Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Good-bye St. Valentine, Hello Obligation

Valentine's Day in Japan is something like that dreadful Sadie Hawkins thing we used to be forced into in junior high (or maybe it was university? even worse!) during which women were somehow propelled into chasing after men. Call me strait-laced, traditional or even old-fashioned if you like, but I'm against the notion that women should be chasers.
In any case and for whatever reason, Valentine's Day in Japan is not about men giving flowers and other thoughtful gifts to their women--instead, it's like this. And as this article explains, someone somewhere, perhaps a member of the "Let's Make All Things At Least Appear To Be Equal" council subsequently invented White Day.
White Day, which is March 14th, to my knowledge, has never been heard of or recognized outside of Japan, but nevertheless, it's important there because it's what Valentine's Day is supposed to be. That is, a day for husbands to shower their wives with gifts that will benefit them (I prefer Flame, in case anyone is curious).
Hypocritically, I am willing to go along with Japanese thinking and marketing if waiting until White Day should pay off!

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