I had a Spotlight post on a very unique sight in Kagoshima all geared up and ready to go for today until I remembered the date. It’s White Day.
So. Who’s got my chocolate?
In Japan, Valentine’s Day is not a ladies’ holiday. Rather, the onus is on the women to buy chocolates for the men in their lives. And not to make Japanese women sound a bit loose, but there can be a lot of men in their lives.
See, in Japan, chocolate comes in two forms for Valentine’s Day – giri choco and honmei choco. Giri choco are “obligation chocolates”, plain or small chocolates (usually white) that are given to coworkers and bosses (lest they get the wrong impression). It’s reminiscent of my elementary school days, where you had to get a Valentine’s card for everyone in the class. In this case, however, it can get quite pricey, especially if you work in a large corporation.
Honmei choco are “special chocolates”, designed to be given only to those with whom one is either already in a relationship or someone you want to turn into a significant other. Honmei chocolates are, as a rule more expensive, though the trend recently has been to give homemade chocolates or special pastries.
If you think the chocolate madness is tied in only to Valentine’s Day, think again. White Day is when men reciprocate the gesture. It began as a marketing ploy by chocolate companies in 1978 and somehow they’ve convinced the Japanese male population to spend two-three times the amount their counterparts spent on chocolate for Valentine’s Day.
I personally was hoping my husband would come home with a sakura eclair from Sadaharu Aoki, but that would have involved a plane ride to Tokyo and I guess that’s a wee bit too much to ask. 🙂