*to Hanlon's razor: Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Japan, if you can't do Christmas right...

...doing it will be idiotic, and at worst offensive.
This is not offensive (I've used this picture before).  I have a thing for periorbital puffiness (that's above the shoulders, btw), and the 'cos-play' people get up to in their 2DK or porn is none of my business.  I was at a pub Friday night with some other Gaijin and I couldn't stop repeating "Merry Christmas..." each time the twenty-year-old barmaid slinked by in just this outfit.  Well, not the boots, the skirt down to the knee, and covered past the shoulder, but good enough!

And I don't find the opportunistic commercialism any more offensive in Japan than at home, because I couldn't find it any more offensive.  I am no fan of Christmas, mainly because of the usual family trauma and nonsense that's not even interesting to a well paid shrink.  I'll spare you.

This shit is stupid.
First, N.Americans are wrong.  There is no good reason to eat bland turkey more than once in the year: Christmas goose and Easter lamb (ham is for people in the 'Hate-States')..  And this is none of the above, but available in every Japanese department grocer now: chicken leg covered in teriyaki sauce, as if they haven't had enough shoyu in the year...  At least they prefer dark meat?

And this shit is stupid.
I don't mind KFC cashing in, not that I touch the stuff, but the Japanese zombies paying double to go on unavoidable dates with the rest of the islands on the evening of Christmas Eve, and then buying chicken (chicken!) at KFC, like that has anything to do with anything but arteriosclerosis and nausea, just reminds me of what I call the 'Japanese Razor': "if there is a more sensible solution, 'it's not Japanese culture'."

Don't tell me that the Japanese appropriating Christmas to their culture in their own way is inevitable and harmless, because this:
And finally, this that we do to their culture:
If you're going to appropriate, don't miss the point, and do it worse.

No, if you're going to make offence, go big, smart, or go home.


  1. I'm no Christian but it really fucked me off being in Japan at Christmas and having to listen to people go on about it with no idea. At least when we appropriate holidays, we try to learn about the origins. The Christmas sushi is kinda awesome though!

    But seriously, Christmas lamb? What the hell. In Australia, it's ham and turkey and seafood. If you served lamb, you'd prolly get a slap up the side of the head.

  2. Never seen lamb at Christmas, even in Japan, but yeah... not the time of year with the birth of the 'Lamb of God'. At least Easter the 'Lamb' was killed, plus the whole pre-Christian Jewish link to eating lamb at Passover. The sushi is just me putting 'the shoe on the other foot': sushi outside of Japan is often an abomination. Nothing to do with Christmas. Can't say I know much about Aus Christmas customs, but I am too acculturate a Canadian to go anywhere warm then: the cold gives more reason to drink sufficient spirits to abide family.

    I'm all about the goose, when I can get it; in Japan I can't, but have a duck for three adults this year. Goose: 'A Christmas Carol' and all that. Our East Coast Lobster fishermen have a glut of lobster and are trying to start a tradition. Good luck. Don't mind lobster, but crab is far better among the sea-insects.

  3. I'm pretty sure the whole 'crucified Santa' thing was actually a parody/satire/piss-take cooked up on a blog to make a point not too dissimilar from the one you're making here. It does seem so terribly plausible though, as all the best parodies do.

    As I mentioned this time last year, I've pretty much made my peace with christmas in Japan. As long as I can make a proper cake I'm happy to just let it all wash over me. All except the jingles.

    I'm pretty sure the endlessly looped corporate earworms they play in superstores are actually banned by the Geneva Convention, and when they get swapped out for the christmas versions it's even worse. How the people working there don't flip and go on a Falling Down rampage is beyond me.

    1. The carols are horrible in Canada too, so that's not different. I have no doubt 'crucified Santa' happened somewhere in Japan, and more than once.

      Good on you with the Christmas cake. My J-mother-in-law is bringing one of those irrelevant Japanese 'Christmas cakes', and she and the J-wife would passive-aggressively poorly pretend to enjoy a proper one, or plum pudding. Even Canadians are too stupid to know a good tradition. Thank god for a pre-war Yorkshire grandmother (could have done without the father, truth be told). The shit about the British unable to cook is exaggerated. More like the restaurants were poor, but in any homemade roast there is some part of it rare... except my Acadian aunt's.

  4. I made a huge batch of burn-your-asshole-raw salsa and carne asada tacos for a few friends and we watched unChristmasey TV shows and were glad not to be out with the other 12 million Tokyoites who can't seem to stay the fuck home ever...

    1. I could use some real Mexican.

      "Can't seem to stay the fuck home ever." That's because the Borg get their few holidays at the same time, and all go to the same places, because it would require individuality to do anything else. I have to plan against them, and give up on anything on a national holiday.

  5. http://youtu.be/Llzfm4L-apc

    This works....really really well. Leftovers are a treat indeed!

    Merry Christmas btw!!!

    1. Holy shit you don't do anything by halves!

    2. And Merry Christmas yourself, and the rest of you bloggers and visitors.

  6. Humbug. Really. That's the only way I think holidays are enjoyable. When trying so hard not to get into the spirit of things, I rarely, if ever, get what I want. Which turns out for the better. No one gets burned or shot or shot while burning...gotta love that holiday vibe. (sigh)

  7. I break my vegetarian ways when it comes to holidays. Because the food is damn worth it and it is rare I have to cook it. Last year we did prime rib for Christmas, this year was turkey. Not too much a fan of turkey unless it is cooked right and even then I opt for the darker meats. I missed out on my family's lamb feast this year but I gotta split my holidays being married. It's only fair, I would very much like to try goose. I have never had it. Hope you had a happy holiday. :)