Hello again from Japan, the home of tako-yaki, a delicious ball of batter with octopus inside.
Beer is the preferred drink for Japanese after a hard day of work, and the Japanese beer market is always a busy place, with market leader Kirin defending strong challenges by Asahi and Japan’s smaller breweries. The market has undergone many changes since the emergence of happo-shu, a kind of beer that is made slightly differently than normal beer, although I don’t understand the difference at all (happo-shu just tastes like beer to me, and the alcohol content is the same — I think the amount of hops used is different). Because the taxes on happo-shu are much lower than on beer, it’s much cheaper for consumers, and this has sparked a price war that has brought the prices of virtually all alcoholic beverages down to as much as half what they were a few years ago, contributing to Japan’s ongoing deflationary spiral. Every few months a new “limited” beer is released, like Sapporo’s “A Winter’s Tale” beer (sold only in the winter) or Kirin’s “Sakura Beer” (supposedly brewed specially for enjoying flower-viewing in the spring). The newest gimmick is “Sparking Beer” which contains extra CO2 for an extra fizzy taste. It’s actually pretty good.
Although Sumo is the official national sport of Japan, receiving special status from the Japanese government, the hearts of Japanese sports fans belongs to good old American baseball. There are twelve teams in Japan, organized into the central and pacific leagues. Teams often carry the names of the companies that own them, such as Yomiuri Giants (owned by the Yomiuri Newspaper Company), the Seibu Lions (Seibu is a department store that has a big sale when their team wins), and Yakult Swallows (Yakult is a popular yogurt drink). The strongest team in Japanese baseball is the Giants, which was led by the most famous man in Japanese baseball history, Shigeo Nagashima, until he retired in 2001. One thing about the Japanese — they are tickled to death when one of their own attains fame outside Japan, so they’re very happy to see players like Sakaki, Ichiro and Matsui active in the U.S. If you go to a Japanese baseball game, you might be surprised to see how organized the fans are. At Swallows games, fans bring a blue umbrella and do a traditional dance called the Tokyo Ondo at the bottom of the 7th inning. At Tigers games in Osaka, fans blow up balloons and release them into the air at the same time, also at the bottom of the 7th. Japanese teams hire foreigners (usually scouted from minor leagues) to help their teams, but they’re only allowed to play two foreigners in any game, a limit that teams honor to maintain the “Japaneseness” of the sport. Although Baseball was imported from the USA, it was considered “unpatriotic” to use English during World War II. As a result, virtually all the terms used in baseball are archaic kanji derivatives (i.e. “one death” in place of “one out”).
Do you have a cat’s tongue? If so, it means that you can’t eat hot food or drink hot drinks, just like a cat. The Japanese say that anyone who avoids hot food has a cat’s tongue (neko jita). What is you have lazy eye? If so, then you are “rom-pari” which is Japanese for “Rome, Paris” — i.e. one eye is looking at Rome and the other is looking at Paris. If you’re thinning on top, you might have “bar code hair,” as the Japanese say. Opening a bag of chips along its spine, so that the bag is spread out with the chips sitting on top, is called “omanko ake” (oh-MAHN-ko AH-kay), which literally means “to open so that it resembles the female private region.” And if you sneeze, the Japanese say that someone must be gossiping about you (this comes up in anime quite often).
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, we’ve got stock of an extremely cool item, the World Tank Museum series 3, featuring famous tanks, military vehicles and planes from World War II — they’re so small and fun to play with!
- for fans of Chobits, the anime and manga from CLAMP about a future where personal computers are really beautiful girl-robots, we’ve got a superb line of new trading cards
- We’ve got a great new hardcover photobook for Yuko Ogura lovers, filled with some of the cutest pictures of this amazing girl we’ve ever seen
- Also, be sure and check out the lovely new photobook offering of Yoko Matsugane, a very popular swimsuit idol with an H cup
- For Cutey Honey fans, a rare item: a great Cutey Honey Encyclopedia, with tons of information and pictures on the long-running anime
- If you love Shirow Masamune, we’ve got the new Ghost in the Shell anime TV series DVD in stock, vol. 3 (region 2)
- Also proving very popular, the pre-order for the Studio Ghibli movie Only Yesterday, which will be shipping on DVD March 7th, complete with English subtitles!
