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Selling a Bit of Japan

Japanese pop culture is slowly but surely eating away the cultural stronghold that the US has kept for more than half a century. From manga to animated movies to food, Japanese influence is increasing worldwide. Japanese pop culture is hot. One of the net’s top shopping sites for Japanese pop culture products is J-List, run by Peter Payne, who also writes peterpayne.net, a very popular blog on Japan which every day attracts some 1,000 visitors. I talked with Peter about how he ended up selling a bit of Japan to the world.

Sunday December 14, 2008

Peter talks about how he first got interested in Japanese culture, his study of Japanese, his life in Japan, how J-List came about, the immense loyalty of his customers and the world’s love for the Japanese mystique. At the end of the interview, Peter also suggests some fun gifts from Japan for the holidays. Listen to the interview:

Peter’s suggestions for holiday gifts:

1. Japanese Bento Boxes

Bento Box

Japanese bento boxes come in all sizes and designs and are an important part of daily life for countless Japanese. They are lots of fun and very environmental friendly because you use the same box again and again.

2. Japanese Calendars

Japanese Calendars

Think of Japan every single day of the year with these great Japanese calendars that you won’t find at any of your friends’ homes.

3. Hello Kitty Onigiri Makers

Hello Kitty Nigiri

Onigiri rice balls form part of the majority of Japanese bento. Leave it to the Japanese to create something amazingly cute out of ordinary every day things.

4. Domo-kun Products


Domo-kun is the loveable mascot of Japan’s public television station NHK. Since he first appeared in 30-second sketches on the channel, he has been extremely popular in Japan. People outside Japan are now discovering this square-faced “strange creature that hatched from an egg” as well.

All can be purchased at J-List.


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