In Japan, we celebrate Christmas not as a religiously, it’s also not a day of national holiday. However, Christmas in Japan is absolutely a fun, festive time of year. If you walked around Japan on Christmas Day, you wouldn’t notice too much that’s different or out of the ordinary. All the shops would be appropriately decorated and seasonal foods would be seen on advertisements, Christmas music would be playing.
Many of the things traditionally associated with Christmas – festive trees in the shopping malls, seasonal foods, Christmas music, and LED lights – make an appearance. And there are as well as a few unique traditions in Japanese Christmas...
Christmas Eve, for example, has become more important than Christmas Day in Japan...
● How do we celebrate Christmas? - Go On A Date!
On December 24, Christmas Eve, become more important than Christmas Day in Japan.
If you’re still a child you can still expect a gift from Santa Claus and spend a festive dinner with your family at home. But, once you’re grown up, Christmas Eve in Japan is more about him and his wife, like Valentine’s Day in the West. Japanese couples – especially young couples – like to book dinners at romantic restaurants, (and it can often be hard to find a seat.!)
● Lights, everywhere - admire the Christmas illuminations
Christmas lights, or “Illumination” as it’s called here, is a huge attraction during the winter season. Major malls such as Tokyo Midtown, famous landmarks like Tokyo Station are lavished with their own unique winter illumination displays. The streets of posh areas like Omotesando, Ginza and Roppongi Sakurazaka are absolutely stunning. And it’s a great opportunity to take a walk and soak up the atmosphere. (If you want to read about that you can just read our articles “illumination”.)
● Dine on Chicken - Christmas dinner
While roast turkey is the most popular Christmas meal in the UK, US and Canada, or Fish in eastern Europe, Japanese families usually celebrate with chicken.
In the early 70's Kentucky Fried Chicken ran a promoting called “Kentucky for Christmas!” (You will see Colonel Sanders in the Santa outfit at the shop front in this season.) The campaign was so successful and ever since, KFC’s Chicken of festive buckets is popular for families.
● Eat Strawberry on a cake - Christmas cake
A Japanese strawberry shortcake is light and spongy with whipped cream filling and frosting,
which is much less sweet than other cake toppers. This treat is sold as ‘Christmas Cake’ in Japan (although it’s also very popular for birthdays) and is a great way to celebrate the season with family and friends.
● Exchange Gifts - Christmas present
It has become commonplace for couples to exchange gifts on Christmas Eve, but rarely anyone else. Since Christmas is not a Japanese tradition, it’s also not traditional to exchange gifts for the occasion. This may be because Japan already has a December gift exchange of its own, the Japanese work-culture tradition of oseibo, when coworkers exchange gifts.
Presents are more commonly exchanged for the New Year, which is a much bigger deal in Japan. (If you want to read about that you can just read our articles “oseibo”.)
Have you ever seen Japanese traditional ribbons? It is not simply "sending things"
but rather as a culture of mind unique to Japanese people who wish to cherish their faces by "giving hearts".
Artist, Hiromi Nagasawa creates the bottle ribbon with traditional Japanese craft Mizuhiki in modern style.
You can decorate your table in innovative and stylish with this Mizuhiki ribbon.
go to shop ⇒ Home & Garden ⇒ MIZUHIKI
color combination, "red/yellow" and "purple/green" back in stock!
go to shop ⇒ Furoshiki Same-Komon
Brand new "Aquadrop" Furoshiki comes our online shop!
A playful single-sided Furoshiki, made with a water-repellent finished fabric.
What's good about it ?
You can use it as a bag even on rainy days...
Protect your bag and any other belongings from rain.
It can also serve as a picnic blanket, table cover etc.
The black cats are a symbol of luck and prosperous business.
go to shop ⇒ Aquadrop Furoshiki 100cm
Now available in 2 new models of cool Resin Smart phone "Hiding ninja series" at our online shop!
● "ōdako" = Flying on the Gian Kite
● "Fukiya" = Blowgun
Add the new item on your desk! go to shop ⇒ NINJA Smart Phone Stand
HAPPY SUMMER VACATION!
