As a European modeler I sometimes get stuck due to the language barrier when it comes to Japanese matters. Japanese items, be it modelling kits, supplies or references can be impossible to find or obtain.
I have over the years built up a small wish list of items, mainly references. I have searched for them for years, and on a few occasions I have even managed to get hold of the odd one, at ebay or amazon.co.jp.
A while ago I managed to find several older issues of Ground Power on amazon.co.jp, but the sellers did not sell outside of Japan. I despaired, I could see them, but yet they seemed out of reach. I have earlier heard about the possible use of a “Japanese trade agent” but never tried it myself until now.
I got a recommendation from Taki on the Japanese Modelling DG (thanks, Taki), and got in touch. The rest is just pure happiness!
The gentleman in question is named Hideaki, at firstname.lastname@example.org
He has been able to help me in all possible ways. A gentleman in a true sense. He has found out-of-print books from pic of the book front only. He has even looked at Japanese auction sites for old magazines, given me alternatives when such can be found, given me advise when it comes to choice of transportation method. A true professional, extremely quick at all times. The prizing is simple, total cost including postages (I normally have to pay postage from the original seller to him, and then from him to myself) plus a low percentage fee. Payment via PayPal.
But what is even more important is the pure pleasure I get from his kind and polite manners, and the sense of him caring for my interest first, not his profit. He cared and looked for parcels that took long to reach me, he makes me feel that he really wants to help! I look forward to getting his emails and kind of catch myself with looking for excuses to ask for his services again. In a sense he has become a kind of pen-pal, a kind of friend.
I really want to give Hideaki-San my most sincere recommendations!
Please, oh please note that I have no interest in or connections with him or his company at all, other than being a very, very, very happy and grateful customer!