Japan's killjoys want to 'smash Valentine's Day' but the women aren't buying it
So what if Feb 14 is the most romantic day of the year?
A group of men in Japan are just not buying into the special occasion. Instead, they're determined to kill off Valentine’s Day altogether.
Members of ‘Kakuhido’ - which translates as the Revolutionary Alliance of Men that Women find Unattractive - claim on their website that “public smooching is terrorism".
As their countrywomen splurge on Valentine's Day, the group of killjoys marched through Tokyo in protest, waving banners with slogans demanding an end to the festivities.
Numbering just 10 comrades in total, the men chanted:
“Don’t be duped by the conspiracy of chocolate makers!”
The reaction from bemused passers-by? Stares.
Women buy boxes of chocolates as gifts before Valentine's Day at Tokyo's Mitsukoshi department store on Feb 13 for the men in their lives -- guys who do sweet nothing in return. Photo: AFP
Dressed in a white helmet and sunglasses with a pink scarf covering his mouth, a Japanese protester said: “The name of our organisation is a parody but it does have a serious message.”
In previous protests, members denounced “housewives who control Japan’s future” as their hapless husbands work all hours at the office.
Kakuhido chairman Mark Waters told AFP:
“In Japan, women give men chocolate (on Valentine’s Day) to show their affection.
“Society is addicted to capitalism. People are profiting from it and we are here today to demonstrate our resistance to the love capitalists.”
But the group’s “Smash Valentine’s Day” rally, whick took aim at commercialism, fell flat.
It was largely drowned out by Shibuya’s wall of sound, after Waters reminded marchers of police guidelines, including the banning of hate speech.
Protesters hold banner reading "Smash Valentine's Day" as they shout slogans during a march in Tokyo. Photo: AFP
“The blood-soaked conspiracy of Valentine’s Day, driven by the oppressive chocolate capitalists, has arrived once again,” Kakuhido said on its website.
Valentine’s Day in Japan is a huge money-spinner for the confectionary business as women are traditionally expected to buy chocolates for the men in their lives – from partners to work colleagues and bosses.
Men reciprocate a month later on White Day, a Japanese marketing brainwave dreamed up by confectioners in the 1980s to keep the cash tills ringing.
“We will also be protesting White Day. And Christmas.”
Kakuhido was founded in 2006 by Katsuhiro Furusawa, who began reading the Communist Manifesto after being dumped by his girlfriend.
That's when he came to the conclusion that being unpopular with the opposite sex was a class issue, fuelling his anti-Valentine message.
Despite the Marxist rhetoric, Furusawa has since stepped down as head of the group, posting distinctly un-Marxist photographs of his new set of wheels, boasting “thanks to our actions I purchased a Mercedes” as a parting shot. - AFP