Recently I have noticed that Muji is using the same recession originated concept again for Valentine’s Day: A simple kit allowing to make sweets at home. In December 2010 Muji was promoting complete kits for creating a Christmas cake at home (earlier blog post), which had been a great success according to local news. With the economical downturn in Japan, some women have started to shift their focus from store-bought sweets to home-made sweets. The sets contain everything you need including the recipe, ingredients and an assumed time schedule for the creation (see more directly at Muji).
In case if you are wondering why there is a connection of women buying sweets and Valentine’s Day: In Japan the Valentine’s Day tradition is that only women give presents like chocolates to men. The commonly stated reason is that Japanese women seem too shy to express their love. Men on the other hand are then supposed to return gifts to their preferred woman on a day called “White Day” (March 14th). Based on the news on TV it seems that the Valentine’s Day tradition is changing even further in Japan. The biggest share of the chocolate given away is from women to their female friends or then simply bought for themselves. Potentially the tradition of guys or men being the lucky receiver seems to fade away.
For the curious one’s: Personally I have not decided yet what I will give to my husband, especially as I tend to present him with his favorites goodies when I feel like and not based on a calendar day. Last week he had already received some sweets with his favorite character on it. Let’s see whether he will get more.
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