Monday, December 11, 2017

A Very Japanese Christmas

Christmas was coming to life when I visited Japan in early November. Colonel Sanders, an integral part of Japan's Christmas traditions, was in his Santa garb. Ticket counters in some train stations were decorated with tinsel and little ornaments. Christmas trees were starting to sprout.
Christmas tree being set up at Nagoya's main train station.
Around the world, Christmas is largely a cultural creation rather than a religious festival. Japan is about 1% Christian, but has created its own Christmas traditions.

KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken) has been a Christmas staple since a successful marketing campaign in the early 1970's. Christmas would not be Christmas without a bucket of KFC.

And the Christmas meal would not be complete without kurisumasu keki. Christmas cake is a lovely, creamy, light sponge. "Kurisumasu keki" is also slang for a woman who is 26, or older, who has not married. This sexist term is based on the premise that Christmas cake not eaten on the 25th goes stale.

Maybe a man who is unmarried, and 26 or older, should be called kurisumasu kentakkīfuraidochikin.

Merīkurisumasu. (Merry Christmas.)
Nagasaki. The display to the left of the tree is promoting a series of December concerts.
Note: I took the photos in this post in November 2017. I took the KFC photo in Kurume, Kyushu.

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