Greetings from Japan, home of the original canned coffee (first canned in 1969 by the Ueshima Coffee Company of Kobe, Japan).
A long chapter has come to an end in Japan, with official confirmation on the fate of ten Japanese abducted to North Korea more than twenty years ago. Despite two decades of denials by the North Korean government, they surprisingly admitted everything at a summit which took place between Kim Jong Il and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on Tuesday. Six of the persons abducted, which included a Japanese girl of 13, were confirmed dead; four are still alive, some married to North Koreans now. It was very good to receive final word on the fate of those kidnapped, but it was a shock to the families who received word that their loved ones were dead, and it was very moving to see them speaking at the press conference about their sadness. There’s honestly a lot of anger of the North Koreans for bringing such sorrow to Japan, although people are relieved to finally know the fate of the abductees.
Sometimes the functions of words work differently in different languages. When I first got to Japan, some friends took me to a sento, a public bath with a sauna. It was late, near closing time for the establishment, and we were a little late getting out of the bath, which caused inconvenience for the staff who were trying to clean up so they could go home. I thanked the lady at the counter as I left, using the Japanese phrase “arigatou gozaimashita.” But my Japanese friends corrected me, saying I should apologize instead, using the word “sumimasen deshita.” I was confused. Why apologize when I’m trying to thank the lady for letting us stay past closing time? “Thank you sounds cheap,” I was told. “In this case it’s better to use words of apology.” In many situations, it’s customary to use “sumimasen” (pardon me) instead of “arigatou” (thank you) in exactly the same situation.
Learning Japanese can be fun, especially when you try to master some famous Japanese tongue twisters (yes, they have them in Japanese too). One famous one is very simple: “bus, gas, bakuhatsu [ba-KOO-ha-TSU; it means explosion].” It’s hard to say it five times fast. Another one is “Niwa niwa, niwa niwa-tori ga iru” which means “There are two chickens in the garden.” Still another one is “Tonari no kyaku wa yoku kaki kuu kyaku da” which means, “The customer next to me is a customer who eats a lot of oysters.”
For the new update, we’ve got another cool volley of rare and wacky things from Japan, including:
- First, a really cool limited series from UHA: a series of extremely authentic replicas of Japanese war helmets used in Japanese history — it’s really cool!
- If you love Japan’s sexy swimsuit idols, check out the hardcover photobook of Megumi, one of the top models in Japan today
- Also, a sexy swimsuit idol DVD from the lovely Sorami Hagawa
- For collectors of toys, we’ve got a dynamite “great pictorial of world miniature cars” featuring toy card and model cars from around the world — the pictures are just great
- We’ve got fresh stock of some cute things, including the Japan-licensed Snoopy Tea Server and the Mi-ke Neko alarm clock (both very cool)
- We’ve got fresh stock of Japanese “fude pens” (pens that write like beautiful Chinese writing brushes), including a new color
- Also, two fun items: a realistic-looking crab’s leg pen that you can pick up things with, and a wacky fish keychain that opens when you pull a string (very silly, trust us)
- For fans of our snack items, we’ve got CC Lemon candies (very good), some Japanese traditional hard candies, and tasty Tako Yaki (octopus balls) flavored snacks!
- We love the Hayao Miyazaki film My Neighbor Totoro, and have new Totoro music boxes for collectors
- New Hello Kitty items including a soft, plush Hello Kitty pillow, a fun Hello Kitty toy car and many other cool items
- For collector of extremely nice Japanese anime statues, we’ve got a scale replicate of Kei from the Dirty Pair in stock
- Finally, see new chopstick and bento box sets, new cute Pop Animal items for your kitchen, a handy Japanese wallet, and more!
For our adult customers, we’ve got many new 18+ products. They include:
- First, for fans of Japanese bukkake, we’ve got the new Gal’s Shower in stock for you, and it’s a really great issue
- Also in stock, magazines featuring Japanese amateurs, couples in love hotels, and more
- Fans of beautiful kogals will enjoy Gal Mode, a magazine featuring beautiful kogals (and AV stars dressed in kogal style) in sexy bikini and more
- Also, new and restocked nude photobooks for you, for fans of Japan’s excellent nude photographers
- We have another great update to our hentai manga section, with a large number of excellent new books in stock for you
- The Paradise Lost Evangelion hentai mangas we posted last week sold very well. Although availability will continue to decline for these books, we’ve got more in stock for you
- For doujinshi lovers, an extra special selection of doujinshi which were obtained at the past Comic Market — check out what we’ve added as they will go fast!
- For DVD collectors, we have another great selection of products for you, including a superb 3-in-1 DVD featuring three complete AV video releases of Hikari Kisugi (region free)
- For fans of huge breasts, enjoy a massive *4 hour* offering from Yellow Box (region free)
- We love Nao Oikawa for her beautiful body and erotic style. Enjoy her newest Soft on Demand release in which she performs your wildest fantasies for you… (region free)
- The busty Eri Yukawa stars in a great new installment of Dream Shower, from the fine folks at Waap Entertainment (region 2)
- Enjoy a top-notch performance by indies queen Akira Watase, Do You Wanna Fuck? (region 2)
- Finally we’ve got fresh stock of some other hardcore DVD titles, including Akira Watase in LA (Japanese girl vs. big, black guys from the USA), Chinese AV star Emily, fresh stock of the Deep Kiss series, and more!
Remember that J-List sells cool Star Wars related items that are only sold in Japan, including the dynamite Tomy Star Wars displayable figure and vehicle set (we’re down to only a few full sets left in stock), the cool large soft vinyl figures of Darth Vader, Anakin Skywalker and a Clone Trooper from Epoch, and really nice Star Wars plush dolls. See our Star Wars section (in the Anime & Toys master category) or search for “Star Wars” to see these items.