Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Will Miss #273 - "White Day"

A culture is not only revealed in the greatness of its practices, but in its lame ones as well. Too many people think about Japan only in terms of its best points and its quirky aspects. "White Day" reveals just how uncreative and pathetic the marketers in Japan can be when setting themselves to the task of creating their own non-traditional consumer-minded holiday rather than usurping that of Western countries (as they have done with Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's Day). White Day is a "Hallmark holiday" invented by sweets manufacturers as an "answer" to Valentine's Day in which women in Japan are supposed to give men chocolates. On "White Day", men are supposed to give women white treats like marshmallow-based sweets, cookies, or white chocolate. The idea is bland, poorly named, and very few men actually observe it. Unlike most holidays that were born with some sort of meaning and had it stripped through marketing practices, White Day was born without a soul and has always been utterly hollow.

White Day is an empty monument to corporate greed and a complete lack of creativity and I'll miss it and the way the displays always bring a wry smile to my face.