All the references, lovingly collated


Chuck just gave you diamond cufflinks... (49.10)

Bryan: Do you know about White Day in Japan? Over there on Valentine's Day, women buy presents for their salarymen bosses, and those presents are displayed for all to see, so the most important thing is the size. That's how others know that the recipient is valued. A month later, on White Day, the men give a return gift of two to three times the value. So if there's a salaryman you don't respect, you get him something small but expensive. Chuck just gave you diamond cufflinks, and when White Day comes, you're gonna have to give him something that costs a lot more.

White Day is a day that is marked in Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia and China on March 14, one month after Valentine's Day. Valentine's Day in countries which observe White Day is typically observed by girls and women presenting chocolate gifts (either store-bought or handmade), usually to boys or men, as an expression of love, courtesy, or social obligation. On White Day, the reverse happens: men who received a honmei-choco ('chocolate of love') or giri-choco ('courtesy chocolate’) on Valentine's Day are expected to return the favor by giving gifts. Traditionally, popular White Day gifts are cookies, jewelry, white chocolate, white lingerie, and marshmallows. Sometimes the term sanbai gaeshi ('triple the return') is used to describe the generally recited rule for men that the return gift should be two to three times the worth of the Valentine's gift.

White Day was first celebrated in 1978 in Japan. It was started by the National Confectionery Industry Association as an "answer day" to Valentine's Day on the grounds that men should pay back the women who gave them chocolate and other gifts on Valentine's Day. In 1977, a Fukuoka-based confectionery company, Ishimuramanseido, marketed marshmallows to men on March 14, calling it Marshmallow Day. Soon thereafter, confectionery companies began marketing white chocolate. Now, men give both white and dark chocolate, as well as other edible and non-edible gifts, such as jewelry or objects of sentimental value, or white clothing like lingerie, to women from whom they received chocolate on Valentine's Day one month earlier. Flowers and other gifts are also given on this day. Eventually, this practice spread to the neighboring East Asian countries of South Korea, China, Taiwan and Vietnam. In those cultures, White Day is for the most part observed in a similar manner.

As a note in Japan, if chocolate given to a man a month prior was giri choco, the woman may not be expressing actual romantic interest, but rather a social obligation.