Well, once again I’ve made the hop from Japan to San Diego, which takes about 24 hours from door to door — not too bad, considering I’ve travelled halfway across the globe. International travel can be a hassle, but at least it’s just one long flight compared with making several different connections, as you often have when flying inside the U.S., and alcohol on international flights is always free. I’m currently going through my brief period of “reverse culture shock” in which everything in the U.S. looks kind of funny to me, from the sizes of “small” drinks at restaurants to cars careening down the wrong side of the road and so on. The colors that enter my eye actually seem to be different, but that might be the jet lag I’m feeling right now, or perhaps the leftover effects of all that free alcohol on the plane.
The Japanese can be a harmonious group of people, able to move in tandem in ways that hodge-podge Americans might have trouble conceiving of. One interesting concept is koromo-gae (koh-roh-moh GAH-eh), the official changing from summer to winter clothes, or vice versa. Since Japanese all change from their winter to their summer school uniforms on June 1, and back to winter uniforms on October 1, warm weather often spills over requiring students to swelter in the heat for a few weeks on each end. Although it might be very hot outside, virtually all students make the switch on the same day, so that one day you’re seeing dark blue winter uniforms and the next day they’re replaced by white-topped sailor suits, as if by magic. We got a lesson on how important not standing out can be to students the other day. During some extra-hot weather last week, we suggested to our son that he switch to his summer uniform early, since it eas plenty warm to warrant wearing the short-sleeve outfit. It’ll be some time before I can forget the look of utter shock he gave us as we suggested that he be the only boy in the entire school to switch to his summer uniform early just because it was uncomfortablly warm. Sometimes confirmity can be important, I guess.
You never know when Japanese customs will catch you off guard. When our kids were born, I insisted on being in the operating room during the birth so I could be the one to cut the umbillicle cords and help bring them into the world. This was rare enough that I got some surprised comments from the doctor and nurses, who were impressed with my dedication. I was talking about this event with my wife the other day, and she told me “Oh yes, and I still have those umbicle cords saved in a drawer.” Supposedly, it’s considered a requirement for parents to save that all-important memento of their children when they’re born, to dry it and put it in a specially decorated box and keep it safe. Another interesting child-related custom is that of throwing teeth that fall out on the roof or under the house, depending on whether the tooth that came out was on the bottom or the top of the mouth, respectively. This ensures that strong teeth will grow in the future.
On the heels of our great permanent price reduction on a dozen or so of our English-translated PC dating-sim games, we’ve got great news for you: the next two games we’re posting for pre-orders! The first title is Snow Sakura, an outstanding game by D.O. in which you play Yuuji Tachibana, who has moved to a cold part of Japan, surprised to find himself surrounded by beautiful girls who love him. Can he discover the mystery of the strange cherry blossoms that bloom in the cold of winter? Then enjoy the upcoming Lightning Knight Raidy, the popular fantasy “monster combat RPG” from Zyx in which you must prowl through virtual dungeous and do battle with beautiful female monsters. Both games are in pre-production now and will be released in the coming months. You can preorder now and get free shipping when they come in!
For the new update, the J-List staff has prepared lots of new and back-in-stock goodies for you, including ear cleaners shaped like samurai swords, our fun electric eraser shaped like a banana, good luck charms for ‘safety driving,’ restocked snacks (Black Sugar Caramels, Black Black Tablet Strong Type, Shigekix Cola), restocked toys (Totoro Alarm Clock, Bible Black figure, Hello Kitty Play Refrigerator), and much more. For our 18 plus customers, enjoy many great items too. Click here to see all the newly updated items.