The new anime season is going strong, and I’ve been sampling various shows to figure out which ones I wanted to follow. One I hit on and liked a lot is Kumamiko: Girl Meets Bear, an absurd but cute show about a junior high school student named Machi who works as a miko (Shinto shrine maiden) in a rural village in northern Japan. The twist is that she lives with a talking bear named Natsu who is always worrying about her desire to go to high school in Tokyo, despite knowing nothing about how to survive in the big city. The show both celebrates and pokes fun at rural life, making it something like Non Non Biyori with a giant teddy bear, and in a world of endless “battle high school” harems it’s refreshing and original. There are actually a lot of bears in Japan (of the non-talking variety), and they show up near humans frequently enough that an American friend of mine in Nagano got his Japanese hunting license.
The sadness in Kyushu continues as hundreds of aftershocks rock the region and keep everyone on edge. Water and electricity is still off for a large number of households, and the official death count currently stands at 42, mostly from unfortunate people trapped in collapsed structures. Kyushu is the southernmost of Japan’s four main islands, and its name literally means “nine provinces” since there were nine fiefdoms there in antiquity. Being close to China and the Korean Peninsula, Kyushu has always been the “cultural doorway” into Japan, and everything from kanji writing to Buddhism to the first firearms flowed through there. The quake-damaged Kumamoto region, famous now for the Kumamon bear character who promotes local products, has an interesting history, too. It was an early center of Christianity in Japan before all forms of foreign influence were banned in 1614, and there were thousands of Kakure Kirishitan or “secret Christians” who practiced their faith covertly there. As Japan strived to become a modern nation, it abolished the old class system and the samurai in 1877, which led to an uprising by one of modern Japan’s founding fathers Saigo Takamori, which included a siege of Kumamoto Castle.
When you browse the ranking of top products J-List sells, one thing you notice is that our male “dolphin polishers” are very popular, no doubt because men are concerned about their prostate health. Today we restocked some great toys, incl. ones based on a sexy flight attendant or miko shrine maiden. All J-List orders are shipped discretely, so go ahead, make an order today!