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Christmas in Japan

Posted by Danny Choo On Thu 2007/12/20 17:10 JST In Japan
 193  97103 ja
One question that I often get is "Is Christmas celebrated in Japan?"

One in two million Japanese are said to be Christians (about 1% of Japans population) and yet Christmas is indeed celebrated throughout Japan.
Christmas illuminations and decorations are put up, presents are given and received, festive music is played in the streets and TV commercials are Xmas-tized.

Back in the UK I observed that Christmas had a religious theme, but in Japan Christmas seems like just another business opportunity - no religious message, no Jesus and no stable.

It is said that the Japanese started to observe the culture of Christmas after the Second World War from American folks who were stationed in Japan. The Japanese realized the potential business opportunities that could be made from Christmas (source).

Christmas however is not a public holiday and everybody works as usual - I will be working too. If you are working for a company in Japan where the majority of staff are Gaijin (foreigners), then it is likely that Christmas will be day off for you.
Do you celebrate Christmas? Do you think that one should be religious to enjoy in the festivities? Is Christmas a public holiday in your region?

BTW, the picture was taken from this previous article where you can see more pics of the Christmas illuminations at Roppongi Hills.

Some Christmas commercials below. This Fujicolor one with the gorgeous Rena Tanaka is my fave but they disabled embedding. Have a merry Christmas everybody.


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