Christams in Light Novels, Anime and Manga

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    Christmas in Light Novels, Manga and Anime.

    I’ve often wondered why a lot of Light Novels, Manga and Anime have a Christmas episode in them. While I know that the main religions in Japan are of the Buddhist and Shinto religions, Christmas is a Christian holiday that often works its way into these genres. I have asked my Japanese language professors and many Japanese people in general why this is but none can seem to give me an answer so since it’s the season I was wondering what some of your thoughts might be as to why this is. So, what do you think?

  • Christmas is more of commercial event with no religous reason to celebrate—just like Valentine's.
    And tbh, in Japan, you don't have to be that religious to engage into these events.
    All these events that have religious background became social event more than anything else.

    Well, Joey—The Anime Man—talked about how Christman is celebrated in JP and how really different form.the west.

    All hail, Colonel!

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    From my understanding, in Japan, Christmas has been taken from the West and turned into a commercial holiday, oftentimes framed as a day for lovers. As such it makes a good centerpiece for romantic stories. For shows without a romantic bend it still can provide some fun material thanks to things like gift exchanges, as well as giving an excuse for making pretty scenes with snow and Christmas lights and whatnot.

    Note that Christmas itself is not recognized as a national holiday in Japan, though the Emperor's birthday, December 23rd, is pretty close.

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    Apparently, eating KFC is a Christmas tradition in Japan. Or so I've been told.

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    @terrence I've heard all these things too. I've also heard a character say Fried chicken (in relation to Christmas) in the Bang Dream game, and see it written as roast chicken.

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    @terrence I've also heard this and read it in numerous articles. I've read that Christmas is the biggest selling day for KFC in Japan.

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    Because it's a good way to make people buy gifts, cake and other chrismas related things, company wouldn't ignore such a good thing. The same way that in Europe we now have black friday without any of the cultural meaning it can have.
    Chrismas barely have any link with religion nowday, anyway.

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    There was that little scene in Kiniro Mosaic where UK expat Alice was muttering about how Japan turned the birth of Christ into a commercial festival. (Played for comedy, of course.)

    (Also yes, I'm aware of all the various technicalities and details about Christmas in general, from Yule logs to solstice feasts to Mithraism. It's just way too long to go into here.)

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    @lighthawk96 said in Christams in Light Novels, Anime and Manga:

    Christmas is a Christian holiday

    Christmas isn't really a Christian holiday anymore, it has become more of a commercial holiday.

    Edit: Good Friday and Easter are the 2 really really important Christain holidays, much more important then Christmas in terms of the religion.

  • Translators

    The responses so far have pretty well covered it. People in Japan celebrate Christmas regardless of religion, and they do so by eating KFC (honest – people reserve family meal buckets weeks in advance of the 25th) and Christmas Cake. As another poster also mentioned, it's also considered a day to be with your boyfriend or girlfriend. It's interesting to contrast this with new year's day (o-shougatsu), which is a much more solemn holiday and is considered a time to spend with family. (I remember someone pointing out to me once that the spirit of the observance of these two holidays is essentially opposite in Japan and the US.)

    As a totally separate point, I disagree with @Drone205; Christmas is a profoundly important part of the Christian calendar (after all, without Christmas, how do you have Easter?), even if as a holiday it has perhaps been subsumed into the wider culture more thoroughly than Good Friday or Easter. As that suggests, though, I do think the religious and social observance of these holidays are different topics, and this thread is certainly more about the latter.

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    another reason (IMHO) is that Christmas makes a convenient event that coincides with the ending of an anime broadcast season, and changing of a school term (just as april 1st/ blooming cherry trees mark the beginning of a school year)

    from what I understand the 24th is a big "date night" like Valentine's day in the USA, and many families/groups have parties on the 25th.

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    @kevin-s said in Christams in Light Novels, Anime and Manga:

    Christmas is a profoundly important part of the Christian calendar (after all, without Christmas, how do you have Easter?)

    There is one big difference between Christmas and, Good Friday & Easter. Good Friday and Easter originated as Christain and a provable, Christmas started out pagan and was adopted into Christain to convert followers (approxamitly the year 300 when being Christain was legal in Rome).

    I think this is one of the reasons why Christmas has spread to outside of Christain circles. It does not matter what you believe in, you can celebrate Christmas, also al the marketing around Christmas helps spread he holiday.

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    @drone205 You could say the same about easter, nowday it's mostly about chocolate eggs and bunny. Personaly I only learn that it has some Christian origin when I was a teen.

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    Dead Dead Demon' DeDeDeDestruction volume 2 has a Christmas scene thingie.

    One of the girls mentions how Celebs lie on their Twitter about spending "quiet time with my family! *".

    One of the adult male characters bluntly says "Yeah, sure. It's the day you have sex" in response to a question about what Christmas is (eating cake and exchanging presents is the girl's response).

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