Do you know White Day? For men it’s a day from hell.

Everybody, do you know about White Day? It is an odd custom, unique to Japan, that is combined with Valentine’s Day on February 14. In Japan, Valentine’s Day is also a strange day, so I will explain both of them here.

Japan’s Valentine’s Day

The Japanese version of Valentine’s Day is the day when women give their loved ones chocolate. Why chocolate, you may ask? It’s simply a great marketing strategy by sweet makers. Originally, it was not customary for Japanese women to confess their love themselves, but only on Valentine’s Day, the culture of giving chocolate as a confession of love has successfully taken root.

And White Day was born

White Day was established on March 14th from the need to thank people for what they had received. Originally, it started with giving candy or marshmallows in return for chocolate, but someone came up with the idea of giving back three times as much as the chocolate, and a strange rule was born. If you think the chocolate you got was around \1,000, you have to give back the equivalent of \3,000.

Since a \3,000 sweet doesn’t exist, we are now in a situation where we have to return food and luxury items. But this itself is not the problem.

 I want the “giri-choco” to stop
A culture of “giri” (obligation) chocolate for Valentine’s Day is born.

Originally, it was given to family members and loved ones, but at the workplace, a custom of showing love to everyone appeared and chocolate is given out to everyone. “Giri-choco” is given out of obligation and distinguished from chocolate that is given out of real love for someone.

Are you going to give back triple for something that was given to you out of obligation? That is what I mean.

“The director gets paid a lot, so give him some nice chocolates.”

And then there are women who want to return the favor, and if they were to return three times as much to all of them, they would go bankrupt.

One has no choice but to give something back for the chocolates one received. If a manager returned something inexpensive, someone is likely to say behind their back, “The manager is quite stingy, isn’t he/she?


For some managers, reciprocating knowing for sure that someone has authentic feelings for them is not a problem, but this could lead all kinds of accusations or inappropriate behaviour not knowing whether these gifts come from a place of desire, genuine affection or perceived obligation.


It can become a hassle for women if they don’t give out giri chocolates, because others may think that they lack “feminity”.

The Japanese version of Valentine’s Day and White Day is different from Valentine’s Day around the world and is a whirlwind of desire.

Will the day ever come when Japan can get out of this mess and have a world-standard day for lovers?


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