Hello again from all of us in Japan!
Japan can be a funny place. Although it’s one of the most pro-American countries in the world, at the end of the day, Japan really loves Europe, and secretly wishes it could be a part of that continent. During the Meiji period, when Japan was looking to other nations as it modernized its institutions, they chose many elements from Europe to incorporate here. The French prefectural system, for example, was used as the model for Japan’s internal organization; they modeled their military on Prussia’s, and their Diet on Britan’s Parliament, the Mother of Parliaments. In much the same was as the British will jokingly pretend they’re not part of Europe (since they’re an island nation), the Japanese seem to pretend they’re not a part of Asia, and actually say “Asia and Japan” as if one were not part of the other. The fact that Japan and most of Europe are grouped in the same DVD region (region 2) area speaks volumes about how Japan perceives itself.
As part of their ongoing efforts at “internationalizing” Japanese young people, Japanese must study six years of English by the time they’re 18, and more if they go on to college. But there’s always a subtle conflict that no one openly acknowledges: do they study American English or British English? The Japanese have always had great respect for England, and have copied them in many ways (including their penchant for Empire-building) during the past 150 years. Still, the Japanese tend to study American spelling (“color” not “colour”), as a general rule. The problem is, it’s not a fixed rule — British English is sometimes used in schools, but other times American English is used: just enough to confuse and frustrate the poor kids. When my wife was in Junior High school, she took part in a pronunciation contest. She practiced and practiced the text she was supposed to read, but unfortunately, the teacher who helped her with the material had learned British English, and the two accents confused her terribly.
We were surprised to hear that Ultraman Tiga is being shown in the U.S. on Fox. Ultraman Tiga is the first of the Ultraman series made in Japan after the long gap between the “classic” Ultraman series of the 1960s and 70s. I’ve been a big fan of Ultraman ever since I was a child and saw the original on TV, and I’ve enjoyed a fun second childhood, watching the newer Japanese series with my son. We carry some nice items for Ultraman lovers, including the 2003 Ultraman calendars, and the Eiji Tsuburaya Anniversary calendar, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Mr. Tsuburaya, the Father of Godzilla and Ultraman (we highly recommend it). For a fantastic page documenting everything there is to know about Ultraman, see http://www.waynebrain.com/
We’ve received some questions about how the ongoing dock closures along the West Coast might affect J-List shipment delivery. Happily, all SAL, airmail and EMS shipment are all sent via air, so only seamail shipments should be affected by the delays.
For the new update, we have many cool products for you from Japan, including:
- First, a very special item that we just love: the limited-edition Laputa Collector’s Box, a massive box filled with tons of goodies for fans of Hayao Miyazaki’s famous film, including the English DVD, soundtrack and image album, novelization, and a very detailed Laputa robot from Cominica
- Also, we’ve got a very cool limited-edition die-cast Arcadia, from Leiji Matsumoto’s famous anime series
- For fans of Snoopy, we’ve got a rare item that’s not available outside Japan: beautiful Chinese tea cups with images of Snoopy, which we think is really cool
- For Macross/Robotech fans, a very special item: the Macross Design Works, featuring all design sketches and color illustrations of mecha designed by Shoji Kawamori
- For fans of Japan’s breathtakingly beautiful idols, we’ve got a great item for you: Yellow Girls, a collection of photos by the three most famous idols in Japan
- Also, a hardcover photobook for fans of the very popular Rei Kikukawa, an incredibly beautiful starlet in Japan who is a very interesting persona: despite her incredibly beauty, she attends Tokyo University, the top-rated school in Japan (see her 2003 calendars too)
- For Hello Kitty fans, we’ve got several fun items that you can’t get outside of Japan, like a cute Kitty stamp set with 30 rubber stamps of Kitty and her family
- For manga lovers, we’ve got another selection of adult comics from Japan, including the very erotic Melt-Down by Angel Comics
- Also, for fans of Japan’s popular yaoi (homosexual) comics, we have a nice new anthology work for you, with great romantic stories by some of Japan’s top artists
- For fans of sexy Race Queens, we’ve restocked the popular Miho Yoshioka and Mario Racing Girls title for you (region free) and the very nice Fumika Suzuki Trading Card Bible
- Just in time for Christmas, we’ve got a super-cute Gremlins plush, little Gizmo dressed up as Santa
- For our snack fans, enjoy Japanese animal cookies, bean snacks and fresh stock of Pocky, which was starting to sell out already (it’s very popular)
- Speaking of Pocky, we’ve got stock of a great “parody pen” that looks like dark and white chocolate Pocky — it’s wacky!
- For fans (or parents of fans) of Yu-Gi-Oh, we’ve got a neat item: Yu-Gi-Oh Dual Monsters chocolate wafer cookies, which come with very cool collectible stickers
- We’ve got some cool anime toy items in, including the Kiki’s Delivery Service figure set, fresh stock of the Spirited Away figure set, new Japan-only Hot Wheels, and a rare item we were lucky to get: stock of the Giant Robo “Robot Wars” strap
- We’ve added stock of our popular Japanese notebooks with funny English on it, for people who want to write on a quality Japanese notebook with funny English
- Finally, see cool “super deformed” figures from Ojamajo Doremi, a great soft leather case that can be used for just about anything (I use mine as an iPod case), erasers that look like toilet paper, a fun way to separate egg whites and yolks, a great item for fans of Pom Pom Purin, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. These new items include:
- For fans of Japanese magazines, we’ve got some new ones for you, including amateur and “hitozuma” (married women, a major Japanese fetish) for you
- Also, we’ve got the new MPEG Typhoon, which features a full magazine and two video CDs of great AV “quickies” — a fun sampler item
- Something very cool from Gal’s Dee: the Gal’s Dee DVD, a 2 hour DVD that comes with a full color magazine, and at a great price!
- Japan has a very highly developed sense of bondage photography, and we’ve posted the second volume of the Heisei Bondage Deluxe, a great collection of 15 top-quality bondage models
- Fans of Japan’s leg fetish photography will enjoy the new Mini-Suka Queen, featuring five lovely Race Queens who show you everything
- Enjoy our stock of hundreds of Japanese photobooks, including the new “Seaside Erotica” by photographer Fujio Saimon
- For DVD collectors, we’ve got a great selection of items, starting with a great “3 in 1” offering from Hitomi Hayasaki — 3 hours of her best works! (region free)
- Another great DVD from Kuki, enjoy Mayu Yoshino’s No Cut!! DVD, with three full video releases collected in this DVD for you, 240 minutes (region free)
- We love Bauhaus’s soft porn DVDs, and there’s a new one in their “Bishoujo Sonata” series, starring the beautiful Yui Kawai (region free)
- From SOD, the lovely Kokoro Amano receives “bukkake” constantly over the course of 24 hours, while eating, sleeping, even brushing her teeth (region free)
- Another great volume in the Obscene Kiss of Amateur Girls series, see the tender and erotic kissing of Japanese girls (region free)
- For indies fans, there’s a new “Hip and Vagina” offering from Wanz Factory, starring the beautiful Miyuki Hourai (region 2)
- Finally, restocked DVDs include the great DVD releases of Emily Yoshikawa (Japan’s “latino” AV star), the venerable Akira Fubuki Special, Rio Sannomiya’s great Double United release, and more!
J-List loves wacky things from Japan. One thing we love is Japan’s bento culture, that is, attractive boxed-lunch that can be very beautifully decorated. Not only do we carry authentic Japanese bento boxes, but we also have the cool 2003 World of Bento calendar, which shows some incredibly beautiful ways to make Japanese bento.