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Christmas in Japan - 11-27-2009, 04:38 AM

I looked but didn't see a thread on this, unless it's mixed in with something else.
If there is a thread about this, I don't mind being given the link!


I was reading one of the nightly notes on Kotaku the other night and the writer that lives in Japan (He is American, married to a Japanese woman) and he mentioned Santa Claus. I know Christmas is mainly just a commercial holiday more so than a religious holiday in Japan. Well, with the exception of the Christians that live in Japan. ...Well, it's mostly the same in America too. But I was wondering, what exactly are the Christmas traditions in Japan. How big is Santa? Are Christmas Trees normal to have? Are there maybe special Christmas foods? How is the gift giving done?
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11-27-2009, 04:49 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reavyn View Post
I looked but didn't see a thread on this, unless it's mixed in with something else.
If there is a thread about this, I don't mind being given the link!


I was reading one of the nightly notes on Kotaku the other night and the writer that lives in Japan (He is American, married to a Japanese woman) and he mentioned Santa Claus. I know Christmas is mainly just a commercial holiday more so than a religious holiday in Japan. Well, with the exception of the Christians that live in Japan. ...Well, it's mostly the same in America too. But I was wondering, what exactly are the Christmas traditions in Japan. How big is Santa? Are Christmas Trees normal to have? Are there maybe special Christmas foods? How is the gift giving done?
Christmas is almost 100% a commercial holiday in Japan. It is regarded as a romantic holiday, where young couples usually go out on a date. My sense is the older generation does nothing special. There really is no gift exchanges like we do in the West. Kids get money on January 1st, so any Santa Claus presents would be small.
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xyzone (Offline)
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11-27-2009, 05:42 AM

And in America it's 99.9% a commercial holiday.
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11-27-2009, 05:51 AM

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And in America it's 99.9% a commercial holiday.
Not for a lot of people. For many Christians (a larger percentage of the American population) it is a deeply religious holiday. Of course the non-religious aspects still play a role (Santa Clause, etc.) Many churches are crowded with those celebrating midnight Mass on Christmas Eve.

You apparently don't live in the US, so I am not sure where your opinions are based.

Christmas is certainly more of a religious holiday in the US than it is in Japan.
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11-27-2009, 06:21 AM

99.9% is an exaggeration but you have to admit most of the Xmas hoopla is shopping and glitz, not church going. I mean, the most prominent religious icon you see during Christmas are the odd manger scene here and there, but that's about it. Of course, I'm sure there are also active Xtians in Japan but I don't know the exact ratio.
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11-27-2009, 06:32 AM

Everyone forgot the true meaning of christmas....
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11-27-2009, 06:47 AM

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Everyone forgot the true meaning of christmas....
Bu-but....what about the reason for the season? D<
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11-27-2009, 09:28 AM

The drama on JF needs to wind itself down.

99.9% of Christmas in the US is not about commercialism.

Not everyone has forgotten the "true meaning of Christmas".

Instead of being a nay-saying Scrooge, be a person that makes Christmas what is important to you. Complaining about it is meaningless. It's all about attitude. You can have a good one or a bad one. That's all up to you.
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11-27-2009, 12:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reavyn View Post
I looked but didn't see a thread on this, unless it's mixed in with something else.
If there is a thread about this, I don't mind being given the link!


I was reading one of the nightly notes on Kotaku the other night and the writer that lives in Japan (He is American, married to a Japanese woman) and he mentioned Santa Claus. I know Christmas is mainly just a commercial holiday more so than a religious holiday in Japan. Well, with the exception of the Christians that live in Japan. ...Well, it's mostly the same in America too. But I was wondering, what exactly are the Christmas traditions in Japan. How big is Santa? Are Christmas Trees normal to have? Are there maybe special Christmas foods? How is the gift giving done?
Santa is big enough amongst the kids in Japan to cause a stir when they got some of the exchange students to play him at the local elementary schools. First they went nuts with excitement, then there was a long pause of surprise and then one kid summed it up with a cry of "SANTA'S FOREIGN?! akhslakgh!"

I didn't see many Xmas trees except in a few large public places. I don't think it's especially abnormal to not have on in your house; after-all a lot of places are too small. A couple of houses down our road decorated random trees outside their houses with... random stuff.

They eat Xmas cake, albeit often in a form unrecognizable to me as xmas cake, but as MMM said, it's mostly a romantic holiday rather than a seasonal thing. The Xmas cards caused a lot of hilarity amongst the ryuugakusei when I was in Japan as several people picked up cards with innocent reindeer on the front and so forth, handed them out without taking the time to check what the japanese printed inside actually said. Whoops! A few of the guys were highly embarrassed to find they'd inadvertently handed out mushy love notes to their male friends rather than seasonal greetings.
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11-27-2009, 12:30 PM

Christmas is a very big party in many kidergartends, including Japanese. For your couples Christmas has a kind of real St-Valentine`s feeling, without giri choco. Adults, if they are not Christian, do not do anything special unless one spouse is foreign (European or American. etc, from the country where Christams is very popular).
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