Thursday, February 13, 2014

Valentine's Day in Japan

There’s little over a week until the arrival of Valentine’s Day, and if you’re a male in Japan that means we may have just enough time to rescue you. You know that girl who’s been eyeing you all year? Next week she may come to you with a box of hand-made chocolate known in Japan as honmei choco which is exclusively given to the woman’s first choice in men. The other schlubs just get store-bought stuff.
If the word floating around on Twitter is anything to go by, you may want to take that chocolate to the lab for analysis before consuming because it seems Japanese women have taken to put a little too much of themselves into making it.
It’s unclear when or how this trend started but Twitter has been lit up recently with talk about it. It would seem that women are feeling that by adding some of their hair, saliva, or blood into their honmei choco it makes them that much closer to their favorite beau.
View image on Twitter
The tweet makes reference to “menhera” which is internet slang for someone who falls somewhere between emo and Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction, meaning a person who cuts themselves to show their intense devotion towards another. The word comes from “mentaru herusu ban” (mental health board).
While that’s clearly a derogatory reference to a clingy girlfriend, a resounding number of supposed female Twitter users have claimed to add a little bit of themselves to their chocolate recipes. Some attribute a magical property to it but most tend to just refer to it as a symbolic gesture and seem surprised that this is so shocking to others.
Going through all of the ever-growing number of tweets on the topic, these seem to be the most popular tissues and fluids used in guy’s chocolate in order from least to most “effective.”
■ Nail clippings
 Hair (finely chopped up)
 Pubic Hair
 Blood (from abrasion)
 Blood (from menstruation)
“If it’s Valentine’s and I’m going through my period, I add a secret ingredient.”
This certainly smells like a urban legend in the making with people just dying to freak folks out this holiday, but it’s hard to say for sure. The story is partially being perpetuated by the discovery of hairs in some guys’ chocolates in Valentine’s Days past.
“My buddy’s been traumatized about Valentine’s ever since he found a hair in his chocolate. That sucks, but it’s better than blood.”
Although those hairs could have been simple cooking mishaps like you’d find at your local fast food restaurant, who can say for sure? The one thing fellas can do this year is be prepared and look for the signs. If your girl hands you chocolates with noticeably shorter nails on her fingers, beware!
Also, it would seem that menstrual blood is the ultimate “gift” as it’s the most intimate and largely a matter of timing. So, if you noticed that you got some chocolates unusually early or late, beware!
However, if your chocolate looks unusually bloody, beware! That could also be a trick. Do not throw it away as it’s probably delicious. The person making it was probably just listening to this Twitter user.
“For those trying to mix in blood with their handmade Valentine’s chocolate, I have a suggestion: frozen raspberries (framboise). It kind of looks like caked blood and most importantly, the sweet and sour taste will fool them into thinking its blood.”
Yessir, it would certainly seem as though Valentine’s Day is fast becoming a minefield of spit and hair in Japan. Like a wise man once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates; bloody, bittersweet, and can sometimes give you Hep-C.” Perhaps that’s why more and more people are celebrating Fundoshi Day instead.
Source: TwitterNaver Matome (Japanese)

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