We’re right in the middle of Anime Expo, and thousands of customers are coming by our booth (#1215). We hope you’re here at the show, having fun with everyone, but if not, make sure to make an order before our big coupon sale ends, on July 4. (You can only use the AX2017 coupon once, so make it count.)
I’m here with my staff from San Diego and Japan, and we’re all having fun. This is the first time we’ve brought our Sailor Moon-and-bento-buyer Mai — who taught herself English by watching Family Guy — to the U.S. to work with us at a show, and she’s been working hard, selling the Sailor Moon grab bags and Neko Atsume plush toys we’ve brought with us. Since our adult products are enclosed in a secure area this year, there’s a long line of customers waiting to get into see our ecchi items. Once, when Mai was walking along the line, a customer asked her, “Excuse me, is this the line for hentai?” She was taken aback at this: in English usage the word refers to fun naughty 2D anime and game visual imagery, but to her Japanese mind it sounded something like, “Is this the line where perverts should stand?” We all had a good laugh at her shock.
When you study a foreign language, it’s natural to want to learn the naughty words first, but there’s just one problem: most of profanity you’re used to doesn’t exist in Japanese. The most common insult is baka (“stupid”), and while the S-word does exist (it’s kuso, in case you were wondering), there’s no social stigma attached to it, and the word is regularly used in children’s anime. That’s not to say there aren’t words that have an ecchi aspect to them, of course. Whenever I go to an udon restaurant I always do a double-take at seeing bukkake udon on the menu…but of course it’s just a normal noodle dish with various ingredients tossed on including grated daikon radish, and it’s naughty meaning arrived later. (My wife often trolls me by buying bukkake udon for my lunch if I don’t specify what I want to eat.) If you like your gyudon beef bowl with extra juice you can ask for it つゆだくtsuyu-daku, or dripping with juice…though this word has developed a certain slang meaning, too, related to J-List’s more popular products. Kanji are made up of “radicals,” elements that help define meaning, and one that appears along the bottom of characters like 思 (thought) or 恋 (romantic love) is called shita-gokoro…but this word also means “lower heart” (lower kokoro) and describes someone with less-than-pure intentions towards someone else. Okazu is an interesting word literally meaning “that which is eaten with rice,” e.g. the main dish of any meal…though it also carries the slang meaning of “materials or fantasies used to assist in solo stress relief.” Incidentally, the single worst word in Japanese is manko, referring to female genitalia, and everyone avoids saying this word…though inevitably you’ll need to refer to the number 10,000 (mahn) with a counter for small objects (ko), no doubt in front of a pretty girl, and will likely embarrass yourself.
We hope you will come and visit us #1215, And it’s going to be great. We hope everyone will come by our booth and see the cool items we have prepared, and get a free “I Bought Hentai at J-List” limited pin. If you can’t make it, be sure and make a big order from my site during our special sale, which ends July 4, plus you’ll get one of those awesome limited Megumi stickers that everyone wanted on social media.