Gyaku-Choko

Gyaku-Choko
The Japanese term for “reverse chocolate.”

The Straits Times reported on a novel attempt to encourage Japanese men to buy chocolates for women on Valentine’s day:

Previously, it was the unwritten rule that Japanese women buy chocolates for the men in their lives – ranging from their husbands to male colleagues at work, or even the managers of their condominiums.
But this year, a new buzzword has hit the country – gyaku-choko, which means “reverse chocolate.”
In order to attract male customers, department stores promoted chocolates next to men’s fashion displays and the confectioner Morinaga even decided to print the packaging of a range of chocolates in reverse.
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In 2006, The First Post discussed Japan’s inversion of the usual rules of chocolate gifting on Valentine’s Day:
On February 14, it’s only women who do the giving. And it’s not all about love. As a sign of appreciation, most women give giri-choko(obligation chocolate) to male bosses and colleagues whilst honmei-choko (true love chocolate) is for loved ones.
However, Japanese men do not get off lightly:
Exactly one month after Valentine’s Day the tables turn. March 14 is “White Day” – originally conceived as a marketing ploy by a marshmallow company in 1975 and named after the fluffy white sweets they urged men to buy in reciprocation for giri or honmei-choko.
The Japan Times noted that White Day gift-giving requires sanbai-gaeshi(“three-fold reciprocation”), where men are expected to offer gifts triple the value of those they received on Valentine’s Day.


Dictionary of unconsidered lexicographical trifles. 2014.

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