(St. Valentine's Day:14th of February)
|In Japan, 8 millions of gods are said to live. Everything has its god, i.e, furnace has god of furnace, toilet has god of toilet. They are going well each other nevertheless of occasional quarrels. And they are so generous to permit some other gods to join as their friends. Thus, japanese added Buddha as one of their god and next Jesus Christ and celebrate their festivals including Saint Valentine's Day.
I do not know if Saint Valentine's day is celebrated in every christian country. Once I had stayed in a Suburb of London at a house, they do not know what valentine day was.
|On Valentine's day, girls give her sweet heart chocolates. A chocolate maker came to this idea and he broadened this idea, now girls must give chocolates to every male co-workers. And other businessman came to the idea of White day. They insisted who received chocolate from a girl should give her back some gifts (typically lingerie, probably lingerie maker came to this idea first) twice the value of chocolates.
Christmas is also a target of commercialism. These phenomena might be the secret of japanese strength of economy.
Recently I found a site introducing japanese old Christmas at the following.
An statistics by The Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs says: The believer of Shinto (a traditional pagan, a polytheism like Greek Gods) are 106,000,000, the ones of Buddhism are 96,000,000, the ones of Chritianity are 2,000,000 and the ones of others are 11,000,000 while the total population is 127,433,494. It means japanese are multi religions people. In reality, most are unaware of what they believe in. For japanese, all the gods are the same and gods should quarrel each othre.
If you come to Japan in December and walk in the towns, you will think all japanese must be christian. In fact, all the family who have children celebrate, Chrismas decorating with christmas tree and children expect the gift from Santa Clause. Even kinderdardens operated by Buddhist temple celebrate Christmas. Youngers have parties and pull crackers.
As to the marriage ceremony
The selection of the style of wedding ceremony is determined like a fashion. No statistics about the style exists. My feeling is 70 % are done by Shinto, 20% are done by Christianity and 1% are done by Buddhism. However, It is said that before 20th century, most were done by buddhism. The most common style of japanese wedding ceremony is first having the Shinto ceremony and then hold a party wearing japanese style dress (kimono) and and after some time change the dress to european style.
As to the funeral ceremaony.
No statistics are there too, my experience says 95 % are done by Buddhism, 2% by Christianity and 1% or less by Shinto.