Wir wünschen Ihnen eine schöne Sommerzeit!
Handmade, the best Japan quality, a pair of traditional footwear "Tatami sandals" are in our online shop!
Toe-Thongs available in 3 different pattern; "Asanoha", "Doragon" and "Karakusa"
Add the best item for your summer outfits! go to shop ⇒ Tatami Sandal
* Asanoha * Dragon * Karakusa
New miniature candles are lined up our shop!! They have great details, just look like realistic but miniature food samples. You can light them, but be sure not to eat them by
Available in 4 miniature candles; "Sushi candle", "Green tea candle", "Ramen candle" and "Edamame candle".
go to shop ⇒ Miniature candles
* Sushi candles * Green tea candle * Ramen candle * Edamame candle
Nothing more adorable than this "shôyu-zara" (small dish/ tray)!
When filling soy sauce (or any watery sauce) in the dish, cat with typical behavior appears. Available in 3 different postures, "Wake-up/Stretching cat", "Looking back cat" and "Curl up/ Sleeping cat".
go to shop ⇒ Soy sauce dish
View our super cool new Masking roll stickers collection, available several kinds of design!!
* beautiful floral motives * new and cute cat girl motives
New technology applied on this stickers-like paper tapes piece!
Just like a sticker, you can peel each sticker from the roll piece by piece easily without cutting them or using release papers.
Look at these stickers! They are so chic and elegant. The texture of this tape is great, it looks and feels so realistic. Whether you use a single piece, or pile up some pieces together, or line up some different designs together or just let your imagination goes for any creative idea.
These tiny cute tapes can definitely add interesting elements to your projects. Check out these really cute paper stickers! ⇒ go to shop
IKEBANA - flower vase / Blumensteckschale
"SAKASA-FUJI (blue)" and "SIZUKA-SLIM" back in stock! go to shop ⇒ Ikebana flower vase
New products just arrived today include...
Masking tapes, candles, Tatami-sandals, Imabari-towels, Soy sauce dishes, Flower vase, Chopsticks rests, etc...
Will be updated soon!!
In early April, when the school year starts, all the students in a school gather for a formal ceremony welcoming the new students.
In a typical ceremony held in the school gym and the principal of the school makes some opening remarks, encouraging the new crop of students to have an enjoyable and rewarding experience in
Afterwards, the new students are led to their classrooms by their teacher, who explains what they can expect in the year to come. Text-books are handed out, and commemorative photos are taken on a class-by-class basis.
Many of the parents of the new students attend this ceremony, often dressed formally.
The ceremony marks a new period of the students’ lives, as they are now in a new school and at a new stage of life.
Most schools hold graduation ceremonies at the end of March, which is around the same time the cherry trees on Honshu Island begin to bud. These buds swell little by little, and, at the beginning of April the cherry trees planted around school grounds are in full bloom by the time entrance ceremonies are held and the new school term begins. Therefore, for many Japanese people, cherry blossoms are often symbolic of being promoted, going up a grade, entering a school, or entering the world as an adult member of society.
"RUI-chan" at the school entrance ceremony. (See the blog post on March 15, 2017, she graduated from kindergarten last year.) With a great big smile, she carries her new school bag (called "randoseru") on her back!
Grade-schoolers across Japan carry leather backpacks called “randoseru” (ランドセル). Traditionally, kids have carried one of two colors: black for boys, and red for girls. In recent years, however, that’s changed, there are several other colors variation.
On Graduation Day is the great opportunity to confess your feeling for someone precious to you or the one you have had a crush on.
At the schools, there is a long tradition of boys giving away the 2nd button of their school jacket as a keepsake to their loved one.
By the way, "why the 2nd Button?" ---- Because it's the closest to the heart. The 2nd button will contain memories and feelings he had during these past few years in school. If you receive a 2nd button from a boy, it means that he wants you to remember him and understand his feelings for you"
Is there any custom like this in your country during graduation ceremonies?
