Valentine’s Day – Japanese Style

Today is the 14th of February, which means St. Valentine’s Day. A time for men to get the women they like cards, chocolates and other gifts in order to reveal their feelings yadda, yadda. 

In Japan, it’s the other way around. Girls give boys chocolate. Yes, you heard right…Women give chocolate to men. Girls might even give some to men they don’t love but feel an obligation to (giri-choko). Valentine’s Day was imported into Japan in 1950’s and 60’s by various Japanese confectionary companies and stores and according to wikipedia, the whole tradition of girls giving chocolates originated from a typo from a chocolate executive during initial campaigns.  


Anyway, here’s a scene from Arakawa Under the Bridge which has some Valentines related hilarity. The incredibly popular, handsome, rich and intelligent Kou is bombarded with chocolates from the girls in his school. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like being indebted to another person and gives them all back:

And here’s a fan-dub of Sgt, Frog showing the girls side of Valentines Day.


So, do men get out of giving stuff to women? Nope. 14th of March is White Day. Now excuse me, I’m going to nurse a bourbon and watch re-runs of Black Lagoon.

5 thoughts on “Valentine’s Day – Japanese Style

    1. Thanks for the reply!! I remember when I heard it in Japanese class, I was kind of surprised that girls gave boys chocolate on Valentine’s Day – inevitable cause of much male vs. female debate.

      1. Vashdaman

        Sounds great. Speaking of which, I will be starting my own Japanese classes soon. Just need to sort out a couple things first, but I can’t wait!

        How are your own studies going?

  1. My own studies… I took a year out.

    2009/10, I was burnt out. I’ve spent 2010/11 getting my self-discipline back and organised myself and my study time which is key for learning Japanese. Got the basics covered – Hiragana and Katakana you’ll never forget – and I’m working my way through my books and folders. I’m going back this year.

    Good luck with your own classes. They tend to draw cool people to them so it should be fun – plenty of otaku to converse with and there usually are a few people who have lived and worked in Japan who are interesting to listen to.

    You’ve started doing something really cool that few people ever try so well done. Let me know how it goes and if you need help just ask.

    1. Vashdaman

      Yeah I’ve been in kinda the same situation in regards to being burnt out study wise in 09/10, and I’ve definitely learnt some important lessons in regards to organisation and balance. Because I’m the type of person when if I choose to do something I do it all the way and push my self to my max whilst ignoring and neglecting nearly everything else,well thats how I used to be anyway. I’ve learnt the hard way that that mentality doesn’t lead to a balanced life, and balance really is key.

      I definitely agree with you that these language classes can draw lots of cool like minded people to them(well I hope so anyway!). I think thats one of the best things about starting something your interested in whether it be a martial art or language or whatever, these things tend to draw interesting people together, so I’m really looking forward to it.

      Also thanks for your offer of help! I’ll be sure to let you know.

      Good luck with your studies too, keep at it!

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