Hello from Japan, the home of yogurt flavored butterscotch candies — yum.
Japan has a new “muscle idol” these days: Bob Sapp, a former player with the Minnesota Vikings who is now a professional wrestler and fighter in K-1, has a huge following of fans in Japan and appears in dozens of TV commercials and on TV variety shows here. His combination of a big, scary body and teddy bear cute looks have caused fans to go gaga over him. The Japanese tend to have extra curiosity about black men, who seem “extra foreign” to them (compared with white and other gaijin), and this has no doubt helped Bob build his career in Japan. In one recent variety show, famous “talents” (that is, actors and singers) had to play rock, paper, scissors with him, but he kept making scary faces at the Japanese guests, causing them to run screaming off the stage. It was a fun spectacle to see. See some magazine covers featuring Bob here: http://www.prowrestle.tv/bobsapp/magazine-cover.html
In the U.S., the cornerstone of television has traditionally been the 30 minute situation comedy, although it seems like the networks plan to make it the reality show, if what I can tell from the videos of American TV my mother sends me is correct. The Japanese watch American sitcoms dubbed into Japanese (one of my wife’s favorites was “Bewitched,” shown in Japan as “My Wife is a Witch”), but there is no Japanese version of this American creation. In Japan, the core television show is the 1-hour drama, which traditionally is shown over 15 episodes, one per week, building up to an exciting and romantic climax. Japanese TV networks such as TBS and TV Tokyo and Fuji TV all compete to make the most interesting “trendy dramas” with famous Japanese stars such as Takuya Kimura (the “Brad Pitt” of Japan) or Nanako Matsushima (the pretty actress who starred in the Japanese version of The Ring if you’ve seen it). When I was a university student in San Diego, I learned Japanese partially by watching Japanese dramas on the Japanese channel. They’re a unique and fun part of Japan pop culture, as full of repeated themes and inside jokes as Japanese animation. For some information on Japanese dramas (often called “doramas” by fans, in imitation of the way the word is pronounced in Japanese), here: http://www.nt2099.com/DORAMA/database.html
Japanese names are interesting to study. Japanese put their family names before their first names, so that Yuko Ogura’s name is really Ogura Yuko if you’re speaking Japanese. It can be confusing, which is part of why we developed the J-List search engine to bring up the same results no matter what word order you search with. Japanese female names often have “ko” in them (Keiko, Miko, etc.), which means “child.” Boy’s names, on the other hand, often reflect their status in the family. If a boy is the oldest son, he’ll often have a name that indicates this, by having the number 1 or the word “first” in it. The most “vanilla” sounding names in Japanese (i.e., the names that correspond to John and Mary Smith in English) are Taro and Hanako Yamada. Japanese names usually use kanji, Chinese characters, and just as there are various spellings for Western names, there are often many ways to write a person’s name in kanji. The government maintains a list of “accepted” kanji that can be used for registering the names of babies, and sometimes Japanese get into fights with the government when the characters they want to use for their child’s name aren’t on the list. Some years ago, a family decided to name their child “Akuma” (which means “demon” in Japanese). The government wouldn’t allow them to use this name, so they settled on just the first character as the child’s name.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for Sailor Moon fans, we’ve got three dynamite PVC figures of Usagi, Ami and Rei in their classic poses — very cool
- Also for anime fans, a really fun coloring book for Tokyo Mew Mew fans
- Jiji, the black cat from Kiki’s Delivery Service, has always been a huge favorite at J-List, and everything we get in stock for Jiji fans seems to sell well — now we’ve got a really cool Jiji soft doll from Sekiguchi
- For Hello Kitty fans, enjoy some great new items, including a fun “Catch de Pon!” game (play catch with a Kitty ball)
- For fans of cute Japanese idols, some great new hardcover photobooks, including Kaori Koshi’s first cutie photobook and a new offering from the very popular Yoko Matsugane
- For fans of Asian bathing, we’ve got two Korean style items for removing dead skin cells from your body in the bath or shower
