There is a store in Tokyo, Japan dedicated to helping women buy men giri choco, aka obligation chocolate, for Valentine's Day.
Certain traits and customs in different parts of the world can seem, well, foreign to many of us. In fact, some places continue to honor traditions that seem downright archaic to many of its visitors. While the world can sometimes feel as if it is getting smaller due to the ease of travel and communication, in reality, our cultures can still differ quite a bit.
A long-standing Valentine's Day tradition in Japan has been ruffling feathers in recent years. The custom is called giri choco, which loosely translates to obligation chocolate. While in most cultures that celebrate Valentine's Day couples would only give chocolate to those they have feelings for, in Japan, women are expected to give chocolate to all of their male co-workers, whether they want to be romantically involved with them or not.
You don't need us to explain why a lot of people outside Japan take issue with this tradition. For starters, male workers are not expected to return the favor. Plus, it can get pretty expensive for women who work with a lot of men. That's where one of Tokyo's newest stores comes in, reports SoraNews24. It is called Black Thunder Obligation Chocolate Shop, and it does exactly what it says on the tin.
The shop has come to the Japanese capital to help women who have to buy giri choco in bulk for a litany of male co-workers. There is even a big box of Black Thunder chocolate containing 100 bars of giri choco. It costs just 2000¥ (a little more than $18) and can account for all of your giri choco shopping in one fell swoop. What's more, the packaging is as basic as it gets, so there is no chance of giving anyone any mixed messages.
Despite criticism from other parts of the world, the tradition of giri choco is set to continue. We are of the belief that if women enjoy the tradition, then more power to them. However, without sounding spoiled as we know giving gifts is better than receiving them, we would feel a little salty about giving chocolate to co-workers and getting nothing in return. The fact that it is women doing the giving with society dictating that men don't need to return the favor just annoys us more.