Hello and Happy Monday from your friends in Japan!
Like the English language, Japanese has been greatly influenced by its neighbors, mainly Chinese and Korean, and like English, it can be quite complex as a result of this intermingling. Japanese is written with no less than three different writing systems, each with a different role to play. First there’s Hiragana, the flowing syllabary that is the backbone of written Japanese, 46 symbols that are used to express all the sounds used in the language. Katakana is a different version of the same 46 symbols, which are used to write foreign names and loan words like “happy wedding” “melty kiss” and “amenity communicator.” The actual meaning of words is expressed through kanji, Chinese characters, which are used to express virtually all complex concepts. Just as the eye reads word like “presidential” or “democratic” as a single unit, processing all the letters instantly, kanji are processed by the brain as gestalt concepts — Japanese written using only hiragana and katana, such as in childrens’ books, are very difficult to read because of the lack of kanji. I am a big fan of the Lord of the Rings, and like checking the Japanese versions of the books to see how passages read (Galadrial sound really cool in Japanese). But when I bought my wife a copy of The Hobbit, I was disappointed: because the publishers considered it a children’s book, it used almost no kanji at all, making it nearly impossible to read.
Christmas is around the corner — have you ordered your Christmas cake? Christmas cake is a major tradition in Japan, an excuse to bring home a big cake for the family on December 24th. No matter where you go, from convenience stores to supermarkets, you’ll be bombarded by advertisements for delicious looking Christmas cakes in store windows. To be sure to get the cake you want, you usually have to reserve it in advance. A standard Christmas cake is a double-layered white sponge cake with white frosting and strawberries on top. The concept of cake on Christmas sounded very odd to my American ear when I first heard the term, but the Japanese appear to have taken their idea from the British and their tradition of baking cakes for Christmas. Other Britishisms used in Japan: a car hood is a “bonnnet,” the last letter of the alphabet is usually “zed,” toilets are labeled “W.C.,” and the term “pants” always refers to underwear, never to your trousers.
Seen a certain way, the Japanese can appear quite superstitious. Certainly, there are many superstitions here that seem odd to foreigners, such as, don’t cut your fingernails at night or you won’t be able to be with your parents when they die, don’t whistle at night or snakes will come and get you, don’t give gifts in sets of four since four means “death” in Japanese, and so on. Many of these beliefs come from Japan’s death-oriented Buddhism — it’s bad luck to sleep with your head to the north (“kita makura”), as dead people about to be cremated are laid with their heads to the north. Similar to this, there’s a complex system of lucky and unlucky days according to a Buddhist calendar, with six different days that cycle throughout the month. It’s good luck to get married or start construction on your home on the luckiest day (called Taian), but if you were to get married on the unlucky day (called Butsumetsu, the Dying Day of Buddha), you’d probably end up divorced and unhappy. Virtually all Japanese want to get married on Taian, and wedding halls are packed to the gills on these lucky days. When buying a car, it’s also customary to take delivery of it on one of these lucky days, to avoid traffic accidents.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of the very rare Kubrick toys from Japan’s famous toy company Medicom, we’ve got some limited-edition Rocky and Rocky II Kubrick figures — these are totally cool!
- For fans of Blythe, the eerie doll series from Takara, we have a cool new Pop-Up World Blythe, so stylish and fun to display and collect
- We have more capsule toys, aka “gashapon,” this time really cool miniature figures from Dead or Alive (and full sets, too!)
- For fans of traditional Japanese items, we have a cool Daruma Ladder game, in which a Japanese daruma head talks down a ladder — really fun to play with!
- For fans of our Japanese snacks, we have the super-thick and creamy More Fran, a stick treat like Mousse Pocky that is fantastic to eat
- Also, fresh stock of delicious Oreo Stick snacks (sold only in Japan) and Coconut Pocky (yum)
- Then enjoy two favorites from Japan: spaghetti sauce with tarako (cod roe), and ume-jiso (ume and basil)
- Also, some cute Sanrio candies that are fun to eat, and come with a beautiful tin
- For Hello Kitty fans, we’ve got some cool items, including a “Minus Ion Ring” to wear that looks great and will improve your well being with negatively-charged ions
- For fans of wacky things from Japan, we’ve got some wacky Japanese stickers in stock for you
- Want to enjoy some delicious Japanese rice? Serve it up with our non-stick rice scoops, which attach to the side of your rice cooker, or anywhere
- We’ve got more authentic chopsticks from Japan, from fun “fortune telling chopsticks” that tell your horoscope in Japanese, to cool ukiyoe chopsticks for you to use at home
- Finally, enjoy fresh stock of wacky English notebooks from Japan, a great way to clean your glasses, a great way to keep your bath clean of hair and dirt, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- First, we’ve got the killer new Urecco, filled with the most dreamily beautiful Japanese adult video stars fro you
- For fans of the unique Japanese fetish of “hitozuma” (lit. “a person’s wife,” or married woman fetish), we have a new all color magazine featuring unfaithful wives for you
- For hardcover photobook fans, we’ve got some great items for you, starting with Maria Hirai’s delightful Naked Angel offering
- Then take in the super sexy photobook of the experienced and mature Kaori Yamaguchi
- Yuko Sakurai looks fantastic in her super sexy photobook, sporting her giant K cup breasts
- Then take in the beauty of Aya Satonaka in her sizzling swimsuit and sailor uniform photobook, just great
- For hentai manga fans, we’ve got some great new items for you, including a super all-dick girl anthology, the erotic Experienced Reporter, and a great costume play hentai manga
- For yaoi lovers, we’ve got a new Chara Collection, featuring 200+ pages of great yaoi comic art and stories from Japan’s top artists
- For our DVD collecting customers, we’ve got some great items for you today, starting with a 240 minute re-mix of Sakurako Kaoru’s most lovely sexual performances (region free)
- Then enjoy the erotic anime cosplay of three lovely AV gals in a new all-cosplay DVD — the price is great, too! (region free)
- Let fetish fans, enjoy the low-angle erotic poses of four great Japanese leg queens, in a great 180 minute DVD from Big Morkal (region free)
- Enjoy the fresh sex of Yui Hasegawa in a new release from Soft on Demand, featuring the unpretentious erotic performance of this lovely adult video idol from Japan (region free)
- Then see the lovely “Fainting Lesbian Kiss” from SOD’s Deep’s label, a great exploration of lesbian hardcore sex and kissing fetish by three positively beautiful girls (region free)
- Finally, another dozen or so DVDs have been added with free shipping, allowing you to get these great erotic DVDs from Japan and save!
At J-List, we love the DVD format. Although 90% of the DVDs we carry on J-List are “region free,” meaning you can play them in your home DVD player as-is, Japan-released anime DVDs such as the Hayao Miyazaki anime movies, all Japanese films, and some “indies” adult DVDs are zoned for region 2 only, which requires a special player. We stock three great region free DVD players for customers who want to watch DVDs from around the world: the multi-featured Cyberhome DVD CH-500, the convenient and affordable Lasonic DVF-982, and the even more affordable DVF-8092. Each one is perfect for enjoying DVDs from around the world, including Japan (region 2) as well as Europe (PAL discs). Our excellent players are stocked in San Diego for your convenience and we ship daily. Why not see our unique code-free DVD players today?
Recently sighted in Japan: A really wacky air filtering system called Cleanpoo. http://www.jlist.com/cleanpoo_1.html