- For fans of Japanese snacks and food, we’ve got some great items for you, including delicious traditional fruit candies, dried salmon to put on your rice, and delicious melting wafers from Lotte
- Also, fresh stock of popular items including miso soup, Hiroshima style Ochazuke mix, and Mill Make coffee milk powder (which is drank by 100% of elementary school kids in Japan)
- Also, a dynamite toy + candy item from Glico capturing the toys and daily objects of the Showa period, a great item for fans of miniature toys from Japan
- For Godzilla fans, two great toys from the Godzilla 2003 movie, a beautiful classic Godzilla toy and Mecha Godzilla for him to battle with
- We stock lots of cute things from Japan, and we’ve got some new ones for you including super cute Hello Kitty items and cute things with funny English on them
- Also, for bento fans, we’ve got new and restocked bento and chopstick items for you, if you want to try out some authentic Japanese boxed lunch
- Studying Japanese? We recommend the excellent Love Hina Bilingual Comics, which we’ve restocked
- Also, we’ve got some great traditional items from Japan for you too, including a really nifty traditional Japanese soup bowl and mat set
- Finally look for a great way to clean your tongue, a cute “Peach Boy” string extender for lamps, a handy way to clean oil from your face, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For lovers of beautiful Japanese magazines, we’ve got the new issues of Penthouse Japan and Penthouse Special, which feature only Japanese gals photographed by Japanese photographers
- Also, we’ve got some great amateur magazines that feature real Japanese couples in love hotels
- For photobook fans, we’ve got some great items for you, which you should not miss, including fresh stock of Maiko Kazano’s dynamite XTC photobook
- If you love the former Race Queen Manami Suzuki, who quit her former to career to act in adult films, enjoy her super sexy Diva photobook/magazine issue
- For hentai manga fans, we’ve got another excellent volley of erotic comics for you, including Takashi Kawakami’s “Wait Until It’s Dark”
- Also, enjoy a huge restocking of great hentai manga including the Pururun Seminar series, Slave White Paper, Jet Boss and more!
- Also, we’ve got a great treat for doujinshi lovers — a great volley of erotic books, all brand new and just beautiful
- For DVD collectors, we’ve got lots of great items for you, starting with the lovely “lesbian bukkake” of Hitomi Hayasaka and Saori Kamiya (region free)
- Then enjoy 200 minutes of fabulous hardcore by one of our favorite AV actresses, the sultry Ran Asakawa (region free)
- For high-end leg and stocking fetishistst, we’ve got a superb new item which focuses on feet and stockinged toes (region free)
- SOD founder Ganari Takahashi has been the source of many of their most wacky and fun productions. Now you can see all his works on a new compilation DVD, from All Nude Sports to Female Cat Fight and more! (region free)
- AD (Assistant Director) Haruna of Soft on Demand’s Chujitsudoh label shows the best lesbian kissing you will ever see, going up against big names in a new Lesbian Kiss Battle Royale (region free)
- Enjoy the erotic “Pussy and Hip” of Akira Watase in a dynamite new release from Moodyz (region 2)
- For collectors of hentai DVDs, see Let’s Go Marine-chan! vol 1 and 2 in stock now
- For fans of the English-language hentai DVDs we carry from San Diego, enjoy a major restocking of some of our most popular titles, all in English and uncensored (region 1)
- Also, see many restocked erotic DVDs such as the popular Gold Bird and Euro Angel, fresh stock of Sally Yoshino and Bunko Kanazawa offerings, and more!
J-List carries many delicious snack items, and one of our favorites is Pocky. Pocky is basically a straight pretzel stick covered with delicious chocolate, strawberry, matcha cream, or just about anything else. It was introduced by the Glico food company and is a major “category killer” in the Japanese market, often imitated but never bested. J-List carries an excellent selection of Pocky flavors for you to enjoy, so please see our excellent selection (if you buy 10 or more boxes of one type, you get a 15% discount). Please note that we can’t carry Pocky and similar chocolate products in the summer, due to the heat and humidity in Japan. We’ll be closing out our selection of Pocky when it starts to get warm. Why not order some today?