Valentine’s day in Japan doesn’t have to be just a couples’ affair. If you’re up for doing things the conventional way, social codes dictate that on February 14th, women are to step up to the plate first and give chocolate to the important men in their lives. This doesn’t only mean crushes, boyfriends, fiancés, or husbands – but can also include fathers, teachers, bosses, and co-workers.
To avoid confusion, there is special chocolate, honmeichoko (“chocolate of love”), and less-special, courtesy chocolate, giri-choco (“obligation chocolate”), which of course is still graciously accepted! Giri-choko is simply store-bought chocolate of no particular special brand. The heart-throbbing honmei-choko, however, is either expensive top-brand chocolate from a specialty store, or it’s handmade by the woman herself at home.
But of course, it’s not all over there. The expression of love is drawn out all the way until next month on howaito dee (“White Day”), March 14th. This is when florists, gift stores, and chocolate shops each claim their share of a gentleman’s February pay check. For those giving gifts of love, the phrase sanbai gaeshi meaning “triple the return” is used to sanction that the return gift should be around three times the cost of the Valentine’s gift. Well, the girls deserve some kind of reward for going first – right?
If there’s someone special you’d like to declare your affection for with words as well as chocolate, we’ve prepared some suitable (some a little clichéd!) phrases to try your luck with. Happy Valentine’s Day!
|Valentine’s Day / White Day||バレンタインデー / ホワイトデー||barentaindee / howaito dee|
|I like you (care for you).||すきです||Suki desu.|
|I always think about you.||いつも おもっています。||Itsumo omotteimasu.|
|You are beautiful.||きれいだ。||Kirei da.|
|You are handsome.||ハンサムね。||Hansamu ne.|
|I miss you.||あいたい。||Aitai.|
|You make me happy.||きみが いて しあわせ。||Kimi ga ite shiawase.|
|Would you like to be my boyfriend?||ボーイフレンドに なって くれる？||Booi furendo ni natte kureru?|
|Would you like to be my girlfriend?||ガールフレンドに なって くれる？||Garu furendo ni natte kureru?|
|I adore you.||きみの こと すきで たまらない。||Kimi no koto sukide tamaranai.|
|You are the love of my life.||わたしの いっしょうの こいびと。||Watashi no isshoo no koibito.|
|I love you (much more serious).||あいしてる。||Aishiteru.|
|Will you marry me?||けっこん して ください。||Kekkon shite kudasai.|
|She’s my fianceé.||ぼくの こんやくしゃ です。||Boku no kon-yakusha desu.|
|He’s my fiancé.||わたしの こんやくしゃ です。||Watashi no kon-yakusha desu.|