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Roses are red, elbows are blue: Japanese women jostle for chocolate

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. “No, seriously. It’s such a pain every year.”

Then stop! The women I work with do it too, complaining all along, but doing it anyway. I have suggested that we do away with both white day and valentines and try combining them together, because just outright stopping it ticked off some women who felt "obligated" that they "had" to do this or the world would end, yet the idea got shot down once again.

There is no need for this madness, and I personally do not appreciate getting a box of some stupid chocolate from a group of women just because they "have to".

On the other hand I have a couple of close female co-workers who are thoughtful and considerate about this, they give me Yebisu beer or Kirin Ichiban Shibori.....I return the "gifts" on white day with wine!

7 ( +11 / -4 )

Yubaru - quite right. I loathe this entirely soulless enterprise. The women in my office, for about twenty seconds every year, come over simpering and giggling like they know we don't despise each other every other day of the week, and I am expected to pretend I'm surprised.

I told them all outright this year that I don't even like chocolate and if they buy any for me they can eat it themselves, and they shouldn't expect anything from me in march.

Let's see what happens tomorrow.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Best translation of "girichoco" I heard was "heartless chocolate" Seemed about right.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I have never seen a crowd of japanese elbowing in a stampede. weather it in men ,women or both it would never happen. Maybe a little shoving and pushing on the train during peak hour. But never to the extent the article implies. Even in the midst of a Hanshin Tigers home game crowd heading for the train post match. Even moments just after the 11/3 when the Tokyoites only working phones were pay phone. The last big line up I witness was a fade for popcorn in Tokyo Station. the line even when onto different levels !! but never a elbowing stampeding crowd of choco crazed japanese women.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

While I see no reason for Japan not to "adopt" western customs, I really wish they'd do it properly... Valentine's day is for LOVERS not "colleagues-at-the-office" and as a couple of gentlemen have already stated here, they don't even like or appreciate it !

1 ( +4 / -3 )

I have never seen a crowd of japanese elbowing in a stampede. weather it in men ,women or both it would never happen

But it does. Uchi vs Soto behaviour can be brutal.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ten thousand yen on chocolate! What an expensive rip off!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ouch. There's this thing called online sales that could have saved a lot of women in Japan a lot of hassle. Why do you think KFC Japan started online orders for Christmas Eve fried chicken meals and many places that sell osechi ryori for Japanese New Year start online orders as early as September? In fact, many retailers that cater to White Day already have ordering web sites up now.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good article. I especially enjoyed what the Japanese interviewees had to say and the Stones' song references at the end.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The whole 'obligatory chocolate' custom is ridiculous. If I were a man I wouldn't want nasty cheap hyakkin choco given reluctantly by a coworker. And as a woman I wouldn't want the hassle of buying it and giving it to people I might not even like. So stupid. Luckily as a foreigner I didn't feel any obligation.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Wow! Scrooge would look downright cheerful compared to the above posters. I am happy and courteous when someone gives me a gift.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Meh. Giri choco, honmei choco, it's all good. As BabyMetal says: GIMMIE CHOCO!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

There is no stampeding. This is civilized Japan, not China.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

I have never seen a crowd of japanese elbowing in a stampede. weather it in men ,women or both it would never happen. Maybe a little shoving and pushing on the train during peak hour. But never to the extent the article implies.

Just because you dont see it does not mean it doesnt happen. I dont understand the logic of folks thinking that Japanese people are always so polite and line up quietly.

Women are far worse than men, get in the way of a bunch of O'ba's at a sale in a supermarket or department store and be prepared to get run over.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

shonanbb: "There is no stampeding. This is civilized Japan, not China."

It's worse, and it DOES happen all the time; you just choose to say "shouganai ne" and say, "it's the holidays", or "it's a hanabi-taikai after all", or whatever.

Valentine's Day here, like Christmas but worse, is such an outright scam. "Giri-choco", "tomo-choco", "gohoubi-choco", and now there's a push by the chocolate companies for boys to buy other chocolates for boys this year! I don't care who buy chocolate or what have you for whom, but it should have MEANING besides obligation and the obvious motives of the nation's chocolate companies. If these women hate the stampede, DON'T JOIN IT! No one has a gun to their heads, and I for one appreciate MUCH more if/when someone does something nice for me or gives me something thoughtful, same as I try to do for them. Then the stupid companies push it again on White Day. Thank the gods April 14th Orange Day never took off, much to the chagrin of Ehime farmers!

When you appropriate a holiday or celebration from other nations, by all means adapt it to your own for some parts, but it REALLY helps to know the history and true meaning of it. The kinds of things mentioned in this article are NOT part of that.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There is no stampeding. This is civilized Japan, not China.

You don't live in Osaka, do you?

I am so pleased that VD fell on a Sunday this year. The only choccies I had to buy were for my best friend's baby boy, and it was a pleasure to do so!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

No body ever sends me any chocolate ( mr depressed ) if any one get loads of the stuff and does not want it, can you send it to me?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"two dainty bags of Belgian chocolate that cost more than 10,000 yen"

Something is worth.. someone finish this for me, please.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Absolutely loath Valentines Day. Just another way for corporations to drain the foolish of their hard earned money....

Me and my partner don't have the need to celebrate this or White Day. If we want to say love you or buy each other chocolate or gifts. We will show it on any of the 365 days of the year!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I must be the only foreign guy in Japan who likes Valentine's day by the comments on this story.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Instead, everyone in the office get roses

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am so pleased that VD fell on a Sunday this year. The only choccies I had to buy were for my best friend's baby boy, and it was a pleasure to do so!

Um...?! How old is he?!

Sorry but this just made me laugh! Reminded me of the time my best friend had me hold her 6 month old when she went to the bathroom in Starbucks, and he was begrudging me my chocolate scone so I gave him some little bits and he LOVED it! She came back, I handed him back, we carried on talking, and she said "I really need to start weaning him soon!" I asked has he only had milk so far? "Yes", she said. "Only ever milk. Nothing else at all." Erm.....! :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Sheep... Comercialism at its worst.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

sigh Why does everyone wait until the last minute? Is there not chocolate available year round?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Absolutely loath Valentines Day. Just another way for corporations to drain the foolish of their hard earned money....

Funny how the japanese spin of valentines day is anything but romantic. Lots of justified complaints here, especially for the poor women who feel burdened / obligated.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I failed a bit on the choccy front this year. Sure I bought some for my mrs but ended up eating half of them in a munchie attack on Saturday night.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

“the only day of the year a woman professes her love through presenting chocolate”

A love-lorn lass and her giri choco are easily martyred.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Ditch the giri and tomo chocolate categories. If you don't like your co-workers, don't buy chocolates for them. It's a day for romance, (and commemorate St Valentine) not obligation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

At least its nice to see the boys get some token of love/appreciation for Valentines Day. A bit unique to Japan I reckon on this scale. In the West it's very much a one way street in the girls favor. Never quite understood that myself.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In the West it's very much a one way street in the girls favor. Never quite understood that myself.

Say what !? Because western men are more romantic than japanese men.

In the US (women) come first, in Japan (men) come first. But men should always wear the pants though.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

"two dainty bags of Belgian chocolate that cost more than 10,000 yen"

"Something is worth.. someone finish this for me, please."

Dang, nobody finished it for me!

Something is worth whatever someone is willing to pay for it. And I am more than willing to pay around a mere 600 yen for a BIG Hershey's Chocolate Bar With Almonds!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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