Valentine's Day round-up

  • Your chocolate-giving skills are weak. Operating from the heart of Ginza, MASUI "Club Futagoya's mama-san" Shiho spends millions of yen on chocolate every V-Day. She will steal your man.
  • (Also, ever wonder why there are so many flower carts in Ginza? It's so that overpaid dudes can easily pick up a bouquet for their favorite hostess. Romance isn't dead in Japan -- it's just gone pro.)
  • Time magazine reports on Japan's Valentine's Day traditions, which I think means that those traditions are about to vanish without a trace.
  • And Japanese women wouldn't miss them a bit, apparently. Note that last sentence closely: "women are now becoming much more likely to buy pricey chocolates costing up to $200 a box as a special treat -- for themselves." This is the future. After all, Valentine's Day can only benefit post-high-school women in one way: indirectly, via the obligation it places on their boyfriends to reciprocate one month later. But as all soulless economists know, gifts are inherently inefficient, and serial gift-chains logarithmically so. Women, it seems, have realized that they can make everybody happier by short-circuiting the ritual and just spending the money on themselves in the first place.
  • Meanwhile, anti-whaling protesters used Valentine's Day as an excuse to lash out at Minister YANAGISAWA (of "birth-giving machines" fame) with a message-cake as devastating as it was delicious. Check out one of Yanagisawa's flunkies accepting the sarcastic confection here. From Hell's heart, etc.
  • Only two months left till Black Day!

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Valentine's seems like one of the most pernicious holidays since it simultaneous manages to be superfluous *and* come packed with bullshit obligations, no matter where it's celebrated.

I wanted to also point out this recent article: One accident insurance company has decided to ban "giri choco" on both Valentine's and White Day and instead have everyone contribute 500 yen to "giri charity" in the form of food for people from Mali. It's proven to be a big savings for the workers, who were previously spending as much as 5000 yen on Valentine's chocolates and up to double that amount on White Day.

They reportedly got the idea after they sent their old uniforms to Mali as charity. The female employees were "moved" when they saw photos of the Malians (?) wearing the OL uniforms. Those are some pictures I'd like to see.


That is a great story. Imagine how much good could be done if everyone in Japan funnelled their giri funds into causes that actually helped people, instead of overpackaged gifts that the recipients don't really want...

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