Hello again from Japan, home of cars with names like Suzuki Joy Pop Every Wagon.
Living for many years away from your home country would change anyone, and living in Japan is no different. For those working as ESL teachers, the long hours of talking with Japanese students of English can lead to embarrassing changes in your own language skills — you actually end up speaking English too clearly and carefully. Since there are no personal checks in Japan (everything is done with cash or direct bank transfers), gaijin living in Japan lose the ability to write checks when they go home — it takes me several tries to get one written when I’m in the U.S. Japanese roads generally don’t have names, which forces your brain to remember roads spatially, rather than memorize places locations by street names. Also, since the Japanese language uses the katakana writing system to express foreign words, foreigners sometimes lose the connection with how words are spelled in English. The other day, I was enjoying some wine and camembert cheese with my wife, and I realized I had never seen the word camembert written in the Roman alphabet, and had no idea how to spell it. (I had to look it up.) Ditto for fashionable handbag maker Louis Vuitton, which rules the hearts of Japanese consumers — I’d never seen the company’s name written in anything but katakana so I had no idea how to write it. Australian swimming star Ian Thorpe has many fans in Japan, but for the longest time I wondered what a strange name “Ian Soap” was — I’d only seen his name mentioned on Japanese television, and thus got his name wrong.
Japan has plenty of fast food, from U.S. chains like McDonald’s and Kentucky Fried Chicken to home-grown outfits like Freshness Burger, First Kitchen and MOS Burger. But the original fast food of Japan is “gyu-don,” or beef bowl, basically a bowl of rice with steamed beef and onions on top (it’s really good with raw egg, too). Yoshinoya is most popular popular chain of beef bowl restaurants, although there are several others that are serve identical food. Head into any beef bowl restaurant and you’ll no doubt see lots of salarymen and male “freeters” (young people who work part-time jobs, freely switching from job to job several times a year) enjoying their beef bowls, but almost never any women. There’s some unwritten social rule that says women can’t go into beef bowl restaurants in Japan, and it’s usually filled with male customers. Japan’s beef bowl industry became a symbol for deflation in Japan when they lowered the price of a standard serving from $4.50 to $2.50 two years ago. You can enjoy Yoshinoya in the U.S., too, if you want to try some. Yoshinoya’s English website is here: http://www.yoshinoya.com/en/index.html
Do you know what year it is? I often don’t. In additional the Western calendar, the Japanese have a unique system of counting years based on the reign of the current emperor. The current era is the 15th year of the Heisei era (Heisei means “peace and prosperity”), when the Emperor Hirohito died and was succeeded by his son, so this year is Heisei 15. Before Heisei was the Showa era (from 1925 to 1988), before that was Taisho, and Meiji, and so on — Japanese students have to memorize them all. Incidentally, the current Emperor of Japan is 125th in an unbroken line of emperors going back 2000 years. His name is Akihito, but since he’s always called “Emperor Heisei” in Japan, it’s quite common for Japanese to not know the name of their own emperor (Yasu didn’t when I just asked him).
Are you a fan of Japan’s dating-sim games? Curious, but don’t know much about them? Well this is a great time to pick some up, because we’re having a $1 shipping sale right now. All games are just $1 for shipping (for US Can.) or just $3.50 for international, as our way of saying thanks for your support over the past year. You can couple this shipping sale with our buy-4-get-20%-off sale, making this the best time ever to pick up dating-sim game or four. These story-based interactive games are translated into English, are fully uncensored and run great on English Windows computers. Feel free to email us for recommendations if you’re not sure which to get.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, we have a big volley of 2004 calendars in stock for you, which we’ve just gotten in — anime, JPOP, lovely idol and beautiful traditional Japanese art calendars
- For fans of Japanese swimsuit models, we’ve restocked the excellent Hyper Product Revolution which features all the cutest and most popular sexy idols from Japan
- Also, look for a restocking of photobooks, including JPOP legends like Gackt and Morning Musume, body very cool
- For Hello Kitty fans, a super cool Kitty alarm clock that will brighten your room and make morning more fun
- Also, look for various restocked items, including the Hello Kitty shampoo bottle, ice cube tray, ceramic coffee mug and one of our favorite items, the Kitty Hub Mascot, a USB hub in which Hello Kitty copies your typing movements as you work at your computer
- Then we’ve got a rare “gashapon” (capsule toy) item: a set of super-realistic replicas of Japanese ramen, complete with little chopsticks, from all around Japan
- We have some great items for Japanese-style New Year’s, including another variation of kadomatsu decorations, and a variety of rubber stamps that have fabulous New Years’ greetings on them, for making Japanese New Years’ cards (stock is limited)
- Want some delicious snacks from japan? We’ve got Maple Custard Pretz sticks, a fantastic treat from Japan
- Also in stock, find delicious Lait Chocolat from Glico, sold only in the winter in Japan, tasty wasabi furikake, and delicious ochazuke, one of my own favorite foods, as well as a general restocking of various popular items
- We’ve got fresh stock of the delicate and beautiful Congratulations Envelopes, which are used by Japanese when giving money gifts (but you can find many uses for them)
- We’ve gotten in fresh stock of the Cup Noodle coffee cup, which looks like a ramen but is a really unique cup from Japan (makes a great gift)
- Finally, for fans of our unique anime toy items, we’ve made a major restocking of items including the Cat Bus knapsack, various Ghibli plush keychains, Totoro stamps that are really fun to use, and plush Totoro and other toys of all sizes — check them all out!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of delicious Japanese kogals, we’ve got the new issue of Cho Very Good (e.g Choberigu), featuring many lecherous Japanese Tokyo girls aged 18 to 21
- Then enjoy lesbian and bukkake play in love hotels with Deep Kiss, a new hardcore amateur gal’s magazine
- For fans of Japan’s beautiful hardcover photobooks, enjoy the extremely erotic and flexible nudes of Reina Shinto
- Nana Yanagisawa is a fabulously beautiful swimsuit idol from Japan, and you’ll love her newest photobook
- be amazed at Zokkon, the super sexy hardcover photobook of Aya Shiozawa, a sexy TV idol in Japan who delights in showing you her sexy body
- Then enjoy Fairy Tale, a look at the most beautiful nudes of the Showa era in Japan, as well as various restocked photobooks (including the popular Yasuko Project)
- Enjoy a fabulous crossover between erotic maid hentai artwork and super erotic cosplay — everything you ever wanted to know about maids!
- For hentai manga fans, we’ve got some great items for you: a new Explosive Breast Nurse manga by Hiroshi Kawamoto, super hentai with Capcom game characters in a great perfect-bound manga form, and ultra-experienced women who want to do it with virgins
- Look for several restocked manga including the excellent Nami SOS First Battle, premium dick girl with the Fetish Doll and TS I Love You series, the erotic Sweet Wife, and more
- Also for hentai fans, we’ve got trading cards from Alice Soft’s Rance game, super sexy and fun to collect
- For our DVD customers, we have some great erotic DVDs, starting with a super all tekoki (hand job) and oshaburi (blow job) collection from Big Morkal (region free)
- Then enjoy the lovely sex of Sola Aoi (aka Sora Aoi), who dresses in some fantastic costumes as she fulfills your erotic fantasies (region free)
- For leg, stocking and panty fetish lovers, we’ve got a new erotic DVD featuring fantastic low-angle filming of beautiful, leggy models (region free)
- For fans of “soapland” sex, where men go to get professionally cleaned and serviced by a “soap girl,” we’ve got a new erotic offering from Izumi Hasegawa — her debut in adult video! (region free)
- Tamakeri is the Japanese fetish of ball-kicking — see a great new penis-teasing production from SOD for you
- Then from Momotaro, we’ve got the excellent lesbian sex of Hitomi Hasegawa, who performs with vigor and grace for you (region 2)
- Then enjoy a huge restocking of our popular adult DVDs, with several No Cut!! (3 hour) productions, the very popular Gold Bird and Euro Angels, Lesbian Heaven 4 Hours Special, Super Angle of Breasts, and several more high-quality leg fetish titles for you!
Remember that J-List now sells warm hoody versions of several of our popular Japanese T-shirts, with long sleeves and pull-over hoods, great for keeping warm in these cold months. We also make available long-sleeved sweatshirts as well as fitted shirts for girls, that accent all the right curves. For our normal men’s shirts, we offer a great selection of sizes, from small all the way to 3XL for most colors. Not sure what your size is? Click the handy size link in the description of each shirt and see all measurements in inches and centimeters.