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Tokyo: What does Christmas mean to you?

by Mark Buckton

George Ianus
Rocket science Ph.D., 29 (Romania)

For me it is a case of family — and snow. It’s a time to remember your home and family. Now, we are all in different parts of the world but, in my mind’s eye, I can see myself drinking hot red wine and eating the food my mother has made, looking at the tree with all the presents underneath.

Shigenori Kamiya
Company sales, 25 (Japanese)
I see Christmas as a time I can eat well, particularly enjoying chicken and cake on the 24th or 25th. It is also the perfect time to head to a club with friends, do some more drinking and just have fun as we approach the end of the year.

Yukiyo Hayashi
Student, 20 (Japanese)
For me, the image of Christmas has no meaning — not religious, not romantic. I never do anything special, and am not interested in all the activity surrounding Christmas you see here in Japan, but I do eat cake sometimes with friends.

Andres Garnak
Model, 25 (Peruvian)
A Japanese Christmas is just another day, nothing like back home. The last two years I have spent in Japan it has just been a normal day of study or work, whereas I think it should be more about having loved ones all together and sharing this special day. Merry Christmas!

Nana Inoue
Student, 20 (Japanese)
During my childhood, Christmas was a time for eating cake and exchanging presents. Now that I’ve grown up, it’s more of an occasion to spend time with friends and look at the illuminations. It’s also a time for couples to be together — but that all takes place before the 25th, on the 24th.

Kazuki Hashimoto
Schoolboy, 9 (Japanese)
I’m very excited about Santa coming on Christmas Day, of course, as everyone likes getting presents, but this year has been bad and the economy is in a bad way, which makes me think he might not be bringing as many gifts as he usually does.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp