We hope everyone in the U.S. enjoyed a warm and pleasant Thanksgiving with family and friends. It’s not a holiday you can easily get into the spirit of while living in Japan, a country in which few homes have an oven large enough to cook lasagna, let alone a large meal with all the fixings. I did manage to have a turkey sandwich from Subway, making it one of my more traditional thanksgivings since coming to Japan.One of the themes I write a lot about is the way Japan likes to pretend it’s part of Europe instead of Asia. There are many “homages” to Europe to be found here, from Tokyo Tower (a scale replica of the Eiffel Tower) to the “Japan Alps” to the stylish corner of Shibuya dubbed スペイン坂 Spain-zaka, e.g. Spanish Hill, in tribute to/parody of the Spanish Steps in Rome. The Japanese go crazy for beaujolais nouveau every year, too — Japan is the largest market for the wine outside of France, and there’s an onsen where you can actually bathe in the stuff. For some reason, the Japanese have chosen to fixate on mannekin pis, the famous peeing boy statue in Belgium, as a symbol representing all of Western civilization, and when Honda wanted to promote its new hydrogen-powered car it created Hydrogen Boy, a statue of a boy that “pees” pure water to show how clean the technology is. (You can also get a peeing statue earphone mascot for your phone, if you want one.)Of course American culture is not without its influence. Friday, the biggest shopping day in the U.S., and I happened to notice that some companies are starting to promote Black Friday sales in Japan, despite there being no custom of Thanksgiving here. Incidentally, we’ve got good news for anyone looking to give the gift of fun products from Japan this year: we’re extending our popular Pre-Christmas Sale through the end of Monday, with 12% off nearly everything on the site. So get shopping and score some awesome products from Japan!
Pre-Christmas Sale through Monday, including Black Friday and Cyber Monday!