March 14, White Day in Japan. It’s Bizarro World Valentine’s Day!

In a bizarro world twist (to non-Asians) Japan’s Valentines Day is all about the men.  On March 14, White Day, it’s the women’s turn.

 

In Japan, Valentine’s Day tradition is for girls and women to give gifts (usually chocolate or cookies) to the boyfriends, husbands, fathers, teachers, bosses, co-workers.  And on and on ..

The non-romantic gifts are called “giri-choco” or “obligation chocolate”.  Definitely duty rather than love.

Honmei-choco, the stuff you give to the guy you like and which literally means “real feeling chocolate”, is supposed to be more expensive and fancy-looking.  

Western Men, don’t feel hard done by.

Japanese men are expected to give a gift three times the value of what they received.

One Japanese man Wasnt too thrilled about White Day:

White Day’s here alright! Heard a pretty girl say “If you go buy some cheap cake from a small cake store, put it in your oven to burn it a bit, cover it with cheap looking sprinkles, stuff them into boxes from the 100 yen shop and give them to out to like, 8 guys, on Valentine’s Day, on White Day, you’ll get given lots of brand stuff all at once and it’s awesome” Yup, White Day has come!

But girls don’t always get what they want either.

Every girl’s dream – a white chocolate sardine

 

This gross-looking treat is made from caramel corn and chocolate

 

This girl found her desk stuffed full of enokitake mushrooms

 

White Day used to be about the goo.

Originally it was called Marshmallow Day and was all about marshmallows, not chocolate.

People liked the idea of the new holiday but weren’t too keen on the marshmallows.

The preferred candy changed from marshmallows to chocolate, but the color scheme stayed the same.

 

The stress of what to buy on White Day.

Japan Shopping recently created a website where you can upload a picture of someone and it will tell you what kind of sweets they would prefer for White Day.

Here’s the way this incredibly scientific totally 100-percent accurate analyzer works: When you upload the picture, the website does its best to match it with one of 25 faces, each of which represents an “animal” and a “personality.”

Here’s a chart showing all 25 combinations. 

▼ Personalities, across the top (from left to right) are selfie, frugal, aggressive, geeky, and sloppy.

Animals (from top to bottom) are cat, rabbit, frog, raccoon, and fox.

Not sure what kind of personality is “selfie” or “sloppy”.

Black Day

White Day is definitely a uniquely Japanese invention, but it’s spread to some other Asian countries, including South Korea and China.

South Korea even has yet another Valentine’s-Day-related holiday: the aptly named day for single people, Black Day.

People who have not found love dressing in dark colors and commiserate over meals of black food.

The dish of choice is a noodle dish with black bean sauce called jajangmyeon.

There are organized, jjajang myeon-eating contests, where dark and devastated loners emerge to eat their weight in starch and bean paste.

Sales of black coffee spike, and matchmaking services pounce on the resounding pity for singles lingering in the air.

Koreans seem to be a romantic lot – in Korea there are roughly 13 holidays devoted to love.

Public smooching is terrorism

On Valentine’s Day, A cranky group of Marxist protesters called for an end to public displays of love, claiming it hurts their feelings.

Members have been known to chant slogans including “Public Smooching is Terrorism”.

Members of ‘Kakuhido’, or the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive (yes, really) think that Valentine’s Day is a conspiracy by people who think unattractive guys are inferior or losers.

Previously, they protested against “housewives who control Japan’s future” as their hapless husbands work all hours at the office.

I bet they won’t be getting any chocolates on White Day.

Siobhan O’Shea is a freelance writer. She writes about pretty much everything but especially likes to bring readers’ attention to new tech, marketing, human behavior, and other oddities.