Japan Today

Shabani the gorilla is so handsome he’ll be appearing on sweets in Japan on Valentine’s Day

By Oona McGee, RocketNews24

In Japan, Valentine’s Day isn’t about couples exchanging flowers and gifts and enjoying romantic dinners; it’s about women showering everyone they know with chocolates and handmade confectioneries. This unique take on the Western tradition has given birth to "giri choco" (“obligatory chocolates”), the non-romantic sweets given to friends, bosses, and colleagues; and "honmei choco" (chocolate given to boyfriends, lovers and husbands). Men who receive gifts return the favor a month later, on White Day on March 14.

Given the number of gifts women feel obliged to give to their platonic contacts on Valentine’s Day, the demand for giri-choco is huge in Japan. In Nagoya this year, confectioners struggling to stand out from the crowd will be hard pressed to beat a new line of sweets featuring one of the city’s most well-known heartthrobs: Shabani the handsome gorilla.

Shabani made international headlines last year after women who saw him at Nagoya’s Higashiyama Zoo and Botanical Garden fell in love with his handsome looks, causing a sharp increase in visitors.

Nagoya’s Parco department store will be holding a “Giri-choco Festival” from February 1 to 14, with a lineup of sweets that has Shabani taking center stage. It’s perfect timing, given that 2016 is the Year of the Monkey in Japan.

Customers can choose from a castella sponge cake featuring the handsome primate and "Gorilla no Unchi" (Gorilla Poop), which are actually dried dates that look surprisingly like the real thing.

The humorous collection also includes specially marked bags of “Alphabet Chocolate” from popular local chocolate company Meito Sangyo. Shabani will appear on the packs, smouldering in two different poses alongside a special message box designed for personal Valentine’s Day messages.

Visitors to the department store will be able to view photos of Shabani and buy exclusive goods on the fourth floor of the East Building during the promotional period.

Shabani is one handsome looking gorilla, and he’s certainly one of the most unique poster boys we’ve ever seen for a Valentine’s Day campaign in Japan.

Source: Nagoya Parco

Read more stories from RocketNews24. -- Japan’s phenomenally handsome gorilla getting nationwide DVD release -- Don’t bother, ladies: Survey reveals most Japanese guys don’t want your Valentine’s chocolate -- Valentine’s Day chocolate found to be the cause of a train delay in Tokyo

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Gorillas are not monkeys, they are Primates. Related, but different.

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One meaningful 'hug' from heartthrob Shabani the handsome gorilla and you won't be treading in “Gorilla no Unchi” (Gorilla Poop) or unwrapping a bag of “Alphabet Chocolate”, in fact you could well remain in traction until the next Valentine's day....

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Pretty interesting Valentine's Day customs Japanese style, especially this year's specialty featuring Shabani the handsome gorilla. This brings to mind the Singapore zoo where visitors could have breakfast with a similar one there!

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If he is handsome for women, wouldn't it be better to put his face on White Day chocolates which men give to women? I'm sure guys could care less if they have gorilla milk chocolate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

DaDude: Marketing 101. A story.

Fisherman to clerk: "My god green and purple fish lures? Do fish really bite on these things? Clerk: "My customers aren't fish."

Relax and let the ladies get excited and feel like buying some handsome hunk. It will work out better for all us guys on the receiving end.... ;)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and you watch some program tv with girls commenting: he's awesome! he's so hot! kakkoii!! what the hell just happened with the MEN in this country? the woman are resorting to a primate.

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and you watch some program tv with girls commenting: he's awesome! he's so hot! kakkoii!! what the hell just happened with the MEN in this country? the woman are resorting to a primate.

Maybe that's why the girls in this country love me so much.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

He's so handsome! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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