This is one part of my Valentine Day haul, chocolate from the Delightful Miss E. I will of course receive more, and got some more before the actual  day. This is because Valentine Day in Japan is not a festival if mutual affection and dating, but a cunnibg marketing scheme concocted by the faceless men of Big Chocolate.

And as a marketing  scheme it is of unparalleled wickedness, corrupting the western dating element and melding it to Japanese concepts of obligation and group membership – then targeting the whole  thing exclusively at women to make sure the meme manifests as fantastic profits. I love it for its sublime union of evil and chocolate.

You see, in Japan Valentine Day has been reconstrued as a day for women to give chocolate to men, starting with their lovers and proceeding through all the men in key positions in their life: family, friends, club members, colleagues, even their boss and teachers. This last set of recipients reflect the women’s oblugations to men who have helped her during the year, and is referred to as giri choco. By this point most women are so deep in chocolate that they give to female friends too.

As an example of the reach of this ritual, on saturday I went to see the band ElupiA, and their singer gave me chocolate just to show her appreciation for my support.

What’s not to love about Valentine Day in Japan? Just one thing: i have to repay the lot on White Day, March 15th. As I said, it’s a wicked scheme…