2 December 2005

It's Christmas Time...

...there's no need to be afraid.

Oh yes there is!

Christmas came early to this predominantly Buddhist country. It appears the Japanese enjoy embracing certain aspects of western society.

I recall the fateful day. It was November 2nd, just like any other day. I walked into a convenience store and saw, to my complete horror, Christmas tinsel and Santa's decorating the shop. Shudder, groan, moan. It's Christmas in Japan. And it's early.

With their penchant for all things tacky and kitsch, the city looks remarkably festive and way over the top. Bing Crosby croons around town. Tinsel, fairy lights, Christmas trees, sleighs, you-name-it-Tokyo-has-it, everywhere you go.

There is an urban myth circulating that, during the 1960's, someone got so excited about the idea of Christmas that they inadvertently mixed up the western symbolism and proudly displayed, in a department store window, an effigy of Santa being crucified on a cross.

Now that's my idea of Christmas. Bah, Humbug.

(I took this photo last night in Shinjuku. It was about zero degrees with the wind howling down from Siberia. God I love winter!)

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