Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Valentine’s Day in Japan

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/22 Pop Culture & OTAKU , , ,

February is known to be the love month in some parts of the world. It is because of the Valentine’s Day on February 14. As we can see in Japanese shows and anime, there’s also a hype especially among schoolgirls when this time of the year comes. How do the Japanese celebrate this holiday?

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Saint Valentine’s Day, also known as Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is a holiday observed on February 14 each year. It is celebrated in many countries around the world, although it is not a holiday in most of them. Just like the Halloween, it also came from a Christian holiday. And again, just like the celebration of Halloween in Japan, the tradition of Valentine’s Day in Japan is created by commercial organizations.

Origin of Valentine’s Day in Japan

In Japan, Morozoff Ltd. introduced the holiday for the first time in 1936, when it ran an advertisement aimed at foreigners. Later in 1953 it began promoting the giving of heart-shaped chocolates; other Japanese confectionery companies followed suit thereafter. In 1958, the Isetan department store in Shinjuku, Tokyo ran a “Valentine sale”. Chocolate bars were sold as St. Valentine’s Day’s gifts for the first time by Mr. Kunio Hara. There was a story on how this day originated in Japan:

When he was a senior at the university, he got a letter from his superior who had been living in Paris. He said in his letter that people celebrate a day called St. Valentine’s Day, and exchange love messages and small gifts like chocolates or flowers between friends, family, etc. He didn’t know the meaning of St. Valentine’s Day at that time, but he held “St. Valentine’s Day Fair” at Isetan Department Store. sHe could sell only 3 chocolate bars and one card during 3 days. After that he read books and knew that St. Valentine’s Day is a day to memorialize St. Valentine, and he was a patron of lovers

In those days, most of the women were modest and seldom express their feeling willingly. Even if they love the men, they were too shy to show their affection. Then he thought that St. Valentine’s Day deserves to be made in Japan. If handing chocolates to men means showing women’s affection, it might be good for women. He introduced this custom by arranging into a Japanese style which tickles women’s hearts. Needless to say, the most important thing for him is to sell chocolates.

Chocolates as Gifts

The following year, he sold heart shaped chocolates because he had knew that St. Valentine was a saint of love. He also made a catchphrase “From women to men”.

The third year, he started a service to draw names of love and sender on the heart shaped chocolates, like “from …. To …” This idea came up among women and became to be know little by little. Then other confectionery companies followed this event. In this way, making gift of chocolates on St. Valentine’s Day has been getting very popular.

Another theory of the origin was there was translation error of a chocolate company executive during the initial campaigns.

valentines

Image from AC- Illust

Unlike western countries, gifts such as greeting cards, candies, flowers, or dinner dates are uncommon, and most of the activity about the gifts is about giving the right amount of chocolate to each person. Nowadays women buy chocolates not only for the men they like, but also for their friends and male colleagues, etc. They sometimes buy chocolates for themselves, because there are so many kinds of delicious chocolates in stores. Japanese chocolate companies make half their annual sales during this time of the year.

In our next post of this series, we will talk about the different types of chocolates that girls give during this day.

 

References:

1. St. Valentine’s Day of Japan. Kikuko-Nagoya.com

2. Valentine’s Day. Wikipedia.

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

6288861432_ee290789b6_m

Halloween in Japan

Holidays from the west are common in Japan. There is Christmas Day, Valentine’s Day, and Halloween and others. Halloween is one of the recent ones with its popularity became widespread not later than one and a half decade ago. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: […]

Read Article

boxing

2D Adrenaline Rush: Sports Anime 2

Japan is a sporty country. Sporty in the sense that almost known sports have followers in the country. Continuing our quest to put into list some sports that are made into animes are baseball and boxing. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through […]

Read Article

One Piece grand Arena Tour Entrance

One Piece Grand Arena Tour

Kaizokuou ni Ore wa Naru! (I’m going to be the pirate king!) is the battle cry of the protagonist of the manga/anime series, One Piece. Finding the One Piece, said to be the greatest treasure out there for pirates, is what this series is about. But it does not mean the story is just all […]

Read Article

valentines

Valentine’s Day in Japan 2 – Types of Chocolates

Tomorrow’s Valentine’s Day. As we featured in Valentine’s Day in Japan post, Japan has also their way of celebrating this day. As there was a mistranslation in some point in Japan’s Valentine’s Day history, only girls give chocolates to boys during this day. It was said that it is an opportunity for women to express […]

Read Article

Go

Let’s Play “Go”! – The Go Board Game in Modern Times and Popular Culture

The Go board game became popular not only in Asia but also in other countries. It also spawned many work of art and fictions. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text – […]

Read Article

yomifuda

Karuta: Traditional Japanese Playing Cards – More Karuta Variations and Karuta in Popular Culture

In our previous post about the Japanese traditional card game karuta, we listed some of popular karuta variations. In this post, we will post more of these karuta variations and karuta in popular culture. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – […]

Read Article

Cabinet

Yu-Gi-Oh! – 15th anniversary – Duel city edition –

The card game “Yu-Gi-Oh!” is simply great! It’s been played for 15 years and over 25 billion cards have been sold. Isn’t this great? In this post, I’ll introduce the 15th memory product. Quick history The game was released in February 1999. It became a long-running series and commemorated its 15th anniversary last January. In July of 2009, it […]

Read Article

school rumble manga cover

Anime: Please give us more episodes!

Have you ever tried watching a movie that didn’t have a clear ending? Have you ever tried listening to someone’s story, only to stop half way through? Does it bother you? In this post, I’ll share some anime flicks that I wish would continue and give us a last episode. Warning! Spoiler Alert. List of […]

Read Article

basketball - 2d-adrenaline-rush -

2D Adrenaline Rush: Sports Anime

You might think that the idea of combining anime and sports is boring. Well, think again. In this blog series, we’ll round up popular sports-themed animes and try to see for yourself how fun to watch these shows are. First will be Basketball and Soccer. Basketball Slam Dunk When we talk about basketball in the […]

Read Article

6288861432_ee290789b6_m

Kawasaki Halloween 2014

October’s about to end in few days and that means Halloween parties are held in different parts of the world. Spooky stories and scary costumes are what Halloween is synonymous to nowadays. Halloween in Japan, though not celebrated for tradition, is loved by many Japanese people. Last October 26, the biggest Halloween event in Kanto […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