Hello again from your friends in Japan at J-List!
The Japanese are very big on their four seasons, and have many customs that separate each season from the others. In the spring, people sit under cherry blossom trees and enjoy the fleeting beauty of the season of the sakura. In summer, it’s time to don a yukata (cotton summer kimono) and enjoy Japan’s festivals. In autumn, have a family barbecue in the mountains while enjoying the blazing colors of the turning leaves around you. In the winter, one of my personal favorite customs is sampling the new “nikuman” at convenience stores in Japan (pronounced “niku-mahn”). Nikuman is a kind of steamed Chinese bun with meat inside, and it’s one of the most delicious foods you can eat when visiting Yokohama’s famous Chinatown. The ones sold in convenience stores aren’t quite as good, but they’re hot and tasty nevertheless, and cheap at just 88 yen. Variations on the basic “beef and bread” nikuman dumplings include pizzaman (tomato sauce and cheese), anman (Japanese anko sweet beans), and curryman (curry-filled bread). The best nikuman can be found at convenience stores that carry Yamazaki baked goods, like Sun Every and Yamazaki Daily Store.
Some Japanese gestures are really cute. One famous gesture the Japanese make when having their picture taken is “peace” (also known as the V for Victory sign), which seems to be a national pasttime here. Unfortunately, none of the J-List staff has any idea why virtually all females, and many males, make this gesture — it’s just a cute Japanese thing, we guess. When Japanese get their picture taken, then say “cheese” just like in English. An alternate version is to say “what’s one plus one?” (the answer in Japanese is “ni” and will result in a smile, the same as “cheese.”)
It’s always hard to be an expat and live in another country. No matter how long I live in Japan, I still feel that things from home are just plain “better.” American medicine works the best for me, and there’s nothing like American Cream of Wheat for breakfast on cold mornings — I’ve turned my kids on to it, although my wife sticks her nose up at the stuff, since it looks like “okayu,” a watery rice dish Japanese give to sick people. While there are many familiar things to an American living in Japan (McDonald’s, Starbucks, Time Magazine), I don’t think I could get by without the Internet to give me all the American culture I need. Amazon.com especially is a Godsend for someone like me — a far cry from eleven years ago, when we had to scour the town to find a store that had some imported Pringles or Doritos, or travel to Tokyo to one of two bookstores that carried English books.
We seem to be experiencing some problems with our shopping cart system, a few users have had trouble checking out. If you find any problems with the J-List site, please email us about it right away, and remember that you can always use the secure email form (see link in the upper left hand corner of our site) to send order information in an emergency.
Announcing our first The Dog sale! For the month of December, you can get 25% off all our cute The Dog plush pets and other products by entering THEDOGSALE in the coupon field at checkout. The Dog plush pets, which feature big heads and super-cute “strange ratio” dimensions, are really great, and uniquely Japanese. And they make great gifts, too.
Also, for the month of December, we’re happy to announce we’ll give free shipping (for U.S./Canada — international customers get half price on shipping) on all Peach Princess games! If you haven’t completed your collection of excellent English-language love-sim games, now is a great time. As always, if you’d like more information on Japan’s unique dating sim games, or a recommendation from our staff, just email us!
In order to help you help us reduce our stock of 2003 calendars, we’ve gone through and lowered prices on another two dozen of the items. We’ve still got a huge number of really excellent and unique calendars, including many that you’ll treasure all year long, so please browse what we’ve got for you before the calendars you want are taken.
For the new update, we’ve got a great selection of new products from Japan for you, including:
- First of all, we’ve got some great and wacky things in time for Christmas, including a cute “Christmas Reindeer” figure and soft reindeer antlers, great for your Christmas party o Also very cool, enjoy a new plush Haro toy for Gundam fans, and some extremely rare Yujin capsule toys o Also for Gundam lovers, fresh stock of the large-size deluxe Haro, a working alarm clock based on the famous Gundam robot that’s just great o We love cute Japanese containers, things to put other things in, and we’ve got some nice items, including a Japanese bag with funny French on it, a soft portable phone case, and more o For lovers of top-notch Japanese Race Queens, enjoy the new Best of Race Queen photobook that we have o Enjoy elegant and beautiful photobooks by Japanese models like Noriko Sagara, very beautiful to look at and enjoy o For Morning Musume fans, we’ve been able to get limited stock of the Pocky and Pretz for Mo-Musu fans, which comes with a cute dual-faced mirror o Also for snack fans, find new ochazuke and furikake (delicious foods to put on rice), miso soup, new flavors of ramune candy, delicious “Gravel Choco” (chocolate that looks like rocks), and more o For fans of rare Hello Kitty items, we’ve got a cool stackable “juubako” bento box, as well as fresh stock of many items, including Hello Kitty cake mix, the best-selling Hello Kitty shoulder massagers o We love Hamtaro at J-List, and have some nice items for you, including a new Hamtaro figure-and-toy set, Hamtaro Hiragana Carta (a Japanese game in which you can learn hiragana), and more o Also for hamster fans, we’ve got some cute “ramen and chopstick erasers” o Finally, we’ve got new Japanese funny signs, a traditional way to clean your ears, Japanese style, new bento and chopstick items including the popular Hamster Bento Set, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
Remember that J-List carries that great symbol of Japanese wacky pop culture, the Hello Kitty Vibrating Shoulder Massager, which is of course intended as massager for your neck and shoulders, although some would call it a Hello Kitty vibrator. A licensed Sanrio item sold only in Japan, the unit features high and low massage modes, and a beautiful image of Kitty and her rabbit friend. It looks just great, in or out of case — display it as the objet d’art de culture populaire that it is. Why not get a few, and give them out as gifts? We can get them to you in time for Christmas with time to spare via airmail or EMS.