Thursday, January 6, 2011

So Where Did Valentine's Day Come From in Japan?   日本のバレンタインの起源は?

With Valentine's Day a little over a month away, I figured that I would throw a little trivia your way fittingly for the season.

a) What year was Valentine's Day introduced in Japan?

b) Where was Valentine's Day introduced in Japan?

c) By whom was Valentine's Day introduced in Japan?

Any ideas?

The answers are as follows:

a = 1936

b = Kobe

c = Morozoff Ltd.

Yes, you can thanks the confectionery and cake company founded in Kobe in 1931 for bringing Valentine's Day to Japan's shores 75 years ago. Naturally geared towards the foreign population in Kobe, Valentine's Day started to be accepted nationally in 1953 with Morozoff being the first to promote the holiday to the masses.

For those of you not familiar with the company, you may be wondering where the Morozoff name originally came from? The answer to that is in Valentine Fedorovich Morozoff. The man who started it all for the company that now operates more than 900 cafes and restaurants in Japan originally hailed from Russia.

Following the Russian Revolution in 1917, Valentine fled to northeastern China and then moved to Seattle before finally settling in Kobe in 1924. In 1926 he opened his own confectionery store before establishing his company five years later. 

A pioneer to say the least, Valentine revolutionized the confectionery industry in Japan, taking it from a Japanese sweets-focused society to creating a community of cheese cake, chocolate and custard pudding lovers.


a) いつ
b) どこで
c) 誰によってもたらさせたでしょう?
a) 1936年
b) 神戸




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