Why Easter is not celebrated in Japan

3 04 2008

Of course the obvious response is Japan is not a Christian country and that is true.  On the other hand Japan has adapted a commercial version of Christmas along with Valentines day and Halloween, so why isn’t Easter commercialized and profited from too?  I have several personal hypothesis as to why Easter is not mentioned here.

In no particular order 

1.  It is a movable feast.   Trying to introduce and market a foreign holiday that keeps moving every year may seem too annoying and difficult.

2. Marketing.  In many countries where people celebrate a secular version of Easter it is treated as more of a spring festival with bunnies and eggs and such.  Japan already has a bunch of spring themes for marketing such as plum blossoms and cherry blossoms so that marketing spot is already filled.

3.  Too much happening.  With Easter moving around between the end of March and sometime in April that puts it in a busy season in the Japanese calendar.  March 3 is hina matsuri which is like a festival for girls with plenty of products and marketing for that.  March 14 is white day the month later cousin to valentines day and a day when men have to buy women something white.  Next the plum trees bloom which isn’t as big a fuss and the cherry blossoms blooming at the end or March or beginning of April in Tokyo at least.  March is graduation time and April is the start of the new school year as well as the time new employees enter major companies.  With all of this going on there isn’t really much room or probably interest to market something else.

For whichever reason Easter is not marketed here I am very happy for that.  I like that it hasn’t been distorted and commercialized, especially in the way Christmas is here.   Of course it also means that the Easter message is unknown but then again one could say the Japanese celebrate Christmas, however, many people have no idea of the message of that either.


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