The day of all love couples is approaching. The Western couples usually go to a restaurant to spend time together or they do something special and romantic. Like watching the stars covered in blanket and eating red velvet cake. ha-ha. But, the way the Japanese people celebrate this day is quite different from the Western people. Do you know how Valentine’s day came to Japan and what are the customs and the right gifts? Read this post to find out.
In Western countries, usually the men send flowers or gifts to the woman of their heart. Or, the couple enjoys time together in a fancy restaurant. But, Japan is different. The Valentine’s day arrived to Japan with marketing campaigns focused on increasing sales of chocolate. Now, the majority of the annual income of chocolate companies in Japan comes from the Valentine’s day. Interesting, huh?
It is common to see stores packed with chocolate and women on this day. Why women, you ask? Well, you will see.
Specifics of Valentine’s day in Japan
During the Valentine’s day, only Japanese women are giving chocolate to men. Women are supposed to give chocolates not only to the guy they like, but also to friends, colleagues, male family members, and so on. But, there are different types of chocolate gifts.
We differentiate giri-choco (translated as obligation chocolate) and honmei-choco (chocolate for the real love). There are other terms like tomo-choco, which is a chocolate given to the friends, and others.
Giri choco is given to men with no romantic feelings. That means, the woman isn’t interested in that man in a romantic way. For example, you can give chocolate to your boss, male friends, father, teacher, or co-workers. In short, the giri-choco is given to almost all men the woman knows. This can be quite expensive, right? But it’s better to give them the chocolate so that the men don’t feel offended or huffy.
The concept of „Giri“ and “Honmei”
Giri means a mutual or common obligation that if you receive a gift from someone, you have to give them a gift too. For example, if you received a gift or favor from your neighbor, you are supposed to give or do something for the person as well.
In contrary, honmei-choco is given to the one you love. That means, your husband, boyfriend, or just the one you want to be your boyfriend. Women often create the chocolate gifts by themselves, so that the chocolate is full of their feelings. Handmade gift is always better, right?
Don’t use the phrase Happy Valentine’s Day and don’t send Valentine’s cards. This Western traditions are not common in Japan.
White day for men
This isn’t a tradition from the Japan’s history; it’s a day created by some marketing masterminds again to increase sales.
One month after the Valentine’s day, on the 14th of March, the men give chocolate to women from who they received chocolate for the Valentine’s day. Because it’s called White day, the chocolate is often white. Usually, flowers or other gifts are given along with the chocolate as well.
Now, when you know what chocolate to give to people, how about learning to say some nice things to your loved ones. Well, don’t waste any time and let’s study some Japanese compliments for guys and also some phrases for girls.
Top 10 ways of complimenting your boyfriend in Japanese
Let’s start with complimenting the person’s personality or other qualities. As you probably know, saying the person’s name is optional if it’s known from the context. For example, if you’re saying to your husband how strong he is, it’s obvious that you are talking about him and not about some other guy.
とても強いです。 (Totemo tsuyoi desu) You are so strong.
ても親切な人ですよ。 (Totemo shinsetsu na hito desu yo) You sure are a kind person.
頭がいいですよ。(Atama ga ii desu yo) You sure are smart.
ジムはとても面白いです。 (Jimu wa totemo omoshiroi desu) Jim, you are very interesting.
ジムくん、勇敢だよね。 (Jimu-kun, yūkan da yo ne) Jim, you are so brave, aren’t you?
The last one is useful if your hubby just took care of a big spider in your room. ha-ha. Never mind, let’s move on.
You can also say something nice about his appearance. What part of his body do you like? Say that in Japanese.
かっこいい。 (Kakkoii) You are cool/good-looking.
本当にハンサムです。 (Hontōni hansamu desu) You are really handsome.
あなたの茶色の目が好きです。 (Anata no chairo no me ga suki desu) I like your brown eyes.
大きい手を持っています。 好きです。 (Ōkii te o motte imasu. Suki desu.) You have big hands. I like that.
Some men are proud of their car, so say something nice about that. Heh
素晴らしい車を持っています。(Subarashī kuruma o motte imasu) You have such a wonderful car.
10 common compliments to say to your girlfriend
Valentine’s day or not, everyone likes compliments. So, go and tell your girlfriend what you like about her.
Here are some expressions to compliment the woman’s appearance or personality. Just don’t forget to replace the example name “Kimiko” with the name of your woman. 😉
おしゃれな人です。 (Oshare na hito desu) You are fashionable.
公子ちゃんは笑顔が素敵です。(Kimiko-chan wa egao ga suteki desu) Kimiko, your smile is beautiful/lovely.
かわいいよ。 (Kawaii yo) You are cute.
優しい人ですよ。 (Yasashii hito desu yo) You sure are a kind person.
きれいな心を持っている。 (Kirei na kokoro o motte iru) You have a nice heart.
この問題解けるの。頭いいですね。 (Kono mondai tokeru no? Atama ii desu ne) You can solve this problem? You are smart.
公子ちゃんはとてもきれいだと思います。 (Kimiko-chan wa totemo kirei da to omoimasu) I think you are very pretty, Kimiko.
And, these are some other phrases that will sure make your girlfriend happy. Just replace the words as you need.
公子さんの作った料理が大好き。(Kimiko-san no tsukutta ryōri ga daisuki) I love the meals cooked by (you) Kimiko.
いつもとてもポジティブです。 (Itsumo totemo pojitibu desu) You are always so positive.
このドレス、似合っています。 センスがいいね。 (Kono doresu, niatte imasu. Sensu ga ii ne) This dress looks good/nice on you. You have a good taste.
Do you celebrate the Valentine’s Day in your country? If you do, what are your customs?