Japanese Christmas says far more about the Spirit of Capitalism than anything else I have experienced in my short 23 years here on this silly planet.

You see, it feels exactly like American Christmas.

So What?

Well, let me describe some of the specific experiences I'm having, explain what exactly strikes me as odd, and then let you be the judge. Note that I live in Nagoya, considered to be the most industrialized and spiritless city in Japan. Sure, Tokyo is bigger and all, but it at least has some traditional culture to make up for it. Also, I'm an American, and have a firm grasp of what christmas is about, even if I am an Agnostic.

OK, so what is this so Strange? Let's have a few data points.

In short, Christmas is almost as big as in America, but it is unquetionally Capitalistic Tripe. The Japanese, not having anything to celebrate, turned the holiday into a romantic event. All the couples and married couples go out to the love hotels for an evening with excellent food, good alcohol, and wild jungle sex (if they stay at the right hotel anyway). This is sort of Family, sort of anti-family in that you're with your SO but your escaping your kids. There's no real tradition behind all of these festivities; it's probably driven 90% by that evil capitalism thing.

Oh, and that Christmas music thing. Despite years of schooling, the Japanese rarely speak English. Of course, they are also fairly multicultural types who just have a predilection towards crappy American music, just like the rest of the world, so I'll forgive them that. Except I'll probably snap if I hear another Reggae Christmas song.

So the Japanese are celebrating something entirely capitalism based. And it looks quite similar to America. I'm well aware that correlation doesn't imply causality, but it sure is something to think about. Of course, most of us are already well aware of what has become of this otherwise not so despicable time.