On March, it is the school year ends in Japan and a time of farewell and graduation season. (There are two ways of thinking about the year: one is the "calendar year which runs from January to December, and the other is the "fiscal year" which runs from April to March. In Japan, school year begins in April, and ends in March the next year.)
In Japan, many events in government offices, companies and schools are timetabled according to the "fiscal year". Many schools have their graduation ceremonies around March.
The word "graduation" in Japanese, is not only used in reference to education, but also to express the fact that many other kinds of things are "finished". On the other hand, it is said the word "graduation" includes the nuance of the word "commencement". It seems that many Japanese feel that milestones in life are reached during events, such as graduation, that take place at the end of the fiscal year.
The program of the ceremony varies among schools but many ceremonies start with an opening address and singing of the national anthem and the school song. The school principal and some guests give congratulatory speeches, and graduates are presented their diploma. Common program also includes graduation oath, speeches from current students, chorus of graduation songs.
Do you know a Japanese custom that on Graduation Day, the boy will give the 2nd button of his school uniform to the girl he likes??? We will introduce you this story on next blog topics!
You might even say that for Japanese People, for all educational facilities from kindergartens, elementary schools junior high schools, high school and universities, the graduation ceremonies are an Important event.
The majority of school students wear their school uniform. At university, most women dress in Japanese traditional clothing "Hakama".
My friend's kid "RUI-chan" graduated from kindergarten last year. She and also the nursery school teacher wore "HAKAMA".
Graduation ceremonies are not only memorable for the graduating student, but also for the parent. Both parents attend the ceremony with formal dress, suit or Kimono.
Furoshiki - Minimalism and Functionalism
The square cloths Furoshiki have been used for hundreds of years in Japan to "pack things" and carry them.
Whether it is a simple food bag or a refined knotted handbag - Furoshiki are an entertaining challenge to your own creativity.
☆ 68cm Furoshiki "Chirimen" ⇒ Go to shop
☆ 104cm Furoshiki "Isa Monyo" ⇒ Go to shop
I visited here this year again....
The International Gift show for Spring 2017 was held for 3 days from 08. February in Tokyo. We will introduce you new items at our shop soon!
New "traditional Kokeshi dolls" now available! ⇒ KOKESHI doll
These traditional Japanese dolls called "kokeshi" are unique pieces. Each kokeshi differs in its color and pattern and is hand painted.
The way and the method of the traditional Kokeshi production has been honestly succeeded for more than 100 years from the father to the son, from the son to the grandson and from the master to the disciple, and Kokeshi doll has been loved by many people as one of the typical Japanese folk arts.
Cutlery rest (6pcs set) back in stock! go to shop ⇒ Cutlery rest
View our super cool new Masu cup set, available online today!!
⇒ MASU CUP
A fantastic cups for Japanese Sake lovers!
3 different size of square wooden cups set that fit perfectly into each other.
Very popular items as aromatic decoration. You can feel the faint scent of hinoki wood (Japanese Cypress wood).
New Japanese Laser-cut 3D pop-up cards now available! ⇒ Laser-cut 3D pop-up card
Once opened this card, reveals a spectacular three-dimensional
Japan related motif which are represented with intricate laser-cut details.
4 kinds of motifs are now availavle;
"Tokyo tower", "Kabuki-theater", "Kinkakuji" and "Himeji Castle"
Take a look at our new preserved mini bonsai, 3 different models in store now! ⇒ mini BONSAI
These are remarkably lightweight and substantial at about 10 cm tall.
And also, it is without expensive ongoing maintenance - no grow lights,
no-fertilizer or no-watering required.
Simply bring some greenery beside you and enjoy!
Checkout our 3 new Stamp sets "Clematis", "Hydrangea" and "Camellia in store today!
go to shop ⇒ Stamp set
Stamp set "Kyoto", "Gold fish", "Wisteria" and "Peony" back in stock!
go to shop ⇒ Stamp set
Happy new year 2017!!
Hope you all had a good Christmas and new year holidays!
We returned to work from a truly relaxing and refreshing break in Japan!!
<---- It is the year of the Rooster in twelve animal signs of
the Chinese zodiac this year.