Hello again from all of us in Japan!
One complex topic is the role of women in Japan, and how that role differs from the West. For starters, Japan is definitely a man’s paradise where men are uniquely able to take the lead in just about any area they want, politics, business, you name it, and where a woman will actually get a man a cup of coffee without thinking twice about it. Although there are laws against discrimination in the workplace as well as “seku-hara” (sexual harassment), there are many visible signs that Japan is for the most part a Man’s Country. The best example of this was the lightning speed with which Pfizer’s popular pill for men was approved for sale here by Japan’s Diet, comprised almost entirely of the drug’s target market. How about the Pill? Although available for 30 years in the West, birth-control pills remained illegal to dispense until a few months after the arrival of the popular drug for men, when Japanese lawmakers sheepishly admitted the double standard and approved it for sale.
While much of this male-ism is pure unfairness to women on the part of Japan’s bull-headed men, it’s important to realize that Japan is not America or Europe, and things are the way they are here partially because people prefer them that way. The reason that nearly all women work through their twenties then quit to get married and have children (such as Kaori, J-List’s first employee) isn’t due to some external pressure for her not to maintain a career; it’s because that’s generally considered the road to happiness for most women here in Japan, and they genuinely want to do things this way. Of course women don’t like all aspects of this male-oriented society. Part of the reason things don’t change is that the Japanese have a powerful talisman that allows them to deal with any unpleasant situation: the three words “shikata ga nai.” This phrase means “it can’t be helped,” and Japanese they use regularly when they encounter anything that they feel they can’t change (the more colloquial “sho ga nai” means the same thing). It’s important to note that feminism never took root with Japanese women at all, and this is part of the reason why Japan looks very strange when viewed from the outside. In general, the Japanese family is a simpler thing than it is in America — the husband in a family is the “daikoku bashira,” the “big, black pillar” that supports the family; the wife usually concerns herself with education of the children and managing the home, although many balance this with work. And for the record, in virtually all Japanese families, the wife is the one who handles the household finances, doling out a small monthly allowance to her husband for him to spend on drinking with his friends and making sure the financial goals of the family are met first.
Yes, men and women are very different in Japan, and these differences are built into the Japanese language in ways that an English-speaker would have trouble comprehending, since English is largely unisex. From birth, there are different pronouns for boys and girls to use. Guys use the polite “boku” or the rough-sounding “ore” (OH-ray) to refer to themselves, but girls get the more feminine-sounding “watashi” or “atashi” (or if they’re trying to be annoyingly cute, they’ll use their own names in place of the first-person pronoun, like they do in anime). For the second person pronoun, men often use masculine-sounding “omae” (OH-mah-aye) or the slightly condescending “kimi,” but women usually use the neutral “anata.” There are quite a few words which the Japanese use every day but which sound incredibly sexist if you analyze them. The most common word for husband is “shujin,” which really means master. Two common words for wife used by older Japanese are “kanai” (lit. “in the house”) and “okusan” (“Mrs. Interior”), implying that wives never leave the home. Of course, these are just words and no one considers their meanings all that deeply, but it’s still interesting nevertheless. If you’d like to read more about what Japanese words say about the role of women in Japan, by all means read Womansword by Kiddridge Cherry, which was out of print for several years but has been re-released. Here’s a link:
The J-List server update is being executed even as I type, and we think we’ll be done with it very soon — probably by the time you read this. The new server is much faster, with four lovely processors and tons of memory and fast disks, to handle J-List’s needs for years to come. One new feature which we think you’ll like is the improved Text Only browsing. In any category, click the Text Only button at the top of the page, and you’ll be greeted with a tight list of products that’s much easier to browse if you have a slower connection.
Announcing the start of 2004 calendar preorders! Yes, it’s that time of year again: we’ve gotten the first of our great 2004 calendars up and available for you to preorder. For those who aren’t familar with “calendar season,” hundreds of incredibly beautiful JPOP, anime, photographic, traditional, nude and other calendars are sold in Japan each year, towards the end of the year. The calendars are released in two groups — the first, which include traditional, art, photographic and some nude calendars, are posted now. The majority of other calendars, which include most of the JPOP, idol and anime items, will be posted in a month or so, but in the meantime, please browse the excellent 2004 calendars we’ve put up for you now. Preorders for calendars will be held for you, and we’ll send your calendars when they come in in October or so. If possible, payment with credit card is preferable for calendar orders, since we can hold them without charging until the calendars are in stock. The window for preordering these large-size glossy calendars is short, and we’ll have to close all preorders around the middle of October. So get your orders in! Calendars require mailing tubes for us to send them to you in pristine condition — tubes are $3 (two calendars can be sent in one tube), and if you order 4 or more calendars, your tubes are free!
