Christmas in Japan

Today is Christmas…

Being an anti-theistic agnostic, I usually try not to celebrate, but being in Japan has made me kind of nostalgic for the western traditions of home. This morning, my family and I opened our presents together by video-conference. This is very much thanks to Apple and iChat AV, which is the only high-quality video-conferencing application I or anyone I know has ever managed to get working. No thanks, however, to Australia’s pathetic ADSL network. While my family got to enjoy a high-resolution video-feed of me, uploaded at several mbps, I had to live with the blocky feed that the typical Australian 256kbps uplink could serve me.

Anyway, Happy Christmas, everyone. I’ll leave you with the Christmas card I sent my younger brother, which demonstrates just how little Japan seems to exhibit the traditional spirit of either its own culture, or that of the West.

Daibutsu Christmas Card

Mini-Santas swarming over the Kamakura Daibutsu.

When I described this card to a British exchange student I met here, we started to rack our brains to come up with a similar, perhaps slightly more blasphemous mix of Japanese culture and Western religious imagery. The product of our wild fancies: Geisha Jesus.

As I’ve seen written here in Japan: “Happy Merry Christmas,” everybody!

Author: Ben Hourigan

Ben Hourigan is a novelist from Melbourne, Australia. His books Kiss Me, Genius Boy and My Generation’s Lament are Amazon category bestsellers, and are available wherever good books are sold online. Ben also works as an editor, copywriter, and self-publishing consultant at his own firm, Hourigan & Co. For news and book release updates, sign up to his email newsletter.