace to make sure all packages go out in a timely manner, so you can get your gifts in time for Christmas. Be sure to browse our great items and see what’d be good for the people on your list!
Want an easy way of browsing J-List products? Click the “view products updated in the past 3 days” link below the top 5 lists on the J-List main page. Or want to browse J-List’s 2500+ products easily, sorted into most-recently-updated order? Click the “view all products” link in the upper left hand corner.
The J-Mate site has been updated with a new interview, this time with the lovely Asuka Sawagichi. Read what makes this delightful AV starlet from Japan tick! The URL is http://www.jmate.com/