2007/02/14

A Western holiday in Japan just wouldn't be complete without intensifying the gender inequality

from wikipedia:
Thanks to a concentrated marketing effort, Valentine's Day has emerged in Japan and Korea as a day on which women, and less commonly men, give candy, chocolate or flowers to people they like. This has become an obligation for many women. Those who work in offices end up giving chocolates to all their male co-workers, sometimes at significant personal expense. This chocolate is known as giri-choko (義理チョコ), in Japan, from the words giri ("obligation") and choko, a common short version of chokorēto (チョコレート), meaning "chocolate". This contrasts with honmei-choko, which is given to a person someone loves or has a strong relationship with. Friends, especially girls, exchange chocolate that is referred to as tomo-choko (友チョコ); tomo means "friend" in Japanese.

By a further marketing effort, a reciprocal day called White Day has emerged. On March 14, men are expected to return the favour to those who gave them chocolates on Valentine's Day. Many men, however, give only to their girlfriends. Originally, the return gift was supposed to be white chocolate or marshmallows; hence "White Day". However, men have interpreted the name differently and lingerie has become a common gift.

2 comments:

Chris said...

and then there's the famous re-giri choko, which has it's original label peeled off and is given away by it's recipient. that's my favorite

ariel said...

oh jesus, japan.....according to my japanese teacher, i am dangerously close to becoming a "christmas cake"- i.e. no man will want to 'buy' me after the 25th.

for serious, guys, japan is evil.