you're right about the stitches, and the x with a dash *is* for stitching in the back loop (like christinacoghill said). one of my simpler amigurumi books in japanese has really nice explanations for the japanese stitch symbols-- if you'd like i could scan it and translate it a little for reference. almost all japanese crochet books seem to use the same symbols, i have noticed.
Thanks for confirming this! And, any translation help would be great! I have a translation guide for Japanese patterns that I found around here somewhere, but it is for sewing pretty much. So, a bit more info on the crochet terms would be great! Thanks a bunch!