I have been believed that only women give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day before knowing the original valentine in western culture. The common sense of Japan is the uncommon sense of the world. In Japan, mainly woman gives Chocolate to men as a seasonal small gift, not necessary as a symbol of love. This is Valentine’s Day in Japan.
If you receive chocolates in Japan, consider 3 possibilities.
The first one is so called "Honmei-choco".Women give chocolates to their lovers on our Valentine's day in Japan. This "Honmei" means true-valentines, and it can be given to truly loved person from a woman.
Second one is so called "Tomo-choco". This "Tomo" means friends, people give this chocolate to their friends.
The last one is so called "Giri-choco". What is important to know is that "Giri-choco" is an obligatory gift, often seen at workplace. There is no romantic meaning in this chocolate because it is presented to men, such as colleagues or clients, through obligation.
The Valentines's Dilemma: Whether you recieve it or not.
Most of the men feel anxious on the day because only men who are living a happy life with a partner can possibly get "Honmei Choco". The day is also called the cruelest day for men who don't receive any chocolates.
On the other hand, "Giri Choco" is kind of a custom to strengthen relationships among us. Of course, I feel happy if I receive them from female colleagues. At the same time, most of the men become nervous that what kinds of presents should we prepare in return for the chocolates on a special day so called "White Day" on 14th March, I think. Well-chosen gifts should be prepared. I will post another article about this White-day soon.
Even if men receive a nice little Giri-choco, it gives troublesome choosing a good returning gift though it is still better than receiving zero chocolate on this day.
Why Japanese valentine ended up in opposite to original?
A chocolate company did a campaign which encouraged to send chocolate to a lover about the 1960s. However, this campaign advertised Valentine from western culture to all women in Japan to send a chocolate to men instead. The company thought Japanese Samurai-men wouldn't give a fancy chocolate to ladies as they are strictly shy and humble when it comes down to their romantic matter.
This concept was accepted and spread by junior and senior high school students at first. It was a purely romantic culture among young people, however when it was widely accepted in business people, Giri-choco was born. Unfortunately.
Valentines's day is one of the most successful commercial events for the chocolate industry in Japan. Nowadays, a quarter of the annual sales for chocolate is recorded in February. This is why I think the valentine's day in Japan is a conspiracy of chocolate industry.