Archives for the day Friday, February 13th, 2009

Love is in the Air!! Valentine’s day in Japan

 February is a month of love. In our country “Japan”,Valentine’s day is very very big day in chocolate making industry, but more importantly,big day for women who keep their feeling inside and not expressing themselves yet.

In Japan, Valentine’s day is “Confession” day for women in most part. Woman gives chocolate to man and tell him that she is in love with him.  On this Valentine’s day, man does not give anything to woman,and he does not give answer yes or no to her as well.

At elementary school through high school, how many chocolates male students got become like bragging thing. Usually,girl students wait until everybody gone home,and sneak in to class room and,hide the chocolate with a little confession note attached into male students’ desk.And male students come to school next day and find the present in his desk and brags about it.

In Japan,at school,students are divided to 6-8 classes per grader,then assigned one main class room to sit and learn. So,students mostly spend their time in the same room,and different teachers come in to teach.Only exception is PE class,music class,science class,cooking class.Those require students to move to teacher’s main class room.

So, woman gives chocolates to man to confess her love to him and,the chocolate is categorized as “Ho n me i chocolate”.What it means is that it is a chocolate to confess love.

Also,there is chocolate categorized as “Gi ri chocolate”. It is translated ” Obligation Chocolate”.What it is is that female workers give chocolate to male co-workers at work. It has no meaning of love but it just became tradition in Japan.

So, when I started corresponding as hobby:writing pen pal in overseas back when I was in Japan.I was shocked to get a Valentine’s day card from girl in western country. Exchanging card/present between women is something we don’t do in Japan on Valentine’s day.So,that was one little culture shock for me.

Now,you maybe wondering how would girl know that they have potential to become one’s girlfriend.

Well,in Japan,there is day called “White Day”. It is the day man gives yes or no answer to woman that he got chocolate from. It is on exactly one month away:March 14th.

This tradition is actually still short history because it started in 1980’s. But it is a day that guy who has received Ho n me i chocolate gives woman candy (marshmallow,cookies,and other kind of candies) and answer yes or no.

If man got Gi ri Chocolate then,it is a day to return the favor and nothing deep meaning in the candies the male workers give female workers.Simply meaning “Thank you for the Giri Chocolate”.

For boyfriend/girlfriend:couple, valentine’s day  is just a simply romantic day,but guy would get a chocolate on that day.

Click here to learn how other countries cerebrate their Valentine’s day.

So,what do you think of our Valentine’s day/White day tradition??

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Feb 13, 2009 | Comments are off | Japan