Florida has really been hit with some powerful storms this season, and we hope that all our customers in the area made it through safely. Unfortunately, Japan was also pummeled by typhoons this year, resulting in many deaths in Okinawa and the two southern islands of Kyushu and Shikoku. Typhoon season in Japan lasts from late August through most of September, a kind of second rainy season after the normal one in June-July. This year, typhoons caused extensive damage to a landmark well known to foreigners who have visited Japan: Miya-jima, the beautiful Shinto shrine near Hiroshima, famous for the red torii arch that appears to float on the sea when the tide comes in. While much of the shrine itself was damaged by the high winds and water, the floating arch was miraculously undamaged.
Although sumo wrestling is the official sport of Japan, enjoying special status and financial support by the government, the hearts of Japanese sports fans belongs to baseball. Baseball was introduced here back in the Meiji era, when Japan started its long path towards modernization. Although halted during World War II as an “enemy sport,” today baseball has more fans than ever. Currently, though, Japan’s baseball world is going through some growing pains. The #1 team is the Yomiuri Giants (owned by the Yomiuri newspaper company), and the team is so popular that they alter the dynamics of the entire sport: the other eleven teams can only hope for good ticket sales when their team is playing the Giants, and teams outside of the Giants’ Central League are doomed to drown in red ink for all eternity. When the owners of the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Olics Blue Wave announced they were going to merge, effectively laying off half the players, a proposal was put forth to combine the two leagues into one. Owners relented when they faced a strike by all players, and they’re in dicussions now about what can be done to help some of the less profitable teams.
A fun part of learning the Japanese language is memorizing the “counters.” In Japanese, you use different words for counting different objects depending on what shape they are. If you’re counting sheets of paper, you count with “mai” (ichi mai, ni mai, san mai, and so on). For any long, cylindrical object, you use “hon” (ippon, ni hon, san bon). (Roppingi, if you want to know, means “six trees” — roku plus the “pon” counter, and ki is Japanese for tree.) There are some difficult ones to get down — for example, an umbrella is counted with hon/pon because it’s long and cylindrical when closed, but when it’s opened, it’s in a different shape. How do you count it? Does the Space Shuttle count as an airplane or a ship? Does comatose body or freshly-killed corpse get counted with the same counter as the one for people? We used to have lots of fun annoying our Japanese teacher back at SDSU with questions like these.
J-List brings you many unique things from Japan, and one cool category of item we like very much are the authentic high school uniforms made by Matsukameya of Nagoya. Each uniform is hand-sewn by the company to your own size measurements, and the detail on these uniforms is perfect, right down to the buttons and pleats on the skirts. We’ve added a new item to our lineup: authentic high school swimsuits which are great for a variety of cosplay applications.
For the new update, we’ve got some excellent products from Japan for you. They include:
- First, for Gundam fans, we’ve got a dynamite item: a little folding table featuring Haro, the cute robot from the various Gundam TV series
- Fans of Kubrick’s amazing detailed block toys, we’ve got a deluxe set featuring all the characters of The Usual Suspects
- We have a really cool traditional Japanese ashtray (or generic container to hold whatever you want) shaped like a Japanese 5 yen coin
- For Hello Kitty fans, enjoy a wacky toy hammer shaped like Kitty-chan, which makes wacky sounds when you hit things with it
- For fans of Japan’s “sentai” (fighting team) shows, we’ve got a treat: Zebraman, a really amazing Japanese film exploring Japan’s hero genre (region 2)
- For fans of Japanese snacks enjoy delicious grape & cider sticks, very tart ume candies, ramune candy with vitamin C, and tasty white grape gummi
- Freshly restocked snack items include Sushi Gummi, delicious Black Sugar Caramel from Morinaga, and the popular Black Black caffeine gum
- Also, a traditional candy known as konpeito, which appeared in the film Spirited Away
- Protect laptops and other similar items with an all-purpose soft zipper pouch, which we have in stock
- Then for your kitchen, a cute Hanako Style holder for glasses, very stylish and cute
- Clean any surface with handy cleaning tools, which remove oil and dirt easily from kitchen surfaces
- We love My Neighbor Totoro, the famous film by Hayao Miyazaki — enjoy fresh stock of many Totoro items, including the giant plush toy, several Totoro stuffed toys, Catbus soft plastic toys and more
- Also, fresh stock of the cool Totoro alarm clock, made with real wood, a great way to wake up every morning
- Finally, see fresh stock of our Cup Noodle coffee cups, more Sanrio ice cube trays, a great restocking of traditional “fude pen” brush pens, and more!
For our 18+ customers, we’ve got many new products. The new items include:
- For fans of Japan’s famous 18+ magazines, enjoy the new issue of Yasashite Shite Ne, aka Please Be Gentle With Me, now perfect bound
- For fans of Japan’s “wet” photography, we have a new magazine for you, Doppyu, dedicated to capturing gorgeous Tokyo girls in love hotels
- Also, for fans of “jukujo” or mature ladies, we have a new photobook featuring lots of gorgeous, experienced gals
- Next, enjoy the delightful glossy color photobook of Angel Eye, the sexy swimsuit idol team by Yellow Cab
- Next, the super sexy Miki Kitamura shines in her first photobook — a delightful cosplay fantasy photobook for you
- H manga fans, we’ve got some excellent items for you today, starting with an amazing exploration of love by Izumi Comics, a romantic story about dating and love, and an amazing work by Kaoru Tachibana featuring amazing female characters
- Doujinshi collectors, we’ve got some really rare and cool books for you, which parody the most famous anime characters you love
- Also for yaoi fans, enjoy a bold new comic, “Forbidden Eden”
- For our DVD customers, enjoy some great products, starting with Non Stop Uniform Idol, featuring 240 minutes of uniform and costume play, with Japan’s top name starlets (region free)
- Next, Soft on Demand goes to Hakata, in Kyushu, to see if they can make gorgeous local girls take it off for the camera (region free)
- Then, SOD explores the world of She-Males in an interesting n ew DVD release (region free)
- Then, enjoy a new “Clothed Female, Naked Male” release from Moodyz features gorgeous girls studying anatony, and their reactions are priceless (region 2)
- Then enjoy various restocked DVDs including several new titles that come with free shipping (SAL or airmail) — check out our great selection of products!
Remember that J-List sells our unique Japanese T-shirts featuring bizarre and aesthetically beautiful messages in Japanese, like “I’m looking for a Japanese girlfriend” or the Japanese emergency exit sign. We love the reactions we see from Japanese who see the shirts outside of Japan, and having a wacky message on your shirt is a great potential conversation starter. All shirts are 100%, printed in the USA, and all shirts are full U.S. sizes.