Valentine’s Day in Japan

Who started Valentine’s in Japan?

Sevearl companies seem to claim they started Valentine’s Day in Japan.

Whoever actually brought in Valentine’s Day or made it successful doesn’t seem to change the fact that Valentine’s Day was merely used as a marketing tool to sell chocolates.  “Now the chocolate companies in Japan sell more than half of their annual sales during the week before Valentine’s Day.

Full Moon

Different from the West

Unlike the West, sending a Valentine’s cards is not common in Japan, and the phrase “Happy Valentines” is not widely used. ”

Valentine’s Day in Japan is not associated with couples going on a date; instead Christmas is seen as a romantic night for couples.

In Western countries, men are expected to give presents–flowers, chocolates, etc.–to their lovers on Valentine’s Day, but not in Japan.  Women are expected to give out chocolates on Valentine’s Day to all of the men in their lives.  During a survey, Morinaga found that both men and women are interested in changing this tradition to the Western tradition.  The company decided to create a new trend of gyaku choco for the lose of chocolate sales from “Japanese women [being] fed up with feeling pressured to buy chocolate for men they don’t care about.”  The company hopes their made up word chokomen, men who give women chocolates, will become popular.

Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny

Choco, “chocolate”

The price of the chocolates seem to be related to how much a woman likes the recipient.

  • Giri-choco (“duty/obligation”) are given to bosses, colleagues, family members, and any other men in a woman’s life who nonromantic; if Valentine’s falls on a weekend, co-workers won’t receive chocolates.
  • Cho-giri choco (ultra obligation) are cheap chocolates given to unpopular co-workers.
  • Honmei-choco (“”probable winner/the favorite”) is the chocolates given to a loved one and is the most expensive kind of chocolate or home-made.
  • Tomo-choco (“friend”) is the chocolate given to a female friend.
  • Gyaku Choco (“reverse”) are given by men to women.

Other Information:


One Response to “Valentine’s Day in Japan”

  1. Thanks for the link!

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