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History of Christmas in Japan

Posted by Danny Choo On Fri 2009/12/25 14:32 JST In Japanese Culture
 131  277656 ja

Merry Christmas folks! Or as folks in Japanese would say - "Merri Kurisumasu."
I realize that folks on the West side will have to wait until tomorrow so I will post a very very special giveaway tomorrow as a prezzie for me ^o^

Tis just another working day in Japan however as Christmas is not a public holiday. Many gaijin folks take today off and some British run companies close their office for today.

Back in the UK I would usually be raiding the fridge and table full of food from Sainsburys or Tescos - munching while watching Home Alone for the 502nd time.

Christmas was first introduced to Japan before the Meiji Restoration in 1552 by missionaries. But during the Edo period, the Baukufu suppressed all forms of Christianity so Christmas didn't get off the ground at all.

It wasn't until the Meiji period in 1900 when Christmas was reintroduced to Japan. The food store Meiji-ya opened a store in Ginza and since then the Christmas monetization wars began. Christmas is more of a business event rather than a religious one over here.

During the Taisho period, more and more children's publications began to have Christmas themes and in 1925 (Taisho 14), Christmas stickers were given to folks who donated to money to the cause of stamping out Tuberculosis.
Taisho Musume is based in the Taisho period. Only managed to watch a few episodes ToT.

Before the war in 1928 during the Showa period, Asahi newspaper wrote how Christmas has become an annual event for the Japanese people. Many shops in Shibuya, Asakusa and Ginza served Christmas dishes and waiters dressed up in festive apparel.

In modern day Japan, folks buy presents for each other, put up Christmas decorations and illuminations and eat Chicken.
Been digging around and cant find the reason why but I heard that the reason why the Japanese eat chicken instead of turkey is because turkey is not a common dish over here. The last time I ate turkey was probably 10 years ago back in the UK!

And this photo was taken just now at out local shopping arcade - as you can see its just another day.
The amount of people shopping starts to increase from now and reaches a peak by the 31st as folks stock up on food and money for the new year break. Most banks are closed for nearly a week and you cant withdraw money from most of them until the 4th of January.

OK thats enough from me on this subject - need to get back to other work ^^;
Hope you are having a merry Christmas and that you get a load of goodies - what did you get - tell us!
If you didn't get anything then don't be sad - have something really nice for you in tomorrows giveaway.

Merri Kurisumasu for 2009!

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Christmas in Japan bits n pieces from Wikipedia.

Leaving you with some of my fave Christmas tunes.



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