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Nihonsei: Why Do Japanese Women Give Chocolate to Men During Valentine's Day?

In the Land of the Rising Sun, Valentine’s Day involves women handing out chocolates to the men in their lives as a show of love, affection or respect. Japanese women are normally shy compared to other female nationalities. It is only during this time that women take the initiative to profess their love or humor the opposite sex.

There are two types of chocolate these Japanese women give during this day and those are Giri Choco (義理チョコ) and Honmei Choco (本命チョコ).

Giri choco is also called the "obligatory chocolate." These chocolates are given to male acquaintances or friends whom these women don't necessarily love. These include co-workers, bosses, cousins, male friends, and so on. These so called obligatory chocolates are either pretty common and cheaply bought from the store.

Honmei choco, also known as "favorite chocolate", on the other hand, are given by women to express their sincere love to the person receiving that gift. These chocolates are rather expensive or often homemade.

As part of this tradition, after exactly one month, on March 14, It's the time of the Japanese men who received a chocolate one month ago to give back something far more greater value. This day, may not be as popular as Valentine's Day, is what they call "White Day".

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