Valentine's Day in Japan February 12 2016, 0 Comments

Valentine's Day in Japan is a bit different than in many other places in the world. Here, women are expected to give gifts (usually chocolates) to men on Valentine's Day. During this time of year, many Japanese department stores are filled with girls purchasing chocolates. When Valentine's Day was first introduced to Japan, it was presented as a day when women without boyfriends could confess their attraction to their favorite men with a gift of sweets. Chocolates were also given to boyfriends and husbands as a way of expressing affection. As time passed, customs changed. Women of all ages not only give Valentine's Day gifts to their loved ones (which were now called honmei-choco or "true love chocolates), they also began giving smaller gifts to fathers, male co-workers and classmates. Today, it is not surprising for a Japanese woman to buy 10 to 20 giri-chocolates for distribution around the office or the classroom. Although this interesting Japanese ritual may seem one-sided to many, this is not necessarily so. Any male who receives a Valentine's Day chocolate~regardless of whether it was a honmei or a giri chocolate-is expected to prepare for a holiday called "White Day" on March 14. During White Day, men are expected to return the favor--tenfold!!