Easter in Japan is not as popular as in other countries, many people have no idea of its existence. This is because the number of Christians in Japan is less than 5%. In this article, we will talk a little about this holiday in Japan.
Ironically, Christmas, even though it is a Christian holiday, is much talked about and celebrated in Japan, albeit in a different way. So why isn't it like this with Easter in Japan? Why is it not so popular?
Easter in Japanese is called fukkatsusai [復活祭] where fukkatsu means resurrection and sai means festival. The holiday can also be called “iisutaa” [イースター] derived from the English “easter”.
We recommend reading: Christmas in Japan – How do the Japanese celebrate Kurisumasu?
Easter is unknown by the population
Christmas has become very popular in Japan and has become a kind of Valentine's Day and a very commercial holiday due to several aspects that we discussed in the recommended article.
Easter, on the other hand, has not become popular even commercially, there are few products on sale, and some Japanese people have no idea what it is. Some even confused the English word “easter” with a star.
This holiday didn't work out very well because the Japanese don't usually exchange gifts on commemorative dates. They already exchange a lot of gifts when they visit or as a thank you, even at Japanese Christmas, it's not common to exchange gifts.
The only date that popularized the exchange of gifts was Valentine's Day and White Day . This is one of the main reasons why we don't find almost any Easter products for sale as in other holidays that dominate Japan.
Valentine's Day in Japan already involves the exchange of chocolates and takes place in February and March. What about another holiday involving chocolates? Not to mention that at the beginning of April there is another event called Hanami.
Easter growth in Japan
Interest has increased each year, some stores are making Easter-themed products and sweets and are getting results. Most of the time these stores have some international relationship, or are big brands.
Disney is one of those that helps Easter to spread in Japan through its special events, other events also happen like the Uki Uki Easter in Sengawa in Chofu - Tokyo.
Easter is basically a date to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, unfortunately this date has become something commercial and full of unbiblical traditions. I myself find the holiday's relationship with rabbits and chocolates absurd.
Each country has its way of celebrating, some countries don't even eat easter eggs, but other dishes. Likewise, I believe that Christians in Japan have their own way of celebrating without being influenced by commercial marketing.
Japanese Vocabulary ABOUT EASTER
- 復活祭 - Fukkatsu-sai - Easter
- イースター・Iisutaa - Easter
- ハッピー イースター - Happii Iisutaa - Happy Easter
- イエス キリスト - Iesu Kirisuto - Jesus Christ
- チョコレート - Chokoreeto - Chocolate
- うさぎ - Usagi - Rabbit
- 卵 - Tamago - egg
Fertility Festival in Japan
The Fertility Festival in Japan is known as “Kanamara Matsuri”, also called “Steel Penis Festival”, which is celebrated in Kawasaki in early April. The festival is known for its processions with large statues of penises, which symbolize fertility and male virility.
Both festivals take place in early April and celebrate fertility and life. At “Kanamara Matsuri”, participants carry statues of penises and celebrate male fertility, while at Easter, eggs symbolize fertility and the rebirth of life in spring. The rabbit, which is also an Easter symbol, represents fertility and new life.
Despite cultural and religious differences, we can see that there is a certain convergence of themes and symbols between these two celebrations, especially in relation to the idea of fertility and rebirth.