White Day in Japan

Last month, we talked about Valentine’s Day in Japan. We learned how women were expected to give men chocolate on February 14 with the expectation that men would give back on March 14: White Day.


White Day is a Japanese holiday that serves as the equivalent of Valentines’ Day. It was created by the confectionary industry in 1890 under the slogan, “Answer her love on White Day” (CULCON, 2003). Since then, it has become a tradition for men to give gifts back to the women who gave them chocolate, whether this be giri or honmei choco.


Common gifts that are given away on this day are white chocolate, in light of the day’s name, candies, and cookies. Some men give non-food items too, such as jewelry or scarves. Like Valentines’ day White Day is an essential tradition that allows social relations, office, school, or family, to flow smoothly.


In anime, we often see male characters giving candy or cookies that they made themselves. It is a common anime trope, just like Valentines’ because it is considered as romantic as Valentines.


So if you’re a male otaku who wants to make someone feel special, get them some candy or white chocolate today. To those who received chocolate last Valentines’, you’d better return the favor today!


MADHouse, 2015

CULCON. (2003). Retrieved from http://www.crosscurrents.hawaii.edu/content.aspx?lang=eng&site=japan&theme=cal&subtheme=CULTURHOL&unit=JCAL018