Heartful Whiteday

posted on 14 Mar 2009 in Engrish Origins

Today (March 14th) is White Day in Japan. From Wikipedia:

White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan. It was started by the National Confectionery Industry Association (全国飴菓子工業協同組合) as an “answer day” to Valentine’s Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and other gifts on Valentine’s Day. (note: traditionally in Japan only women give chocolate to men on Valentines)…… Now, men give both white and dark chocolate, as well as other edible and non-edible gifts, such as jewelry or objects of sentimental value, or white clothing like lingerie, to women from whom they received chocolate on Valentine’s Day one month earlier.

First holiday that I know of that was made up by an industry association – weird how people just fall in line and follow the corporate guidelines as consumers. But hey, if it creates Engrish like this one it is all worthwhile: 

Photo courtesy of Lucia Bruce.

  • animecute

    Pi for white day!

  • Mangohead

    I believe it’s just as valid as Valentine’s Day. And that ain’t sayin’ much :p

  • BeadyEl

    3.14? Skip the chocolate, I’ll have a slice of Pi…

  • Rigoletto

    Christmas as we know it was marketed by Coca Cola.

  • Gainer

    Really? Mother’s Day was an invention of Hallmark Greeting Cards in a brilliant marketing campaign to increase sales and expand the year-round market for greeting cards. It was so successful that we now have Father’s Day, and even just recently, Grandparents Day. In Korea they even have an official Childrens’ Day!
    Rigoletto is correct, but there’s more: Santa Claus was invented by the Coca-Cola Company in the early twentieth century. The name and concept were developed from various European Christmas traditions. Next time you are at the store, check out the Coca-cola official colours and compare them to the Big Guy’s wardrobe!

  • Xenobiologista

    You mean Valentine’s Day WASN’T made up by an industry? I guess the original saint’s day has been around since the Valentine guy was canonized, whenever that was, but the modern holiday has “commercial” written all over it.

  • Klutz Lament

    In the U.S., Valentines Day as we know it was created by a company.In Japan, both Valentines Day and Christmas are 100% commercial holidays.
    I will grant that White Day is a commercial holiday that does not have any non-commercial roots whatsoever.

  • Rigoletto

    If I may add something, what ever happened to Steak and a BJ Day?

  • Jim

    Sorry guys but I’ve got to clear up some Urban Legends here.
    Mother’s day was NOT invented by Hallmark. It was the creation of a woman named Anna Jarvis, in 1912 (in the U.S.; many ancient civilizations celebrated mothers). It was first signed into law by Woodrow Wilson in 1914. Noteworthy, however, is that within 9 years she came to despise it because of commercialization, and was arrested in 1948 for protesting the commercialization.
    Secondly, Santa was NOT invented by Coca-Cola. Perhaps the most convincing proof I can offer for that is to quote the New York Times, 1927 (four years before the first Coca-Cola Santa ad).
    “A standardized Santa Claus appears to New York children. Height, weight, stature are almost exactly standardized, as are the red garments, the hood, and the white whiskers. The pack full of toys, ruddy cheeks and nose, bushy eyebrows and a jolly, paunchy effect are also inevitable parts of the requisite make-up.”
    This information and more can be found at:

  • http://OCDaisy.spaces.live.com Figure.10

    At Rigoletto- Yes, March 14th is still steak and BJ day. http://shop.cafepress.com/steak-and-blow-job-day

  • Niko

    “White Day” is observed in Korea as well. The following month, 14 April, is “Black Day.” Those who received nothing on Valentine’s or White Day dress in black and go out to eat 짜짱면, Jjajjangmyon, noodles with thick black bean sauce.

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