Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas Eve?

Does not seem like it at all. This evening, I walked around Denenchofu to look at the lights. I expected more up on the hill where all the movies stars and athletes and other famous or rich folks live. Hardly any. Shouldn't be surprised, but I thought there would be more in this area. Christmas here is ALL in the shopping areas. It is completely commercial. Beats anything in the US as far as commercialization goes. Again, no surprise as the main religion in Japan is not Christianity, but nihonron (nihonjinron).

Naturally, there was a long line in front of the Kentucky Fried Chicken near Denenchofu station. Why? Because Christmas in Japan means KFC chicken dinners, Christmas cakes, and romantic hotel stays for lovers. And shopping.

However, if you want to listen to Christmas music, you either have to have your own or listen to Japanese radio. Forget the military station, FEN. I remember when I was in the Air Force, AFKN in Korea was pretty decent. Most of the programs were from the States. Some still are, but it seems there is a lot more local stuff. Whatever it is, I rarely listen to it when I can do much better on the internet.

On September 11, 2001, I got the first word of the attack on Japanese TV. Live. We actually watched the second plane hit on live TV. I tried to listen in English on FEN, but they had no clue for quite a while. I just listened to NHK on the English sub-channel.

Usually, I say "Bah! Humbug!" when wished a Merry Christmas in the US by friends. Not really into the gift exchange hysteria. But I am often wished that by Japanese, so naturally I return a "Merry Christmas." Several years ago, I was walking to the station at Kajigaya (Kawasaki) when an old guy whom I had never met wished me a merry Christmas. I was a bit surprised at first---it is very rare for most Japanese to greet a non-Japanese whom they don't know. I was happy he did. In the US, I'd just as soon not hear it unless it is from friends or family. I guess from someone who is not saying it because I am shopping or in some commercial transaction makes it seem like a real greeting.

Oh yes, I am having a nice Christmas Eve. Rambling about nothing...Anyway, Merry Christmas.

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