Cake frenzy is almost here. One more day and you won’t be able to park anywhere near a cake shop. There will be no open parking spaces for miles around.
No Japanese Christmas would be complete without Christmas cake.
Christmas cake is THE star here on Christmas. I wondered how this custom came about so I did a little research.
“After World War II, American soldiers led the work of rebuilding an occupied Japan. The Japanese economy was in shambles and food shortages were common. Even rarer were sugary sweets. The sweet treats from the U.S. that the Americans handed out were a memorable luxury to a people still recovering from the ravages of war. Sweet chocolates, above all, given by American soldiers epitomized the utmost wealth Japanese children saw in American lives,” cultural anthropologist Hideyo Konagaya wrote in a 2001 paper on the history of the Christmas cake published in the Journal of Popular Culture. Sweets fed a longing for wealth and a desire to Americanize” full article here
The custom started because American Christmas conveyed an image of prosperity to the Japanese. It was never about religion.
The most popular type of Christmas cake is a type of sponge cake filled with strawberries and whipped cream and frosted with whipped cream. There are usually strawberries on top of the cake along with maybe a little Santa ornament. They are actually really good- specially with a hot cup of coffee.
I read in the article that most cakes are red and white because the Japanese flag is white with a red circle in the middle. So while Christmas cake and “Christmas” represent American wealth and affluence..the cake remains nationalistic. Just interesting information you learn if you dig.
We have never ordered a Christmas cake. They are fairly expensive-a little cake will cost you 3,000-4,000 yen (about 30-40$$). My husband being a diabetic can’t eat much cake anyhow and my hips don’t need more than half a Christmas cake. Just saying’.
Mother-in-law orders one on occasion and then we go over and have coffee and cake with them. I never say no to an invitation of coffee and cake. :)
As you may know, we have a little dog. I stopped by the pet shop a couple of weeks ago and saw that they had a counter set up advertising Christmas cake for dogs!
See this photo below? I took it in the pet shop. All these delicious looking desserts are for DOGS! Not sure if cats might like them too.
Eighteen bucks for a large sized doggy Christmas cake. With the tax almost 20$.
Japan never ceases to amaze me. I have a blast just walking around in the mall by myself sometimes and looking at all the unusual and different things. Cheap entertainment. Life can’t be all work. :)