A very quick hello from J-List! I am rushing to get this update out the door, as I’m off to San Diego and Las Vegas on business. The “Azalea” bus (the bus that takes you right to Narita Airport, it’s so-named because the Azalea is the official flower of Gunma Prefecture) leaves in an hour!
We are certainly hoping for some good economic news here in Japan, but so far all the indicators point to things getting worse. Unemployment is up to 5.5%, which is supposedly equal to a 7.5% unemployment rate if the measurement were taken the same was as it is done in the West. It’s somewhat embarrassing being one of the few growing, busy companies in the city where we live — we get deliveries of stock several times a day by truck, and the delivery man often remarks that we’re the only busy business for miles around. The bad economy has a direct effect on J-List in many ways — mainly, several of the distributors and other companies we’ve worked with over the years have gone out of business and disappeared, making it more difficult to get the products we need for you. In some industries, the poor economy is combined with a double whammy of competition from American companies, which really destroys their business — small toy retailers and aging toy distribution companies, for example, have been greatly changed by the coming of Toys R Us to Japan.
For some reason, there are several English phrases that have burned themselves into the consciousness of the Japanese. When Dr. Clarke left Sapporo, where he helped establish what would become Sapporo University, he said left the words “Boys, be ambitious, which has endured ever since (making him far more famous than he deserved to be). When idol singer Yamaguchi Momoe retired from singing, she sang a tear-filled song that contained the English words Thank you for your kindness, thank you for your tenderness.” All Japanese seem to know these little snippets, and if you ever want to make Japanese people’s heads turn, try saying some of these words to them.
Winter is here, and with it, winter fashion. The fashion this year is decidedly leather — specifically, light, shiny, well-tailored leather jackets hung on Japanese girls so slender as to challenge Ally McBiel. Tight jeans are also really big this year.
There was a problem with the shopping cart, caused by our programmer who accidentally overwrote some records while he was working on the site. We think around 20 orders may have been erased before we processed them. If you made an order yesterday but didn’t hear from us, would you please email us to make sure all is well? Thanks.
We’ve got some great items for you today, including new magazines (the new Penthouses are in, loaded with beautiful Japanese women), many new photobooks (including that beautiful Chinese Yinling, many new and back in stock erotic manga volumes, great new erotic doujinshi for collectors, a huge slew of 18+ DVD and video items from Japan’s best video houses (everything from anime cosplay dvds to tekoki to nude boxing and more), great new anime toys (including the new Laputa robot series), fresh stock of Men’s Pocky and Coconut Pocky, fun things for Hello Kitty fans, and new wacky items like Buddhist prayer beads and much more. Please check out the newly added items!
We’re kicking around the idea of attending an anime convention in Germany or Italy this Spring, but it can be hard to get information on all the cons that are out there. If you have information on large cons coming up in the Spring in these countries, would you let us know? Thanks.