Greetings again from your resident gaijin in Japan!
A seal has become a media star in Japan this summer by swimming into Tokyo and charming residents there. The seal, who swam up the Tamagawa River, has been named Tama-chan by the news media, which reports on what he’s been doing each day. Thousands of Japanese have flocked to the river to see Tama-chan for themselves. You can see a desktop wallpaper of him here: http://www.jlist.com/screen_001.jpg .
The Japanese are very into nicknames It seems that every famous singer and actor on TV here has a cute nickname that is universally known and used. Singer Ayumi Hamasaki, who has snagged the coveted “CL1” spot in our calendar list for three years running, is known simply as “Ayu.” Actress Rena Tanaka is known as “Natchan” (Na-chan) because she appeared in commercials for Kirin’s orange drink by the same name. J-List staff members have nicknames, too. Yasu used to eat a kind of chocolate called Yan-Yan, and so the name stuck to him as well. My wife’s nickname was “Cha-kun” for reasons I can’t discover (she won’t tell me). My own nickname around the house is P-chan, but I wasn’t named after the famous pig from Ranma 1/2. I was named after a 16 year old Siamese we used to have by the same name.
I remember reading through old Saint Seiya manga, while in college in the 80’s, and wondering why they always write the blood type of each character along with their name, age and astrological sign. In Japan, it’s believed that you can tell a lot about a person’s personality and character traits from his blood type. Type A people are neat, tidy, and plan things meticulously, almost to a fault. Type B are “going my way” (as the Japanese say), meaning that they do their own thing without worrying about the opinions of others, and don’t plan things out in advance. They can be messy, and tend to act on impulse (I am type B, and my wife is always commenting on why do some things I do based on my blood type). Type O people have a private world inside their minds, supposedly, and they’re quick to become passionate about something, but then change to something else just as easily. Type O people have the ability to lead others. Finally, AB people have “two faces,” one that they make in front of some people and another one they keep to themselves. Like the various beliefs that are related to Buddhism (such as, you’re not supposed to sleep with your pillow pointing north, as this is reserved for the dead before cremation), the Japanese blood type beliefs are hard to get used to at first, but when you live here long enough, you start thinking there might be something to them after all…
We’ve got some nice items for you today, including a restocking of the entire series of Lunatic Party and Paradise Lost, two excellent “doujinshi anthologies” (wide manga-format books with dozens of doujinshi inside), parodying Sailor Moon and Evangeion. They’re a great series, and although they’re out of print, we managed to find some fresh stock. Enjoy browsing our stock of cool items from Japan.
The J-Mate page has been updated again, with a great interview with Ai Nagase, one of the most popular AV stars of the Indies revolution in Japan. Also, enjoy reviews (with lots of screenshots) of Ringo Kihara’s erotic summer vacation and a great new release from Akira Watase. The URL for J-Mate is http://www.jmate.com/
Remember, this is the month to get free shipping (US/Canada) on all Peach Princess game titles. One title that I recommend for anime fans: Critical Point, the first sci-fi bishoujo game translated into English. Because it was written by one of the writers of the original Macross and Gundam series, it has that cool 80s anime “look and feel” with a great erotic hentai story.
I’m starting a new idea here at J-List: the Japanese Word of the Day. Today’s word is one of the first that gaijin learn when they come to Japan: daijoubu (dai-JOE-boo). It’s means “okay” or “alright” and pops up just about everywhere, in anime, manga, and even AV. Since the subject is often left off in Japanese, someone saying “Daijoubu?” would usually be asking “Are you alright?” with the subject taken from the context. Taking the “dai” (big) off leaves “joubu” which means “healthy.” It’s kind of funny though, because the characters for “joubu” mean “husband” in Chinese, thus the word “daijoubu” looks like it means “big husband” to Chinese who see the Japanese word.