Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Japan knows how to capitalize on gift giving = make money.
Feb. 14th is Valentines Day in Japan like it is everywhere else. One difference is that in Japan only the women folk give gifts…chocolate…to anyone. Make that to everyone…it is called girichoco. It is chocolate given out of obligation to everyone in the work, school or social circle.
I remember clearly my friends, the girl types, hating this custom of the ‘must-give’ social phenomenon. But, all the while they complain, they head for the nearest chocolate store.
And then…one month later, it is payback time. Everyone that she has given chocolate to becomes obligated to give something in return…it’s called White Day.
I remember getting chocolate from a student once….I was happy until I learned that she most likely felt like she had to give it to me. I gave her a package of underwear shaped like an onigiri (rice ball) in return.
The happiest people in this whole scenario are, no doubt, the department stores. Japan knows how to capitalize on American-born holidays.