Hello from Japan, where Phillips and regular screwdrivers are known as “plus” and “minus.”
Despite the fact that I live in Japan, I can go down the street and find such familiar American stores as K-Mart and Sav-On. They have nothing to do with the American companies though: the names were “borrowed” by Japanese chains who apparently wanted to give their market share a boost by using an already-established name. The Japanese have a lot of respect for America and Europe, and since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they sometimes copy names and ideas wholesale. Other examples of this phenomenon include a convenience store chain Hot Spar, which lifted its name and corporate logo from the European Kwikspar store chain, and the Japanese men’s magazine Weekly Playboy, which has nothing to do with the U.S. magazine.
Probably no language relies on foreign loan words as much as Japanese. From technical terms to the names of various professions to music groups like Every Little Thing and L’Arc~en~ciel, the Japanese use words borrowed from other languages every time they speak. Just as some English speakers will pepper their speech or writing with French (raison d’etre, coup de grace), Japanese use of English projects a certain image of cosmopolitanism that Japanese words don’t always carry. Similarly, sometimes a concept can’t be expressed accurately in Japanese, so an English word is assigned to the new concept — for example, the English word “address” (adoresu) refers to email addresses, while the Japanese term juusho describes a mailing address. But the Japanese language has given plenty of words to rest of the world, too, and more than specific terms like sushi, anime, manga and hentai. When my kids walk to school every morning, they go in a group of other kids for safety, with the oldest acting as the leader for the group, called the “hancho” — and this is the origin of the word honcho. You may have cooked a meal on a small hibachi, but a real hibachi is a traditional hearth found in Japanese homes a century or more ago. And tycoon (taikun) was a word foreigners used for the shogun back in the late Edo period. Language is so much fun!
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 — it’s a meaningless polite word for virtually any situation. If you want to have fun with Japanese people, pull the phrase out suddenly and watch how they react.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of Japanese bento culture, celebrated in anime and manga, we’ve got a deluxe double-decker bento box that’s great for those with big appetites — check it out
- We have a great item for New Years’, a kimono-clad Hello Kitty with plush monkey that’s so cool
- For fans of our unique Japanese snacks, enjoy traditional cherry flavored hard candy, unique Sweet Potato Chips and more
- Just in time for the Holidays, we’ve got a really cute Japanese “Christmas Type” Hanauta no Tami character, who moves his head from side to side
- Then enjoy a great LED light that will light up any place, and lasts practically with lithium batteries
- For Hello Kitty fans, we’ve got some really cool soft cases that you can store anything in — digital camera, iPod, you name it (I keep my Zaurus in one)
- From Japan’s Skynet maker, we’ve got a replica of the Delorean from Back to the Future 2 that lights up — such a cool toy from Japan!
- Fans of Japanese swimsuit idols should check out the new trading cards of the sexy Sayaka Isoyama, all new photographs of this delightful girl in glossy laminated trading cards
- For fans of Shirow Masamune’s Ghost in the Shell anime series, we’ve got vol. 12 in stock for you, and it’s a non-stop roller coaster of action for all anime fans
- We have fresh stock of our popular authentic Japanese Loose Socks, which are worn by high school girls throughout the country — available in 70 and 120 cm versions
- Also, we have fresh stock of the popular Socks Glue, which you use to glue your loose socks to your leg — something only the Japanese could have come up with
- We have some cool metal signs in Japanese for people who want to have a little piece of Japan in their kitchens
- We have more photobooks featuring photos of pretty high school uniforms, for fans of costuming or of Japanese uniforms
- Also, fresh stock of Gothic Taste, a superb all-gothic manga that captures the state of gothicism in Japan today
- For toy fans, we’re restocked many items for you, including the Haro Gundam alarm clocks, Totoro playing cards, cute Studio Ghibli plush keychains, and more
- Also, fresh stock of several popular anime music boxes, from Totoro, Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away and more (stock is limited though)
- For Evangelion fans, see fresh stock of the popular soft vinyl figure of Asuka in sexy swimsuit
- Finally, we’ve got some cute individual candy toy items, fresh stock of Japanese gum from Lotte, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of Japan’s professional adult video stars, we’ve got the new issues of Video Boy and Best Video, both excellent sources of information and beautiful photographs of Japan’s top idols
- Then enjoy the love hotel sex of cute Japanese amateurs in the new issue of Yo!, with lots of cute kogals aged 18-22 for you including a funny feature, “The Fucker in the Rye”
- For photobook collectors, we’ve got some great new items for you, starting with a super new erotic photobook by Taiwanese sexy idol Yinling that will make your eyes pop out of your skull
- Then enjoy a super sexy hardcover photobook by Toko Ushikawa, one of the top Race Queens in all Japan
- Then enjoy the sweet bikini photographs of Ryo Asada, a delightful Japanese swimsuit idol
- For hentai manga collectors, enjoy some great new items, including Megumi Ureshino’s Peach Angel, the erotic Marugoto Punyu Punyu, innovative erotic manga from Usura, and more
- Plus we’ve got a great volley of restocked adult comics, including Cherry Berry Jam, Past Princess, Shoku Nyu, No Bra and more
- For our DVD customers, enjoy a super collection of hardcore sex by Miyu Sakita, a great DVD at a special price (region free)
- Then enjoy the deep eroticism of erotic performance swimsuits in a great new release by Image Maker, great for underwater fetish fans too (region free)
- Then enjoy a new entry in Soft on Demand’s Deep Kiss series, in which girls are asked to experiment with their first lesbian kissing and nude touching (region free)
- Then see more Penis Study Fetish from SOD, a series in which inexperienced girls aged 18-20 see, touch and prod penises for the first time — their reactions are priceless (region free)
- From Waap Entertainment, enjoy the super bukkake hardcore of VIP Shower, which stars three top-notch adult idols in a festival of sperm (region 2)
- Finally, we’ve stocked up on several great discs for the weekend, including Mika Kitagawa’s Stars!! release, Nao Oikawa’s High Class Soapland, The Other Side of COCOLO, Female Masturbation Study and more!
Do you like Japan’s dating-sim games? Got questions about the games and would like to find some answers? We recommend you head over to the Peach Princess BBS and meet the warm and friendly bishoujo gaming fans who can be found there. They’ll welcome you and give you any information you may need. The PeaPri BBS can be found here: http://www.peachprincess.com
Remember that J-List now sells long-sleeve and hoody versions of our popular wacky Japanese T-shirts, like “Looking for a Japanese Girlfriend” “Beware of Perverts Touching Women on Trains” and so on. A great way to wear a wacky Japanese message and stay warm at the same time!