The valentine day in Japan, there are many unique chocolates such as obligatory chocolates, and reward chocolates etc.

2019-02-06 LIFE , OTHERS

This post is also available in 日本語

The event in February, valentine day

February 14th is valentine day. In many shops, chocolate section which sets only for valentine day would be crowded. The valentine day has been one of the big event in winter in Japan.
It is generally said that how to spend the valentine day in Japan is different from how to spend in other countries. So, how is it different?

In western way, most of case is to exchange presents between boyfriend and girlfriend or family. Moreover, some people would enjoy dinner. Men would be active in the valentine day.

In Japan, women mostly would give chocolates to men in the valentine day. Not only Couple and married couple, many Japanese people would give chocolates to a boss and co-workers without having feeling. It has been called “obligatory chocolates” (Giri-choco). The chocolate that will be bought for ourselves is called reward chocolate (Gohoubi-choco). Moreover, the chocolate that women and her friends give each other is called “friend chocolate” (Tomo-choco).
Like above, there are many styles of how to enjoy the valentine day.

Why is the valentine day in Japan unique? We will introduce the habit of the valentine day in Japan.

Speaking of the valentine day in Japan, Japanese people will imagine the chocolate.

The habit that people would send chocolates as the shape of love to important people has been considered as Japanese style.
Sweet company promoted to give a chocolate to someone important. One department store promoted in the valentine day. However, these are theories so nobody knows why Japanese people give a chocolate in the valentine day.

The sales of chocolate increased in the first half of the 1970s and then retail industry started marketing actively to sell chocolates. At beginning, students from upper elementary grades to high school started catching on the valentine day and then the style that woman would give a chocolate called “true love chocolate” (Honmei-choco) to favorite man has been popular.
In the late 1980s, not only students and single women, also to give a chocolate have been popular among stay at home moms to give it to husbands.

It could be said that the valentine day has been popular by sales strategy of sweet companies and retail industries, which is to sell a chocolate that could capture women’s heart.

The variation of chocolates given in the valentine day.

Obligatory chocolate (Giri-choco)

Obligatory chocolate (Giri-choco) is the chocolate given to man without having feeling. The purpose is to thank to men and make the communication with men smoothly.

Mainly women give men who are in working place or clients. This custom has been part of Japanese culture now. Many people still have the idea of the valentine day that woman will give a chocolate to favorite man. In order to avoid that men who receive chocolates misunderstand that she loves me, you should choose reasonable price of chocolates or give all co-workers. You need to consider how to give a chocolate. However, the valentine day is good opportunity to thank to your friends and co-workers.

Reward chocolate (Gohoubi-choco)

It is also called “Self-choco” (Jiko-choco), my choco. The meaning of this chocolate is to give chocolates to you to enjoy eating by yourself.

As reward for working and house working so hard, many women recently enjoy eating chocolates in the valentine day. Many women will buy special chocolates. Some will buy expensive chocolates that they usually do not buy. Some will choose chocolates that stick at areas. Some will choose good design of chocolates.
When you are tired or want to refresh, you will get energy by eating a chocolate. Why don’t you find a favorite chocolate? There are many chocolates sold in only the valentine day.

Friend chocolate (Tomo-choco)

The definition of “friend choco”(Tomo-choco) is to exchange chocolates between women.

There is no certain evidence that proves when friend choco has started. Woman and her friend will give a chocolate to each other with gratitude. Of course, among junior high school and high school students, also among elementary school students and kids in kindergarten, friend choco has been popular. Friend choco mainly would have been hand made because friend choco must be prepared a lot. Please refer a recipe of cute chocolates that make people who get happy on internet.

Why don’t you enjoy the valentine day in Japan on your own style?

How do you like it? Maybe, some people who read information above have been surprised about diversification of the valentine day in Japan nowadays.

Actually, sweets selected in the valentine day are not only chocolates. Also, cookies and macaroons line up on stores. Why don’t you give a chocolate to someone you want to thank to and yourself as presents and enjoy yourself?