Yukkuri Countdown JAPAN
Thursday, February 10, 2005
 Before Valentine's Day

Since I won't be there on Monday I gave base school teachers Hershey's Almond Kisses (that my mom sent me all the way from California!) in Valentine's envelopes. Many teachers seemed 1.surprised that Valentine's Day was coming up and 2.amused that I was giving something out indiscriminately for Valentine's. One teacher went out of his way to not only ask me about the customs in America but to also teach me the history of Valentine's Day in Japan.

I told him that when I was in elementary school all my classmates would bring candy and cards to exchange, not only girls to boys but also boys to girls and girls to girls and boys to boys.

He told me that about 25 years ago some chocolate maker in Japan heard about the customs of giving chocolates for Valentine's Day in the US and advertised to encourage the start of the same phenomenon in Japan. I guess it caught on! (Why it is only women giving chocolate to men, the teacher did not explain.) Then after ten years or so the idea for White Day emerged, when the marshmallow manufacturers get their happy day!

White Day is on March 14th and as far as I know it's the equal and opposite reaction to Japan's version of Valentine's Day. That means it's the day for guys to give girls something.
Intereting piece of info.. :)
That reminds me, I was wondering what happens to all the leftover Valentine's chocolate in Japan. There is one novelty-type store that I was waiting for after V's Day to see what they'd do with all their cool stuff but the next time I passed it everything was completely gone and the theme was different!

*I* think they take it all back in and rewrap it for White Day.
We have White Day in Korea too.
Hi fatman SEOUL! White Day in Korea? I didn't know that! I would've thought Valentine's Day was a shared thing there, since when I was there I saw so many people literally split things in half to share.
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Seize the food, for Japan is time-service only! In other words, this blog is to preserve, share, and make the most of my six months left living in Japan. Yes, I am obsessed with food. Cheap food!

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Location: Tokyo/Saitama, Japan

Life is short so I eat fast, lest it get cold or disappear. I'm currently teaching English in Japan for two years. I was born and raised in California, and will be returning there in Summer 2005. I was ovo-lacto-vegetarian for about seven years but decided to let it go during second year in Japan!

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