All you need to know about Japanese Weird Custom of Valentine’s Day (2021 updated.)

So, I have been hating myself since I cannot keep writing just for a week. One of the main reason for that is because I can’t find suitable topic I should write about everyday. But then, some of my friends told me a great simple ordinal idea, which is “Why don’t you write about what happened in your daily life?” that what we call “diary”, right? Yes…Yes… The blogging was originally meant to be diary kind of thing. Why did I miss that? Of course, I can write about my daily life because we have never spend the exact same day. Then, my story can be really unique one! Why did I forget the idea. I can write about my daily life. And I can even attach the photo of bento you eat!(almost every meal I eat is uploaded to my Instagram account)

Thank you for giving me chocolates (I thought I could get more, actually).

So, yesterday was Valentine’s day, right? Japanese Valentine culture seems totally different from the western original one. If you try to give some loved one a bouquet, you are seemed like an American here. Every girls are trying to give “Tomo-Choco(Friend Chocolate)” to their friends.

Yeah, firstly I have to tell you the Japanese definition of “Valentines day” custom. Actually, there are mainly 3 types of chocolates. Not sweet or bitter one.

  1. GIRI-CHOCO…chocolate you give to your colleagues or people whom you don’t care. GIRI means duty. So, call of duty chocolate you can also say, maybe.
  2. TOMO-CHOCO… tomo means friend. My name is TOMOharu, which means friend and spring or knowledge or sun or…man, Chinese character has such a countless meanings but, why we call CHINESE character? Chinese characters are different from the Chinese character we use. Anyway, TOMO choco is chocolate school girls or school girls minded girls in your office try to share with your friends. Such a sweet chocolate, huh?
  3. HONMEI-CHOCO… This is what we should call the real valentine chocolate!!! It’s the chocolate women try to give to the person she really loves! So, stupid boys or seniors always try to make fun of their sad GIRI-CHOCO as HONMEI-CHOCO. To the men, the number you get this chocolate sometimes means your value as a humankind.

Hahaha…So unique custom right? Anyway, if you know these types chocolate, you can somehow understand the Japanese Valentines chocolate custom.

However…. It seems that there comes a NEW TYPE of chocolate. Can you believe that? Why Japanese people try to make it more complicated even it is too complicated. It looks like the Japanese toilet shares this culture.

The one I heard 2021 is this.

4. AWAYOKUBA-CHOCOAwayokuba means “If there is a chance”. So, this chocolate is more than GIRI-CHOCO but less than HONMEI-CHOCO. Are’t you GENIUS???!!! So, if there is a man you love but hesitate to give him HONMEI, you can give this one. Why hadn’t we noticed? Are we stupid??? Thanks to this new type, girls can live much easier.

These are the brief summary of Japanese Valentine culture. I can talk about much more, but this is just a personal blog, so I’m sorry (Saying I’m sorry to much is another Japanese custom. We use it as Hello♪ALOHA♪, no I’m serious). Hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Author: Tomoharu Watanabe

Hi there. I'm 28 years old Japanese guy who currently live in northern part of Japan; Hokkaido, and a high school English teacher. Love reading books and watching movies and especially traveling around the world. Playing the guitar and kendo (Japanese traditional martial arts) is also my pastime.

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