Thursday, February 14, 2013

In Japan, women, not men, throng stores to buy Valentine's chocolates ‹ Japan Today

Japanese women packed out stores on Wednesday to buy Valentine’s Day chocolates for all the men in their lives—partners, friends and bosses—while the men sat back with nothing expected in return.

The traffic in Japan is all one-way on Feb14, with men free to sit back and wait for the boxes of goodies to pour in. A month from now, Japan celebrates White Day, when men are required to reciprocate with a white gift.

Chocolate has been available in Japan since at least 1797, when it was given to prostitutes by Dutch traders—the only Europeans allowed a foothold in an otherwise closed country where traveling abroad was punishable by death.

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