Hello from Japan, where it’s very impolite to stick your chopsticks upright into your rice (“only dead people do this”).
Well, the big day has come, and my daughter has graduated from the preschool (hoikuen) that she’s gone to for the past four years. In Japan, the concept of “day care centers” don’t exist — instead there are structured preschools which take care of children during the day, called Hoikuen, which are specifically for households where both parents work. If you’d like to see pictures of the ceremony, I’ve posted them on my personal homepage at http://www.peterpayne.net/ (click on “Japan Picture Collection” on the left side of the page).
The day of the graduation was a sad day too, though: the father of one of the children in Rina’s class died the night before after a long illness. The suddenness of this was a big shock to everyone, and we felt very sorry for poor Keita-kun, who couldn’t attend his own graduation ceremony. I attended the funeral with my wife today, my first funeral ever in Japan. It was an interesting experience, being one of the 100+ attendees crowding into the municipal funeral hall, bringing a small cash gift, giving a bit of incense to the memory of the deceased beneath a picture of him smiling, then offering my condolences to his family. Many of the customs in Japan — don’t give gifts in sets of four, for example, as the number four in Japanese is “shi” which also means death — are related to death and dying, and in general, Japan can be a very death-centric place. Still, at times like this, I believe the various Japanese social customs related to death help people to deal with this unfortunate part of life.
Japan television never fails to entertain. One popular show called London Hearts puts one man on a train with three beautiful women — famous idols like Harumi Nemoto or Yinling. As the train goes along, the man and the three girls flirt about various topics, until the train comes to the next stop. Then the man must choose one woman to boot off the train, and it’s always funny to see which girl he chooses and why. After one girl is removed, a new idol or Race Queen gets on and they do it all over again. All the while, the popular Japanese comedian team London Boots watches through hidden cameras and makes sarcastic commentary about the flirting skills of the various girls as they try to get the man to let them stay on the train until the end. In another fun concept on the same show, a man tests the faithfulness of his girlfriend by sending the Sniper, a handsome man adept at picking up women, to try to pick up on his girlfriend. If the Sniper succeeds and gets the girl to take him home with her, they walk into her apartment to find her boyfriend and London Boots sitting there with a camera crew to catch them on television.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for fans of our world-famous funny Japanese T-shirts, we’ve got a great new one in stock for you, featuring a bizarre and funny message that will really get attention from Japanese who see you wearing it
- For fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s excellent films, we’ve got a great music box of the Shishigami, the Boar God from Princess Mononoke
- For fans of Japanese snacks, we’ve got some great new items, including soft Melon candy, berry & milk flavored butterscotch, and tasty Choco Flake “Blocky” squares
- Also, delicious Super Grape Gum that fizzes in your mouth
- For Japanese toy collectors, we’ve got some nice new items, including a beautiful large-scale Japanese high school doll that you can pose and display anywhere
- Also, an extremely special item for Totoro fans, a deluxe Totoro ceramic light that is just beautiful to look at
- For fans of Japan’s famous swimsuit idols like Yuko Ogura, Megumi, and Chinatsu Wakatsuki, we’ve got fresh stock of the excellent Hyper Genic 2003 photobook, which comes with super posters
- Also, we’ve got a super new hardcover photobook capturing the extreme loveliness of Yuko Ogura, one of the most popular faces from all Japan
- Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro is very popular throughout Asia — now you can see the deluxe edition of his latest film Returner, loaded with many extras only included in the first printing (region 2)
- We carry the excellent computer mice by Elecom, designed by famous Japanese illustrators — we’ve lowered our prices on the stylish mice designed by Hajime Katoki, the current main designer of the Mobile Suit Gundam series
- For bento fans we’ve got a heavy-duty industrial strength bento box for the hungriest of eaters, made entirely of aluminum
- We’ve got more bento and bento related items, too, including fresh stock of several chopstick items, sushi molds, and more
- Also, a very happy PET bottle case that helps you carry your drink in style along with your Japanese bento box
- We’ve got a nice set of collectible idol trading cards, featuring the very sexy Harumi Nemoto, in stock for you
- For fans of our Japanese hot springs powder, we’ve got an interesting new variety, coffee-scented bath powder for your bath
- Also, fresh stock of a popular item: authentic Japanese sushi erasers, which look like delicious sushi but are really rubber erasers
- Finally, find cool Japanese deodorant beads for your car or home, more wacky Japanese signs for your room, a really nice traditional Japanese saving bank, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of Japan’s adult magazines, we’ve got several nice new ones for you, including the super-erotic Magazine Junk, featuring many lovely amateurs and pro idols
- We’ve also got stock of the popular Hip de H, an ass-centric magazine for fans of anal sexual themes
- We’ve also got a fun photobook called 58 Hips, featuring the lovely vertical smiles of 58 beautiful Tokyo amateurs photographed amidst a background of everyday Japanese settings
- Also, enjoy the E cup beauty of the busty Ru Hoshino, as well as a superb hardcover photobook capturing give incredibly beautiful nudes from Taiwan
- We’ve gotten in fresh stock of the High School Uniform Pictorial Pocket Books vol. 1 & 2, which offer beautiful photographs of authentic high school uniforms, great for costumers
- If you love Japan’s hentai manga, see the half-dozen new hentai comics, including Tokyo Requium, an extremely beautiful comic with glossy color pages inside, by Nishiki Nakamura and Mujin Comics
- Also, see a major restocking of hentai comics, including Explosive Nurse by Hiroshi Kawamoto
- For yaoi fans, we’ve got another great male-male comic for you about attraction, jealousy and “love skill”
- We’ve got some great adult DVDs from Japan for you today, featuring some of Japan’s most famous stars, starting with a huge 4 hour “No Cut” release for fans of Asami Joh (region free)
- Enjoy the super sexy Ran Asakawa in her performance as a female “secretary pet” who takes dictation and a whole lot more (region free)
- See the super bukkake sex of Asuka Sawaguchi in a new work from SOD’s Chujitsudoh label, in which AV director Baba the Baby has his way with Asuka for 48 hours straight (region free)
- For fans of “dick girls” and the fetish of girls wearing “penis bands” and acting like men, we’ve got a great work from Deep’s for you — also features “reverse fucking” (region free)
- From Audaz, we’ve got a superb “Lesbian Theory Report” offering the highest quality lesbian sex chosen by the directors (region 2)
- From Moodyz, we’ve got a great “penis study” DVD in the “clothed female, naked male” series that is very popular (region 2)
- Finally, we’ve added stock of the popular Russian and European AV DVDs, including Czech Girls, Hungarian Girls, and French Gals Deluxe.
Remember that our special shipping sale on games ends with the end of the month — if you want to order as many Japanese love-sim games as you want and pay just $1 per game ($2 for international), you have to do it within before the end of the month. Don’t forget that you get 20% off if you buy 4 or more games, too. But hurry!
One of our favorite sites on the Internet hands-down is The Onion, that incredibly funny parody news source that never fails to make you laugh yourself silly. If you’re not a fan of The Onion, you should be! The URL is http://www.theonion.com/ — tell them J-List sent you.