St. Valentine's Day of Japan

Japanese people celebrate St. Valentine's Day in a very different way
from Western countries.
In Japan, St. Valentine's Day is a day in which women give chocolates to men.
This Japanese style St.Valentine's Day was introduced by one young man.

In February 1958 at Isetan Department Store in Shinjyuku in Tokyo,
chocolate bars were sold as St. Valentine's Day's gifts for the first time by Mr. Kunio Hara
who worked for Mary Chocolate Co.,Ltd. part time.

Kunio Hara, subsequent president of Mary Chocolate, is the second son of the founder.

When he was a senior at the university, he got a letter
from his superior who had been living in Paris.
He said in his letter that people celebrate a day called St. Valentine's Day,
and exchange love messages and
small gifts like chocolates or flowers between friends, family, etc..
He didn't know the meaning of St. Valentine's Day at that time,
but he held "St. Valentine's Day Fair" at Isetan Department Store.
He could sell only 3 chocolate bars and one card during 3 days.
After that he read books and knew that St. Valentine's Day is a day
to memorialize St. Valentine, and he was a patron of lovers

In those days, most of the women were modest and seldom express their feeling willingly.
Even if they love the men, they were too shy to show their affection.
Then he thought that St. Valentine's Day deserves to be made in Japan.
If handing chocolates to men means showing women's affection, it might be good for women.
He introduced this custom by arranging into a Japanese style which tickles women's hearts.
.Needless to say, the most important thing for him is to sell chocolates.

The following year, he sold heart shaped chocolates
because he had knew that St. Valentine was a saint of love.
He also made a catchphrase " From women to men".
The third year, he started a service to draw names of love and sender
on the heart shaped chocolates, like "from .... to ..."
This idea came up among women and became to be know little by little.
Then other confectionery companies followed this event.
In this way, making gift of chocolates on St. Valentine's Day has been getting very popular.

Nowadays women buy chocolates not only for the men they like,
but also for their friends and male colleagues, etc.
They sometimes buy chocolates for themselves,
because there are so many kinds of delicious chocolates in stores.


By the way, these gifts of chocolate for men are roughly devided into two categories .
One is honmei-choco (chocolate for the man who the woman serious about)
and the other is giri-choco (obligatory chocolate).
Of course women perchase more money for honmei-choco than giri-choco.
Giri-choco is usualy cheaper and delivered to their superiors at work
as well as to other male co-workers.
In companies, women sometimes just put a box of chocolates on a table
in a canteen for all male co-workers.

Lately, another type of chocolate called "My choco" is more and more getting popular.
"My choco" is a chocolate for women themselves as a treat for themselves:

ex. Usualy high quality brand one. Healthy chocolates which contain collagen or hyaluronic acid etc.
inside are also what they want.

Nice spot to take a photo. Amazing!
"Oncidium Sharry Baby" smells sweet chocolate!

Lover's Sanctuary Nagoya TV Tower