Friday, February 15, 2013

What does this chocolate mean?!?

How to find out whether you got giri-chocolate or honmei-chocolate from your Japanese female friend. 

For the Japanese Valentine's Day, a woman can typically give one of two kinds of chocolates. 

Courtesy chocolate (giri-chocolate) or the more sincere Honmei-chocolate. 
Japanese woman making homemade sweets for her lucky Valentine (Honmei-chocolate)

Giri-choco is given to co-workers, teachers, and usually doesn't include any romance. Often comes in the form of a small store-bought box of chocolates or sweets. Usually not too expensive. 
Honmei on the other hand is usually handmade or a better quality store-bought chocolate than its counterpart, the giri-choco. And often implies the romantic intentions of the giver to the receiver. 

But sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between the two as the giver often will not say. 

(That being said I heard that sometimes a note is included with the Honmei-choco with something of a confession of "interest" if the giver is less shy than the typical Japanese woman). 

So, gentlemen, you will need to ask if you aren't sure. 
Here is how you find out . 

1. Approach the woman in a somewhat private setting (but don't be a creep about!), like at the office water cooler or break room.  

2. Thank her for the gift of chocolate. 

3A. If it was store-bought make a comment like: "Oh, it must have been expensive..."

3B. If it was hand-made make a comment like: "Oh, it must have been difficult to make..."

4. Follow both with, "Did you give many chocolates?" 

PAY ATTENTION!! Now, she will answer one of two ways: 
Negatively "Oh, yeah I gave some to Sanno-san, Yamada-san and Charles"  (Sad frowny face time, gentlemen). Return the favor on March 14th (White Day) and think upon it no more. 

Positively: ", not really" as she looks away shyly.  
MONEY! Smile, boys, and ask her to meet you for a date at a nice Italian restaurant. 

Honmei-choco after all. OK!


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