Suffice it to say, there is no Thanksgiving in Japan. Not many here know when it even is, and that makes sense to me . Japan already has two opportunities in the year to get together with relatives – in August during the Obon season where you remember the departed, and then over the New Year, where you bring in the New Year surrounded by loved ones. I don’t think Japan is looking for more holidays to get together with family.
However, there is Black Friday. Much like Japan seems to have taken Christmas and turned it into a mixture of commercialism and Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving has turned into an opportunity for sales.
Most amusing to me, I think, is that Black Friday starts anytime in mid-November here, well before Thanksgiving. I’m not sure if many here even know why it’s called Black Friday or why it’s happening in November.
The sales are nice, but I feel rather alone pressing on with trying to keep the tradition of getting together with family and eating a nice meal alive when everyone else is just going about their day. (I personally am not a fan of Thanksgiving’s history, but I do like the idea of having an excuse to get together with family, eat a lot and talk about what you’re thankful for.)
Turkey simply can’t be found in Japan, as far as I’ve ever looked. Even if I could find a whole turkey to cook, the thing wouldn’t fit into my microwave oven. I’m not a huge fan of dried-out turkey anyway. Thus, I’m going to make a chicken dish. I made homemade apple cider since they don’t sell that in Japan either, and I made a pumpkin pie using Japan’s fantastic kabocha squash. I’m also hoping to make some coleslaw at some point today.
I’m hoping we can eat a nice, fake Thanksgiving dinner while talking about what we’re thankful for. Maybe I can mail some of the leftover pumpkin pie to some relatives who live relatively nearby.