Hello from Japan, where restaurant chain Coco’s is known as “The California Restaurant.”
Poor Kaori lost her wallet the other day, with her drivers’ license and some money in. (Just like Kaori-chan, she was more upset by the loss of the wallet itself, which was her favorite character, Thunder Bunny.) Hopefully someone will find it and contact her. In Japan, I’ve had many instances of lost wallets being returned, with money in it in all cases, although when I stupidly left my favorite Zero Haliburton case on a train, I never saw it again. Once, when my wife managed to leave her purse with $800 in cash on top of her car as she drove away while in the U.S.
The economy is still limping along here in Japan. One segment that is in for a shake-up is education, especially the lower tier schools that historically provided a 2- or 4-year education for Japanese college-bound students who couldn’t get into prestigious schools like Waseda or Keio University, and lower-quality preparatory schools (Yobiko). As the Japanese birth rate drops, there’s literally a “famine” of students for these schools. In order to get enough students, higher-tier colleges will lower their academic standards, putting the pinch on “suberi-dome” (“stop the downward slide”) schools which currently “catch” students who can’t get into better schools. When anyone who wants to go to a four-year college can easily do so without studying, it will force changes in the Japanese perception of education as a social “equalizer” and the basis of the Japanese middle class. I wonder what will happen?
We’ve got some really cool new items on the J-List site tonight. First, there are some excellent new photobooks on the photobook pages, including a photobook of a Japanese pro-wrestling star, more copies of the popular “Dahlia” by Wakana Sena and Wet Heaven, and more. We’ve got a bunch of all-new adult manga the hentai manga page — including two new parody dojinshi anthologies in the high-quality wide-manga format. The anime toys page has been updated again, and there are new calendars on the calendar page (more Glay, Kitty-chan, Speed and more). We’ve add another “reserve subscription” magazine for JPOP fans — it’s Zappi, a great monthly JPOP magazine that comes with a CD of music and messages from your favorite JPOP artists. Finally, we’ve scored more really nice puzzles for the card & puzzle page
Videos are selling well with the new December sale we’ve started. Remember that you can order videos from our special-order videos pages at the lower prices, too, so you can stock up with some cool Kawashima Azumi, Wakana Sena, or whoever your favorite happens to be…
Remember that J-List has a big stock of unique and fun candy and snacks from Japan, including a lot of cool Pokemon stuff, including the excellent Pokemon Choco (which comes with a Pokemon reflective card). Other cool snacks include Wata-pachi (cola-flavored cotton candy with pop rocks inside), Wata-gum (cola-flavored cotton candy that turns to gum in your mouth), Himo-Q (gummy string, I love it), Pocky, and more.
Well, I’ve got to get back and set up a Christmas tree. Have a nice weekend!