Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Random Picture #112

Image pinched from Domino's Japan's web site

I used to teach a lesson about holidays to my student during which I taught them the term "Hallmark Holiday". The awesome thing for Japanese companies is that they not only had their own versions of these types of holidays, but also were continuously folding in more Western holidays. The potential for profit would bring a tear to the eye of a Ferengi (if you're not dorky enough for that reference and too lazy to read the Wikipedia page I've linked to, substitute "capitalist pig" for "Ferengi"). In my last several years in Japan, I had noticed that there was an effort being made to insinuate Easter as a holiday into Japanese culture. I'm sure that it will eventually be just as successful as Valentine's Day as the year's go by, as a hollow mockery of a holiday that gets people to open their wallets even though their hearts are empty.

Mother's day is the next Hallmark Holiday on the horizon and Domino's Japan has an unimaginative offering for those who prefer to phone in their gift and have it delivered to mom's doorstep. They're selling a small heart-shaped pizza with a simple topping of tomato sauce, pepperoni and mozzarella for 1300 yen ($16.29). The size isn't given, but it says that this is good as 1 or 2 servings so it must be pretty small. I guess that it would be considerate of Mom's health not to feed her too much pizza.


Anonymous said...

In practice, I wonder how much prettier Japanese pizzas are compared to British ones. Our Domino's leaflets never give the impression that your pizza's going to be perfectly glazed or have your toppings arranged in a geometric pattern!

Susie Eichel said...

I worked part time at a local pizzeria a few years ago. That pizzeria offered heart-shaped pizza's for Valentine's Day. How romantic! (sarcasm oozing)

I really never understood why you should show your loved ones that you love them more on any given day. And by showing I mean spending money on flowers that will die or cheap candy. Love is timeless you can't BUY timeless.

Orchid64 said...

Thanks to both of you for commenting!

Tor: In my experience buying pizza in Japan, they aren't prettier than those around the world. They don't do a much better job of matching the real pizza to the pictures. My guess is this heart-shaped pizza (which I would not order)isn't going to look so good in reality. My pizzas never looked like the pictures. The crusts especially looked flatter and duller.

Susie: I was surprised to see this pizza on the web site because I thought it looked like a Valentine's Day deal. It seems that they're pushing the concept a bit to apply it to mother's day, but I guess you can't blame them for their ambition.

And, I agree, you don't need a special day to tell people you love them. I think the fact that many people wait to say the things they should be saying spontaneously is sad, but I do understand sometimes it's hard for people to express themselves without a reason. Businesses are always looking to capitalize on our inability to express ourselves either by having us buy heart-shaped pizzas to say "I love you" or by creating holidays during which we can feel more comfortable saying it. Of course, when I say, "we", I don't mean "me". I tell people I love that I love them all the time. :-)

Johntaro said...

Well I love this blog. It’s very informative and I always learn something new, like “Hallmark Holiday” (that’s a good one). You’re definitely right about Easter going Easter too. This Easter I bought six scoops of Ice cream from my local Baskin & Robbins in Yokohama for 1500 yen. I just couldn’t resist the cute Easter packaging. I think B&R has gotten the jump on the other food store chains for Easter but I'm sure the Kentucky Fried Colonel isn't going to take this surprise attack lying down (or maybe he is since he's been dead for over 30 years) and given the already well-established association of Easter and chicks, I can only imagine what KFC might have in store for the Japanese market next Easter.

Orchid64 said...

Thank you, Johntaro, for the kind comment!

Baskin Robbins definitely has the jump on everyone. Last year, they were selling plastic eggs with ice cream in them. For nostalgia, I almost gave in, but, I resisted. Ice cream is one of those things which I sometimes do not have the best self-control with. ;-)

Love the KFC joke. ;-)

Perogyo said...

I'm pretty happy with Hallmark holidays. I love that Baskin Robbins is packaging ice cream for groups so that one can celebrate the coming of spring with food and family/friends, which is what culture is all about.
Personally no one in my house likes pizza so that one wouldn't be on my wishlist, but it's a great idea. Mothers should be celebrated by other people taking on the herculean tasks they perform everyday, only one of which is food prep. It's my job to pass on culture and ways to show appreciation to people and I will continue buying Baskin Robbins' Easter Eggs and prepackaged peanuts/long sushi rolls at Setsubun. Other people can celebrate the way they want, and just because we don't go to church doesn't mean we celebrate Easter without heart.

Orchid64 said...

Perogyo: Your attitude is awesome. :-) I don't have a problem with Hallmark holidays. As you say, people can celebrate them as they please. However, it seems a little too lightweight to thank Mom for all of her hard work by picking up the phone and ordering a pizza for someone else to carry to her door. However, to each their own.

Sherry said...

Yes, it is lightweight, but frankly most moms will take what they can get. And in Japan most fathers don't help the kids do anything special for Mom so a small relatively inexpensive item like a little heart shaped pizza may be all they can afford, or a single carnation from Lawson's or whatever tiny little thing they can manage. It's all fine and well to say you should show love all year long, but that fact is having a day devoted to showing a little extra appreciation is not a bad thing. I think claiming it is a "Hallmark holiday" solely for companies to make money shows a total lack of understanding about what the day means to the people it is supposed to be honoring. As for Easter and all the imported holidays coming into Japan, I don't care if they are just trying to earn a profit. (isn't that the point of all business!). It makes it much easier for me to share my culture with my children. You are also overlooking the fact that Japan does have plenty of Christians who might like to participate in some of the more secular activities like Easter baskets, egg hunts and so forth along with their religious observations