- J-List carries dozens of DVDs of Japanese films that have English subtitles, and we’ve got a new title for you, Ping Pong, an exciting film of ping pong and life (region 2)
- For fans of Japanese snack foods, we’ve got some nice items, including Morinaga Hi-Chew soft candies, Anpan Man fruit candies, kimchee flavored seaweed snacks and the enigmatic “yogurt butterscotch candy” by Chelsea
- Also, we’ve got stock of Lotte’s delicious Mint Blue, a chewing gum as fresh and minty as the sea — complete with packs of gum that say “Yes, Chewing!” on them
- For collectors of teddy bears, we’ve got a great new items from Japan — a series of very detailed soft vinyl antique teddy bears based on the famous teddy bears past
- For Blythe fans, we’ve gotten in fresh stock of the Every Blythe cute figures from Takara
- Chobits is the top anime and manga in Japan today, and we’ve restocked the red-hot Chobits trading cards that sold out so fast last week
- We’ve got fresh stock of DVDs and photobooks by the lovely Yuko Ogura, on her way to becoming one of the most famous Japanese idols outside Japan
- We’ve done a major update of our popular bento boxes and related items, with fresh stock of several deluxe bento box sets and more
- We love wacky signs in Japanese, and we’ve got one for your room (“Post no bills”)
- Finally, look for traditional Japanese miso soup bowls, a cute pencil case with funny English on it, a cute tote bag from Japan, fresh stock of chopsticks and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- For fans of great adult magazines, we’ve got some nice ones in stock for you, starting with Gal’s Dee, the magazine for fans of beautiful busty Japanese gals (D cup or higher) including the lovely Kyoko Ayana
- Also, see other great items like a special issue of Suppin Evolution, a great issue of Let’s Do Good Things (hardcore love hotel sex) and more
- For fans of Japan’s beautiful hardcover photobooks, some great items in stock, including Imoto Alpha vol 2 featuring the lovely body of nude model Sayaka
- Also, see many restocked photobook items including the popular Minori Aoi “Beyond the Blue Sky,” Kaoru’s Private Collection photobook, and the Yellows photobooks
- For fans of Japan’s bondage themed AV, enjoy the new MPEG Aido Club, featuring a magazine and DVD packed with fun bondage samplers (region free)
- Enjoy some of Japan’s most beautiful and elegant busty idols in a super Giant Breast Idol, including Nao Oikawa, Chihiro Inoue and many more
- For hentai comic fans, enjoy the excellent artwork and erotic stories of Japan’s top hentai artists, including vol. 1 of Michael Plan by Distance and a super anthology of the best hentai works of the Zero Shiki comic company
- For fans of excellent erotic doujinshi, amateur comics that parody famous anime characters, we’ve got a superb all Gundam issue of Next Climax Magazine
- Also, we’ve got a nice new yaoi comic in stock for you about romantic love and sex
- Also, for fans of the incredibly well-known hentai artist U-Jin, we’ve restocked his best-selling “Candy” erotic illustration book for you
- For erotic DVD fans J-List has some great new items in stock for you, starting with a new The Idol series by Kuki, this time featuring 3 hours of the lovely sex of Miyuki Kasuga (region free)
- See the super-erotic Ran Asakawa as an erotic “Queen & Slave” in an erotic new offering from Alice Japan (region free)
- In a new Soft on Demand “Magic Mirror Bus” DVD, female friends are challenged to do things for money — $50 to show your bra, $100 to show your panties, $400 to have sex in a car, and more (region free)
- Also from SOD, enjoy “Everything about Kyoko Ayana” in a superb DVD offering compiling her best performances (region free)
- Madoka Ozawa is one of the sexiest and most venerable AV stars in Japan today — now see this special woman in a super-erotic cosplay release from Moodyz (region 2)
- Also very cool, a “Catalog of 15 Beautiful Girls” documenting their beauty and charm, similar to the Yellows series by Akira Gomi (region 2)
- Finally, look for freshly restocked items including Ganari Takahashi’s works, Minori Aoi’s lovely “Love Theory,” Lesbian Max 4 hours and more “clothed sex” fetish!
J-List has a new category on the left-hand side of the website, a “View All Products” link, allowing you to view all the products on the J-List site (there are quite a few of them…). Items are listed in most-recently-updated-first order, so the most recently updated items are always at the top. You can also click the “view items updated in the last three days” link located on the main J-List page to see the latest products.