It’s a time of the year that many of us probably celebrate and enjoy, but is easter celebrated in Japan?
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Japan in the springtime, it’s likely you’ve asked yourself this question already.
The short answer?
Yes. But not nearly as much.
Easter in Western countries
If you’re from the UK or the US then you know easter is big business both commercially and religiously. Easter is celebrated by many Christians who visit the church to recall the time Jesus was resurrected.
In Japan, however, Christianity only makes up about 1.5 percent of the population which leads to much of the religious symbolism being lost. In the same way that Christmas in Japan is a little different, Japan doesn’t tend to celebrate easter for traditional reasons. In general, anyway.
Easter in Japan
It would seem then, that any sort of major nationwide easter celebration has become insignificant because there is no strong religious association or commercial campaign to prompt Japanese people into action.
There is some good news though.
According to Tomoki Inoue, an analyst from the social Improvement and Life Design Research Department at NLI Research Institute, ‘The word Easter has become known in Japan, but it’s hard to tell whether it’s a familiar concept’.
Tomiki goes on to say ‘It’s recognized as an event for families with small children and not something that adults can enjoy, which may be a factor in why it has not spread widely.’
So perhaps it’s only an event for small children, but not something adults are likely to partake in.
Another reason he suggests that Easter isn’t popular in Japan is that its date changes every year.
I wouldn’t say that’s the most important reason why Japan isn’t celebrated, but it’s the last nail in the coffin for a celebration that didn’t have that much support to begin with.
Will easter continue in Japan?
Despite the fact this article shows easter isn’t popular in Japan, it’s still celebrated there.
According to Kiroshi Kase, a representative director of the Japan Anniversary Association, the Japanese easter market jumped from ¥18 Billion in 2013 to ¥32 Billion in 2017. So it’s clear easter is here to stay in Japan and only growing in popularity.
Still, I know I’m looking forward to the cherry blossoms a lot more than easter now that I’m in Japan, and perhaps that’s the consensus among everyone else too.