“You’ve been in Japan too long when you believe that buildings are made by incubating the site in blue plastic sheeting for nine months.” Japan is, as I’ve mentioned before, a “construction nation,” and a huge segment of the economy is driven by various public and private construction projects — kind of like military contractors in the U.S. Even in the dark days of the mid and late 1990s recessions, there was a steady stream of new roads, homes and buildings (especially pachinko parlors) being constructed. When the Japanese build a tall building, they do it right: as the framework is being built, the exterior or the building is completely enclosed in sheeting so that a hammer dropped from one of the upper floors won’t cause a hazard to people below. Up goes a giant plastic cocoon that says ANZEN DAIICHI (“safety first”) on the side, and a few months later a skyscraper is hatched. When you’re not used to seeing buildings being constructed this way, it can look quite strange, almost as strange as the bamboo scaffolding that’s used alongside buildings in Hong Kong — bamboo is a strong, light material that’s readily available, after all, although it’s certainly not used this way in Japan.
What color are your eyes? All Japanese people have brown eyes, although if you ever ask them what color their eyes are, they’ll tell you “black” (because the center of the eyes are indeed black). Japanese are often interested in the eyes of foreigners, since they come in different colors, something totally unknown in Japan (although they do have color contact lenses here). When I tell Japanese that my eyes change color depending on what I’m wearing, ranging from green to hazel to blue, they usually don’t believe it’s possible. Once, I was asked by my former Spanish teacher, a Japanese woman who grew up in Peru, if I saw the world through a blue or green tint because of the color of my eyes. This was just about the weirdest thing anyone has ever asked me in my life.
Now we’re off to Sin City for a convention, the always-fun AVN Adult Entertainment Expo that runs January 5-8 at the Sand Expo Center, where we’ll have our unique Japan-related products on display, in addition to cool freebees like our Japanese Pocket Tissue. If you’re going to be at the show, we’d love for you to drop by and say hello! All customers who mention J-List will get a free gift just for coming by. For info on the show, see this page.
Since J-List is physically based in Japan, we’re able to find hundreds of amazing products for our customers each month, including many bizarre and fun items that can’t be found outside of Japan. We often find ourselves setting trends, from kanji T-shirts to the “strange ratio” cute canines known as The Dog and more. We’ve also been involved with the amazing OH! Mikey, the bizarre TV show acted with mannequins that tells the story of the Fuccons, a parody of an American family that has come to live in Japan. With great characters like Mikey (an average, er, American boy), Barbara and James (his outrageous parents), spoiled Laura (his cousin, who has a crush on him), and the hilarious Tony and Charles from England, OH! Mikey is non-stop hilarity at its best. Now the series is being released in the U.S. — and you can get the first special sampler DVD for just $5.98 from J-List!
J-List is happy to make our popular PC dating-sim games available to fans all over the world, and we’ve got a mind-boggling lineup of English- translated titles from companies like Peach Princess, G-Collections, and JAST USA, with interactive “H” games for every taste. We’ve decided to extend the free shipping for all CD-ROM games through the end of January, allowing everyone to experience these long-playing multi-scenario PC games, which are fully translated to English and free of the pesky mosaic that’s on the Japanese versions. January is a great time to deck out your game shelf with excellent dating-sims for your Windows computer!