3 Things Working Women In Japan Deserve More Than White Day Chocolate

Source: Gaijin Pot

Every March 14 — or White Day— reflects Japan’s strict culture of “obligatory” gift-giving, not to mention its awful holiday-naming abilities. It’s actually when men “payback” the women who gave them chocolates on Valentine’s Day. Unlike in the West, women are expected to give giri choco, or obligatory chocolate to their male coworkers, as well as bosses (who are probably male, anyways).

Like so many other women, my showing up to work on Valentine’s Day without that giri choco wasn’t worth the nagging guilt that tugged at my psyche. There I was, scrambling at the convenience store to buy those last-minute KitKats mostly to avoid the guilt of …not giving freaking KitKats.

But did my KitKats just pass on this same guilt to my male coworkers who have to give back on White Day? Will they even care? Will I be disappointed today if I don’t get anything back?

Most of all, how the f*** did Japan convince me to expect gifts from men when that’s never been my brand.

How did I get here?

If heaps of guilt is what makes people take action, then why don’t we use that to incite real change, not just for bringing choco to work? In lieu of White Day chocolates, here is a list of “gifts” — basic things working women in Japan deserve but that men can also benefit from — that we actually want today.

I’m gonna gift wrap it nicely by coining some brand new Japanese-English katakana phrases to help that giri-guilt catch on. Maybe we have something here. It’s a White Day miracle!

A countdown to what we really want in the workplace

3. Giri Remoto

ギリリモート (obligatory remote work)

What it means: Remote work needs to be much more widely recognized as a valid form of work in Japan.

Remote work opportunities are one way for …continue reading