Christmas in Japan

Christmas Eve, December 24th and I’m far from home, on another continent. In Japan ! What are christmas like in Japan? What will I do the next “holiday” days?

Let’s start with the fact that Christians in Japan account for only 2 % of the population . Therefore, the feast of Christmas is not considered a holiday, no days off from work .. (maybe on the December 23, because of the birthday of Emperor Akihito ) but that does not mean that there is no Santa Claus!

Japanese love gifts, so is the perfect time for them to shopping spree . Because you have to give gifts to your boss, colleague, neighbor , family. Stores turn into the realm of wellfare. If every day you can get everything- in christmas time everything + more. Most of the products have their Christmas versions . On packaging of favorite sweets Santas , reindeers appear .. City look like the Christmas fairy ( See for yourself ) . Famous Jingle Bells coming from the speakers recalls from where christmas came to Japan.

 

After the Japanese surrender in 1945  American occupation began. It lasted until April 28, 1952 , and made ​​many changes. The Japanese began to be interested in foreign world. Intrigued by their different culture, they began to learn English .

NHK began a series of radio broadcasts of English conversation which was called Come, Come English. Broadcast was started by a song written by Hirakawa Tadaichi to the melody composed by Shimpei Nakayama. 15 – minute program quickly gained popularity throughout the country.

 
”Come come, everybody.

How do you do, and how are you?

Won’t you have some candy,
One and two and three, four, five?
Let’s all sing a happy song,
Sing tra-la la la la.”
 
 Shortly before the death of Masako’s husband’s mother, family asked her to sing a song. She said she knew only one and sang this song. She didn’t know the meaning, but it only proves how strongly America influenced  Japan. During their occupation, Japanese learned to play baseball, little by little they stopped to walk in kimonos (at least on a every day basis) and also got to know the traditions of Christmas.

Together with Masako for our class organized a Christmas party. There was Santa Claus, there were candy, Christmas tree and games with prizes. This morning the sun is shining. The Japanese on such a sunny winter day say it’s Koharu Biyori 小 春日 和. In the evening, the whole family will sit down to the table. Instead of singing carols we will play bingo instead of carp we will eat Christmas cake. There will be even dumplings (pierogi), made ​​by me. Well, they will be with Chinese cabbage and mun mushrooms but it may at least partly bring me taste of this day.
Merry Christmas!

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