Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Japan: You Suck At Christmas

There is something so very disturbing about being in Japan at Christmas time. Sure, Japan goes all out with decorations and lights and makes the place look like a winter wonderland. But there are things that Japan gets so terribly wrong it's laughable and sometimes downright scary. Here is a list of my personal observations.

#1 They begin playing Christmas music and putting up Christmas trees the day after Halloween. I shit you not. I walked to work and saw a small hair dresser place with a fully decorated tree outside on November 1st. Hold your horses, Japan! You do realise that the rest of the world likes to wait for December to arrive before painstakingly putting up and decorating a tree? What I also noticed was that Christmas music is being played in shops. Not just the odd song here and there to get you pumped for your bank account to plummet towards the red. Oh no, it's ALL Christmas music. For 2 whole months. Now I freaking love Christmas like Buddy the Elf, but those poor poor employees are being subjected to the jingly jangly Christmas chimes for not just the weeks in December, but the entirety of November too. NO, Japan, NO! Get your Christmas stock out in November, sure, but refrain from the music until December 1st!!

#2 Japan has some very interesting ideas about what Christmas costumes should look like. 
Today I took a trip to Loft, a wonderful shop (though a tad overpriced at times) with lots of weird and weird things to see and buy. It's a great place to find the typical strange Japanese items (like a cactus that grows out of an egg, fun!) to take home for friends and family (or yourself). On this particular visit I discovered that, sure enough, there was a section of one particular floor that was dedicated to Christmas. But what truly inspired me to write this post were the items I found today. I introduce to you, friends of the world, Japanese Christmas Gimp Masks.
If Rudolph gimp wasn't enough...
...then maybe Christmas Tree gimp is?

But let's not just stop at delightful facial wear, why not step into this lovely power ranger/Satan/psycho murderer Rudolph(?) costume?!

Happy Christmas??
I didn't get a picture, but Loft is also full of sexy Santa outfits for women. You have a choice being sexy or Satan.

#3 Christmas in Japan is essentially Valentine's Day. That's right, Christmas is not a family holiday in Japan. Despite the lengths that Japan goes to to deck the halls with a shit load of twinkly lights, Christmas is a holiday celebrated between couples. This would explain the sexy Santa outfits aimed to women filling the shelves at places like Loft. Interestingly enough, it's actually Christmas EVE that is considered the important part of Christmas. Don't have a date on Christmas Eve? Then you are a sad, lonely creature who should probably wear the Satan-Rudolph outfit and get yourself a lover. What happens on Christmas day then? Well, nothing. Christmas Eve is Christmas in Japan.

#4 Japan has a strange idea of what a Christmas meal should be. It's hard to cook a true Christmas meal in a Japanese kitchen. For one, most apartments don't even have a full sized oven. So cramming an oversized turkey in one of those microwave ovens is unheard of. So what do the Japanese eat on Christmas day? Home cooked Fish? A giant hamburg? Not quite. They go out in the freezing cold and sometimes queue for hours waiting for...a KFC Christmas dinner.

It started in the 70's when Japan realised that a turkey dinner was a bit out of the question. So they proposed a fried chicken Christmas meal and the Japanese went gaga over it. It's been a tradition for KFC ever since. You have to pre-order your Christmas meal because of it's insane popularity. 

In conclusion: *sigh* Oh, Japan. I know you mean well, it's quite nice that you embrace holidays that aren't apart of your own unique and diverse culture. But you really do suck at it. And if you suck at it, then you might as well stop trying so hard to pretend to celebrate it. 

This picture pretty much sums up my emotions concerned Japans Christmas customs:

What the...?


  1. I can't speak for all of the United States, but here in the Midwest, as irritating as it is, Christmas does start November 1st. It gets a bit old by the time Christmas actually gets here. And those masks are terrifying.

    1. Maybe I'm just losing my marbles, but I swear England doesn't start playing Christmas music in shops (like, a full on Christmas CD) until December. Perhaps it's just gotten worse over the years and I've just not noticed?

    2. England has the better part of it then. In the states, Target started putting out Christmas stuff right before Halloween.

    3. I don't mind too much about Christmas stock, but the music...it has to be in December!! Haha

  2. This post has me laughing. Those masks are terrible!! It truly is amazing how companies can capitalize on holidays that are not even true holidays. It makes me wonder if Japan celebrates Valentine's day? or is Christmas it?

    As for getting started too early on the Christmas decorations and music, I had the car radio on Christmas music on our way to and from the family's house Christmas Day. I worked the day after Christmas and when I get in the car I see the station still on 99.9 and think it will be nice to listen to one more day of Christmas music. Nope. Done. They started the day after Thanksgiving with Christmas music and stopped it the day after Christmas. I guess that is not too bad considering everything Christmas always starts so early.


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