Hello and Happy Monday from your friends in Japan!
It is interesting to observe the differences between Japan and the U.S. For one thing, it’s an accepted concept that American companies usually “stick to their knitting” and only make products you’d expect them to make. Dell makes computers, and Ford makes cars, and if Ford started making computers we’d all wonder what they were smoking. But in Japan, it’s quite common for companies to enter a wide range of businesses. You know Sony for their home electronics, but in Japan, Sony is also famous for life insurance, online banking and high-end make-up products. Building homes is big business in Japan, and companies like Panasonic and Toyota own companies that build homes under those brands — there’s even a builder called TBS Housing, operated by the Tokyo Broadcasting System, of all people. Mitsubishi is famous for their cars, but they’re also busy making trains and home electronics and selling securities, and they are the leading manufacturer of pencils in Japan. All the big beer manufacturers have booming soft drink businesses on the side, so Coca Cola decided to try this process in reverse: they’ve introduced their first alcohol free beer, called Sky Malt, in the Japanese market.
As a man, living in Japan means being at peace with having women around you when you’re in the buff. While some may have the impression that men and women bathe together regularly in Japan, kon’yoku or mixed bathing is actually very rare these days. However, there’s an unwritten rule that female staff may enter the men’s public bath to clean at any time, despite the natural state of all the men bathing inside. Usually the women are “obasans” (older women in their 50s or so), but every once in a while an attractive younger woman will come in to straighten the buckets or check the bath temperature, causing the occasional dash to hot water by gaijin who shall not be named. Bathing in public baths (sento) and hot springs (onsen) is a fun part of life in Japan, and something my family and I are big fans of. By and large, being in the buff in front of others is something you don’t give a second thought to — it’s just part of the culture here.
Memorizing the names of the months in English must be difficult for Japanese, but it’s easy going the other way — the months in Japanese are all just numbers followed by the kanji for month (e.g. ichi-gatsu is January, ni-gatsu is February, etc.). They get their revenge, though: although the days of the month in Japanese are expressed with numbers, just like in English, there are special names for the first ten days of the month, which must be memorized, always a chore for gaijin learning Japanese. The days of the week are interesting, too — each is associated with a kanji that represents the original European origin. The days of the week are Getsu-yobi (lit. “moon day”), Ka-yobi (“fire day” since the first character for Mars is “fire”), Sui-yobi (“water day,” from the Japanese name for the planet Mercury), Moku-yobi (“wood day,” from Jupiter), Kin-yobi (“gold day,” from Venus), Do-yobi (“earth day,” from Saturn), and Nichi-yobi (“sun day,” from good old Sol).
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you, described below. To view all products updated in the past 3 days, click: http://www.jbox.com/UPDATES/3/
- First, a very special item for Evangelion fans: super sexy figures of Rei and Asuka featuring the most gorgeous plugsuits you’ve ever seen, and cat tails and ears
- For fans of super cute JPOP group Melon Kinenbi (Melon Anniversary), we have a special hardcover photobook in stock for you
- Naruto fans, we have a great treat for you: Naruto gashapon (capsule toys) with all the great characters from the series — we have full sets so you don’t need to worry about getting duplicates and throwing them away
- Add a touch of Japan to your home with “noren,” special Japanese curtains which you hang in doorways
- For fans of our wacky Japanese message T-shirts, we have some cool new products for you: bizarre signs to hang in your car and bafflement to everyone
- For fans of our Japanese snack foods, we’ve got a sampling of tasty corn snacks with flavors like takoyaki (fried octopus balls), teriyaki burger, and the famous natto (fermented soybeans)
- Then enjoy classic shrimp-flavored rice crackers, yummy melon flavored candies for summer, and tasty chocolate er, cotton candy
- Restocked snack items include delicious Toppo and Pretz (which don’t melt in the hot summer months, unlike Pocky), several varieties of gum including Black Black caffeine gum, and powdered Pocari Sweat drink mix
- We have some new wacky Japanese condoms for you, which parody the Japanese horror classic The Ring
- For people who want to have cool Japanese things around them when they study, we have a handy pencil sharpener that’s incredibly advanced and cool to look at (it matches other “Flavor” items we sell too)
- Hello Kitty fans, we’ve got some really cute Kitty Frisbees that you can throw and catch — three different colors to choose from
- Next, enjoy another elegant wing chime that uses pieces of charred wood to make a pleasant sound when the wind blocks
- To all fans of Japanese toys, we hope you’ve bought at least one Sun Arrow plush so you can see how great the quality of these amazing toys are — we have a new “Sho Totoro” (the cute white one) plush that is so soft and well made, you’ll want to hug it
- Among the 2000+ products we sell, some of the most popular are Japanese refreshing eyedrops — we’ve got a new type of extra-refreshing eyedrops that are good for anyone with contact lenses (hard or soft)
- Are you studying Japanese? We’ve got fresh stock of the very popular Canon Wordtank G50, the dynamite new Wordtank with many fabulous features for serious students of Japanese — we’ve got a great new price too
- Also for anyone studying Japanese: we have fresh stock of the Chobits bilingual manga by CLAMP and Princess Knight by the famous Tezuka Osamu — enjoy these great works
- Finally, find more Domo-kun plush squares that are incredibly cute to display, more useful flashcards that help you learn Japanese words, tasty and fun “whistle ramune” candy, and more!
Remember that J-List offers dozens of amazing original T-shirts, printed in the USA on quality U.S. size T-shirts. Note that since we’re always introducing new designs to the site, we have to close old designs out. We currently have several shirts designs that are being removed from the site, which you can buy at special prices. Check the site now before your sizes are sold out.
Also remember that you can browse the J-List/JBOX.com websites easily using our “text tree” browsing feature, which allows you to see all products in all categories easily, without images or descriptions. Click on a product you want to see more about and it will come up quickly. To access this feature, click the “text browsing” link on the left of each page, or the “text tree browsing” bar at the top of product categories.