Hello again from Japan, the only country in the world that would make vegetable yogurt (it was billed as a “yogurt salad”).
Japanese is a linguistically impoverished language — there are only 5 vowels, all paired into syllables with consonants (ka, ki, ku, ke, ko, etc.). This is where the thick accent Japanese speakers of English sometimes have comes from — from birth, the repertoire of sounds they make is far more limited than speakers of other languages. For some phonetic reason, Japanese lacks the sound “ti” (sounding like “tea”) as well as the linguistically related “di” sound (sounding like “dee”). Without a way to express these sounds in Japanese, foreign words like “Disneyland” and “party” could not be correctly represented, and subsequently entered the Japanese language as “Desneyland” and “parteh,” which sound strange to the English ear. A “patch” was introduced at some time in the last few decades, basically a way to express “ti” and “di” in the katakana writing system, but unfortunately for a generation of older Japanese, they learned a slew of foreign loan words with the older, strange pronunciations. Now, pronouncing words like “panty” as “panteh” or the letter T as “teh” (rhyming with “way”) is the mark of an old fogey here (although, as a foreigner, it’s kind of fun to pronounce these words wrong on purpose sometimes)
There’s a really useful phrase in Japanese that can be used in a variety of situations: “okage-sama de” (oh-KA-gey-sama-deh, with a hard ‘g’ on ‘gey’) which literally means “thanks to you.” For some reason, the Japanese often respond to compliments by turning them back on the person doing the complimenting. For example, if someone were to compliment me on my being able to write a certain kanji character, I could say “Okage-sama de” to them — “Yes, thanks to you.” This seems to imply that I’m thanking that person for teaching me the character, even if I’d never met the person before, but that’s the way the phrase is used. If you want to have fun with Japanese people, pull the phrase out suddenly and watch how they react.
Calendars continue to fly out the door, and more and more of them are selling out right before our eyes. We’ve gone through and knocked down prices on another two dozen calendars to help you help us get them out the door. We especially recommend the very lovely Japanese idol calendars, which feature beautiful Japanese actresses, race queens and swimsuit idols captured in huge poster-size glossy sheets. Our prices are rock-bottom now, and coupled with our buy-two-or-more-get-free-mailing-tubes offer, you can really save on some fabulous 2003 Japanese calendars. Because the calendars we sell are not available outside of Japan, you’ve always got a unique piece of the country to put on your wall and impress your friends all year long.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for anime and toy fans, we’ve got several nice new items for you, including a beautiful Tokyo Mew Mew fashion doll and a deluxe Chun Li figure from Marmit o Also, a limited edition flexible “magnet figure” set for Lupin III fans, from Unifive o For Hello Kitty lovers, we’ve got some great items, including a traditional money bank, a fun Kitty hamburger stand toy, Kitty oil absorbing paper, and fresh stock of the #1 product in the history of J-List, the Hello Kitty shoulder massagers o We’ve restocked the popular Studio Ghibli anime DVDs for Totoro, Laputa, Spirited Away, which feature fabulous prints of the movies and English dub/subtitles o If you want to try some fun snack and food items from Japan, we’ve got you covered — enjoy Japanese jellybeans, baked potato crackers and real steamed squid from Hokkaido! o Also many restocked items, including the hit item Gravel Choco, delicious chocolate that looks like little rocks o We have some nice bento/kitchen items for you, including a cute chopstick case, a “Pop Animal” bottle opener, a super non-stick rice scoop, and more o For anyone who takes medicine, we’ve got what may be the most convenient “carrying pill case” we’ve ever seen o For fans of Japanese hot springs, we’ve got fresh stock of the excellent “Bub” tablets that dissolve in your bath like Alka-Seltzer o We’ve got nice items like Japanese origami paper, dry curry mix, and interesting incense sticks for you to check out o Finally, look for a super-handy business card carrier, a nifty large postcard book with cute cat characters, a fun Sanrio name tag for your items, and more!
Don’t forget that J-List is giving free shipping on all Peach Princess games this month, so you can get great titles like X-Change (a sex change comedy game) or Snow Drop (a romantic love simulation game in a winter wonderland) and save money. This offer will end at the end of the month.
Also remember that J-List carries many items from Japan, which we group together as “wacky things from Japan.” These range from unique character goods to things you can use to help learn Japanese to other items that, while they might not be necessities, are just plain cool (Hello Kitty toilet paper comes to mind). A lot of the items we sell are perfect for gifts, and Mayumi works very hard to keep the Wacky Things categories well stocked. We love selling these fun items, since it gives us a chance to actually bring you something cool that you can buy and touch and use, rather than just telling you about the neat things they have in Japan. Check out our excellent and wacky things from Japan, today!