Friday, April 3, 2015

うきうき イースター Happy Excited Easter: Another Western Holiday Gets Glocalized in Japan

You are most likely familiar with the glocalization of Christmas and in recent years Halloween in Japan. Glocalization entails the import of a foreign idea modified through native cultural logic. I have never seen Easter celebrated in Japan (and I tend to forget it most years) until a recent trip to Otsu in Shiga Prefecture last week. At the "all you can eat lunch buffet" at the New York Steak & Seafood Restaurant located on the 37th floor of the Prince Hotel in Otsu an Easter celebration of sorts was taking place. My favorite part of the celebration was the Easter Bunny shaped omuraisu (ketchup flavored rice omelet). You can see what happened to the poor bunny in the photo below.

There were other egg dishes, mostly deviled eggs with various ingredients such as fish, shrimp, cheese and vegetables. The "real" Easter eggs were for decoration only.

Kewpie dolls also served as a decoration. I am not sure what the association with Kewpie and Easter is in Japan. (Kewpie was originally a comic strip character in America in the early 1900s; Kewpie is also the name of a company that sells the most popular brand of mayonnaise in Japan - it uses the doll as its logo.) Children were able to receive a free Kewpie doll and a balloon as well.

I haven't seen any other such celebrations in Japan? Have you?

Happy Easter! I hope the Easter Bunny leaves you many treats.

See more images of Kewpie in Japan:

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