Valentine's day in Japan

japanese Feb 14, 2022

Today I will be talking about Valentine's day in Japan.


Just like in other countries Valentine's day is a romantic day for couples here in Japan. 


Valentine’s Day started to be recognized in Japan during the late ’50s.

Due to corporate endeavors, Valentine's day became a popular event in Japan. However, the way Japanese people celebrate Valentine's day is a bit different compared to other countries. 


In Japan, women give chocolate to their valentine while men only receive chocolate.

Also, it is known as the day for women to confess their feelings to men by giving chocolates.

Usually, men will give some sweets back to women such as cookies and marshmallows on March 14th which is called White Day.


In the late ’80s, women started to give “giri choko” to their male coworkers, male friends, or family member to show appreciation but no romantic feelings is included. “giri choko” means, obligated chocolate. 


Also, students give chocolate to friends which is called, ‘Tomo choco’ (Friends chocolate)


Recently, males and females buy expensive chocolate to treat themselves, which is called ‘serufu barentain or jubun choco’ =( self-valentine or self chocolate) 


I am sure you won’t need chocolate for a while after Valentine's day in Japan. since you will get plenty of chocolates.


Do you like how Japanese people spend Valentine’s Day?

Now let’s learn words and phrases.





【Phrase 1】

I will give/ gave (things) (to a person). 

わたしは (persone) に (things) を あげます。/ あげました。

watashi wa (person) ni (things) wo agemasu / agemashita.


あげます/ あげました (agemsu / agemashita) is used when you give gifts or give someting that a recipient is happy to receive. This word can not be used to submit.


【Let’s look at some example.】


    1. I will give chocolate to Mr.John.

         わたし​ は ジョンさん に チョコレート を あげます。

          watashi wa Jonh san ni chokore-to o agemasu.


    2. I gave friend-chocolate to Ms. Misa.

         わたし は みささん に 友チョコを あげました​。​

   watashi wa Misa san  ni tomochiko o agemashita


    3. Ms.Mika gave chocolate to Mr.Mike.

         みかさん は マイクさん にチョコレートをあげました。

        Mika san wa Maiku san ni chokore-to o agemashita.


    4. Who will you give chocolate to?

           (あなた は) だれ に チョコレート を あげますか。

        Anatawa dareni chocore-to wo agemasuka.

 * To ask who you will give to, you just need to put “dare” instead of the person's name (target) and add the question mark particle “ka” at the end of the sentence. Usually, people omit you in Japanese and just start a sentence since it is too obvious who you're asking questions to. Even if it is not clear you, it's better to call the person’s name than to use the word you which is “anata” if you want to speak more like a native.





【Phrase 2】

I will receive / received (things) from (person).


わたし は (person’s name you) に/ ​から​ (things) を もらいます / もらいました

watashi wa (person’s name you) ni/kara (things) o moraimasu / moraimashita

To express you received something from someone.  you can use either particle (person) ni or kara

To avoid confusion, use the particle “ni” only in the following sentences since it sounds formal. Kara is commonly used in casual conversations.

【Let’s look at example sentences.】

ex )

     1. I will receive chocolate from Mai san.

          わたし​ は まいさん ​に チョコレート を もらいます。

          watashi wa Mai san ni chokore-to o moraimasu.


      2. I received a present from Yuka.

           わたし は ゆかさん に プレゼント を もらいました。

    watashi wa Yuka san ni purezonto o moraimashita.


      3. Mr.John received chocolate from Ms.Mai.

           ジョンさん は まいさん ​に​ チョコレート を もらいました。

           jon san wa Mai san   ni chokore-to o moraimashita.


       4. Who did you receive the present from?

            だれ に​ プレゼント を もらいましたか。

      dare  ni  purezento   o  moraimashita.







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