Thursday, February 14, 2008

Sei Barentain No Shukujitsu

Today is Valentines Day. The Japanese Celebrate Valentines Day (Sei Barentain No Shukujitsu) differently from most of the rest of the world. In Japan on Valentines Day women give chocolate to men. Honmei-choko (True Love Chocolate) is given to significant others (though other gifts maybe be given as well) these gifts are either home-made or expensive. Giri-choko (Obligatory Chocolate) is chocolate women give to men around them (co-workers, bosses, classmates, next door neighbors, relatives, etc.) . These are bought by the box full and are generally just cheap chocolate.

Supposedly, St. Valentine's Day was imported to Japan in 1958 by a Japanese confectionery company. Considering that chocolate companies in Japan sell more than half of their yearly sales during the week before Valentine's Day if this is true it was a good idea on their part.

In Ranma 1/2 Manga volume 34 Jap/ 32 VIZ you can see the girls of Ranma fight to try and give Ranma chocolate while Akane is pressured into giving him chocolate by a little girl.

For the hell of it here are a few more examples from manga/anime:
in volume 4(VIZ) of Maison Ikkoku Kozue gives chocolate to Godai.
on episode seven of Ah My goddess TV series Belldandy learns about Valentines Day
Love Hina has two celebrations of valentines day don't remember volume #'s and don't know where to find a manga synopsis.
Fruits Basket Volume 3 has a story on valentines day

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