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The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

A Japanese Christmas

In the land of the rising sun, Christmas is traveling throughout the country. Japan is no exception to the Christmas spirit, however, some of the customs in Western countries are shown in Japan. They are shown in different ways than expected. In addition, there are new traditions that the Japanese have created, making it a unique celebration.  

This time of year, the Japanese celebrate the holiday as a time to spend with their lovers, the unique Japanese Christmas dinner: fried chicken, Japanese Christmas cakes, and Japanese pop culture. 

In other countries, Christmas is known to the world as a Christian holiday, however, in Japan, it is a secular celebration and still is celebrated regardless of one’s religion. Even now, few individuals have found themselves to be Christian. 

This uniquely describes one of the differences of Christmas in Japan, the fact being that it’s a holiday for lovers. Like Valentine’s Day, couples will begin to plan romantic dates, special dinners at restaurants, or on walks through town in order to view the dazzling Christmas lights. 

In the States or other countries, Christmas is spent as a time to be with your friends and family. However, in Japan, it is quite the opposite, with the New Year’s holiday being traditionally celebrated as a time with family. 

Furthermore, in a traditional Western Christmas, you would feast on a delicious glazed ham or a roasted turkey. However, in Japan, a popular Christmas dinner choice is fried chicken. 

Although the origin of the traditional Christmas meal; fried chicken, is unknown there are some speculations to go along with the origin. One is that the first KFC manager in Japan, Takeshi Okawara, had told a lie by marketing fried chicken as a traditional American Christmas cuisine. 

Another is that Okawara had dressed up as Santa Claus at a Christmas party and gave the children KFC. Not only did they eat it, but they also loved it. 

Nonetheless, the food is in high demand during the winter season. So much so, that this American fast-food chain will begin taking pre-orders of their popular fried chicken buckets as early as November. 

Similarly, if you aren’t able to place a special order, you’re able to go to a convenience store or other supermarkets on Christmas Eve to easily find plenty of fried chicken. 

A traditional Western Christmas has the house smell of gingerbread, with gingerbread cookies and houses along the counter. On the contrary, the Japanese have a tradition to bake and eat Christmas cake with loved ones. 

Japanese cakes are different from other countries, although they aren’t the only country to enjoy cake. The cake during Christmas time is not the usual fruitcake, instead, it’s a kind of sponge-cake-based strawberry shortcake. 

Japanese Christmas cakes are decorated beautifully with strawberries, sugar Santa, and other Christmas-themed ornaments. Now you can find Christmas cakes in various types and flavors. The flavors vary from chocolate, hazelnut, and other various fruits. 

Throughout Japan, many Christmas customs were adopted and incorporated into their own culture. When you visit before December, you can hear the Christmas music in the air. You can also hear several traditional and foreign pop songs, although Japan has an abundance of Christmas songs that have become traditional.

Furthermore, you can find that many TV and anime episodes revolve around the theme of Christmas. 

If you happen to be visiting Japan during the winter season, please have a “Merii Kurisumasu!”, the Japanese way of saying, “Merry Christmas!”

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