Want to work at J-List? We’re hiring staff for our San Diego location. Applicants should have knowledge and interest in J-List’s products, preferably including dating-sim games, and have good Internet and computer skills and experience shipping products. You’d also need to be able to start quickly. Please email at [email protected] for more information.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, we’ve got a great large-size 1/5.5 scale replica of Mizuho Kazami from the hit anime series Please Teacher, a superb item for collectors of high-quality anime statues
- For lovers of our unique bento boxes, we’ve got three great new items for you, beautifully colored bento boxes that come with adult-length chopsticks and chopstick holders
- Then enjoy new snack foods from Japan, including a great new flavor of Koala no March (March of the Koalas, the favorite food enjoyed by Crayon Shin-chan), Korean barbecue-flavored pretzles, chilled fruit desserts from Japan and delicious seaweed that you can eat as a snack
- Also, fresh stock of the cult hit Felix the Cat strawberry gum from Japan, one of our most popular gum products
- For lovers of Japanese swimsuit and sexy idols, see the glossy offering of Misako Yasuda
- For fans of high school uniforms, we’ve added stock of several popular photobooks featuring uniforms of famous schools, great for cosplay fans
- For Hello Kitty fans, a great treat: plush toys of Kitty and Daniel in Japanese yukatas, enjoying summer festivals in traditional Japanese style, as well as other wacky items sold only in Japan
- Then we’ve got a very stylish new Blythe toy series in, a deluxe Petite Blythe doll that comes with everything you need to dress her up and even make clothes for her
- Then enjoy new Totoro items, including the Mei & Totoro PVC keychains, and several popular plush items
- Then enjoy a beautiful PVC recreation of Japanese actress Aya Ueto dressed like a beautiful female samurai
- For people who want to live like the Japanese do, we’ve got a cool train pass that you can use to carry credit cards and other forms of ID
- And for all those times when you don’t have a bag with you, we’ve got fresh stock of the very wacky Bag in Bag
- For Japan Hot Wheels fans, a treat: a beautiful die-cast replica of K.A.R.R., the arch-nemesis of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider 2000 — wacky and totally esoteric — as well as fresh stock of K.I.T.T.
- We love the highly detailed miniature toys that are so popular in Japan these days — look for fresh stock of the oh-so-cool Train Station bento and Showa-era public bath, which we highly recommend
- Also, we’ve got fresh stock of virtually all the popular Groomy plush pets, which feature soft chamois on their bottoms to allow you to clean your computer monitor when it gets dirty
- We’ve got more wacky Japanese stickers for people who want to surround themselves with Japanese messages
- Finally, a way to apply cold or heat to anything, a great starter set for learning shogi, the chess of Japan, more Sanrio ice cube makers, a fun way to clean your ears the way the Japanese do, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of Japan’s busty AV stars and amateurs, we’ve got a great new issue of Gal’s Dee, which features hot ladies ilke Mai Satoh, Marina Matsushima, Cocolo and Sora Aoi for your enjoyment
- Then enjoy a great magazine + DVD, which gives you 5 full hours of great quickies and sample video
- For fans of Japanese photobooks, which feature beautiful glossy photography and the most beautiful girls, we’ve got some new offering sof ryou, including the erotic first photobook of Kokoro Amano, fresh stock of Smart Girls Remix, and more
- Also, for Yuko Ogura lovers, we’ve restocked several items including her most popular photobooks
- Then, not to be missed, we’ve got a great new pocket photobook format work with incredibly bold and sexy shots of Japan’s hottest gals, including “girls in underoos”
- Also, fresh stock of the wonderful nude photobooks of Kaoru, as seen by the camera of Aida Garo
- For our hentai manga fans, some great works for you, including the erotic sex of Caster Ayako (yes, the Japanese even have a place for newscaster hentai fetish in their hearts), and the super “dick girl” sex of Parasiter Miki!
- Also, vol. 2 of the dynamite Chirality, the delightful hentai manga by hentai master Satoshi Urushihara — don’t miss this deluxe sized volume, with a music CD!
- We’ve also restocked several popular adult manga volumes, including Sweet Trap, Soft Cream, Alice Second, and the very nice Libido in the Beaker
- For our DVD collecting customers, we’ve got some special items for you, starting with the 4-Hour Non-Stop Ecstasy of Asuka Sawaguchi, who is expertly fucked by some of Japan’s most famous male AV stars (region free)
- Then see Everything About Ran Asakawa in a new release from Soft on Demand, with super-fine digital mosaic (region free)
- Then enjoy some “gyaku nanpa” (where girls pick up guys) in the Magic Mirror, SOD’s rolling adult video studio on wheels — they pick up guys at the beach and take them into the Magic Mirror for grat sex (region free)
- Big black men from the U.S. teaming with hot Japanese stars is a big fetish in Japan — see a great new performance in the Black Swap in L.A. series, by Moodyz (region 2)
- Then see the super busty sex of three great sars, with both lesbian play and hardcore sex, in “Triple Big Breasts Makes You Satisfied” (region 2)
- Finally, look for freshly added stock of popular DVD titles, including Sakura Sena’s busty sex, Mai Hagiwara’s sexy “b Live,” bondage mania with many famous adult video stars, and more!
Remember that J-List has many discounted adult magazines on magazine page 3, starting at just $5. Since J-List has so many different unique products — over 2000 individual products, believe it or not — we’ve got something for everyone no matter what your interest in Japan, and for every budget as well. Remember that J-List products make great gifts, too, which the recipients will likely never forget.
The J-Mate site has been updated, with a new review, this time a review with four female staff members who help out on the set of Japan’s AV studios. It’s quite interesting to read their comments on the state of the Japanese adult video world. The URL is http://www.jmate.com/