• 14 . 02 . 05
  • Valentine’s Day in Japan is an all-male affair, with women expected to buy their partners expensive gifts. Reciprocity comes later.

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Every Day The 14th

Happy Valentine’s day to everyone, hope it brings you as much love as it brings cash to Hallmark and company…

Valentine’s Day in Japan is great. For guys. The tradition here is for women to buy chocolate for all the men in their lives and for the men to buy… well, nothing. No having to fork out £50-80 on flowers for guys here (not that I’m [overly] cheap, but a 50-100% markup for 28 days, give me a break!) Instead men allow women to give them presents and fawn over them a little more than usual, which is already quite a lot more than you could legitimately expect… Lots of students very kindly bought masses of chocolate in today, so we gorged ourselves. Even after we were all full, there will still be lots left over for tomorrow!

The payoff, of course, is that men really do have to earn their chocolate. In about a month’s time will be White Day, where the men have to do the reverse and buy presents for the women in their lives. The general rule of thumb is about 3 times the estimated cost of the present you received, so maybe it’s not quite as good as it first seems. If you receive chocolate, you are honour-bound (and remember that’s quite a strong thing here) to buy something back. It’s been suggested that the best gift idea this time round is a branded item. The ‘branded items’ in question? What else but something from the ubiquitous, uniform defining Louis Vuitton Monogram range, my thoughts on which you might already know. Actually, maybe I prefer the old way after all…

Interesting fact for today, courtesy of Grant. The expression ‘rule of thumb’ apparently comes from corporal punishment. Apparently, in less enlightened times, the cane that you used to discipline your wife could only be as wide as, or thinner than your thumb.

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