What does Japanese Christmas Cake Mean? History and Meaning of Christmas Cake in Japan!! | Hiro8 Japanese Culture Blog

What does Japanese Christmas Cake Mean? History and Meaning of Christmas Cake in Japan!!

Japanese Christmas Cake

As I am Japanese, I used to enjoy Christmas cake every year when I was a child.

Well, even now, I might enjoy, haha.

I once thought Christmas cake is common all over the world but it was not, later I knew.

As you know, Christian is very few in Japan, not only Christion but real believers of any religion.

Then, why we have this Christmas cake and enjoy it?

I’ll tell you the story of Japanese Christmas cake and the meaning here.




History of Japanese Christmas Cake

Japanese Christmas Cake

In the old days, we didn’t have the culture of having Christmas cake.
Christianity itself, we didn’t have.

Christianity was introduced to Japan in 1549 and spread but banned in early 1600.

But after the Edo period, that is, Samurai period, Japan tried to catch up with strong countries such as UK and US.
So, they introduced the culture including Christianity again in the Meiji Period (1868 -1912).

In the meanwhile, Rinemon Fujii, the founder of “Fujiya” today, opened its shop in 1910.
Today’s Fujiya is one of the biggest and very popular nationwide chain stores of confectionery in Japan.

He went to the US in 1912 to learn making of confectionery.
And encountered with Strawberry Short Cake there.

In 1922, he arranged the cake and started selling decoration cake for Christmas.

The original of today’s Christmas cake.

Sponge cake covered with dairy cream which is topped with strawberry, Santa Claus and house made of sugar.

He tried to sell this Christmas cake for Christmas.
But it was not the cake ordinary citizens could afford as it was expensive for the people in those days.
Looks like it became popular only among rich people.

With time, Christmas cake spread little by little with expanding of Fujiya .
And it finally spread in around 1975 among ordinary people, too.

First Christmas cake sold in 1922 and it became popular in around 1975.

This is how Japanese Christmas cake rooted in Japan.

Any Meaning for Japanese Christmas Cake?

Japanese Christmas Cake

To get straight to the point, there is no special meaning.

Since we were child, we just have the culture of enjoying Christmas Cake on Christmas Eve.

By the way, for Japanese people, Christmas Eve is most important, not Christmas day, so the cakes sold till 24 December.

You might find Christmas Cake sold on 25th or the next day but most people don’t buy, so they sometimes sell the cakes at a half price.

There is no religious belief except for real Christian (about 1% in Japan) when we enjoy Christmas cake.

It is just culture we familiar with since we were child.

Where you can buy Christmas Cake?

Japanese Christmas Cake

As long as you live in Japan, everywhere I can say.

Cake shop, supermarket and even at a convenience store all over Japan.

You can see Christmas cakes everywhere in December through leaflets, display, online from the middle of November.

Today, many people also go online and purchase in advance.

For those who live in overseas, I think it is very difficult.

Exporting Christmas cake is virtually impossible because the expire date is just one day.
And it is also very fragile, so many shops don’t accept even domestic delivery.

You need to check Japanese sweets shop in your city or make it by yourself.
If you make, refer to this YouTube video of how to make Christmas cake as it has also English subtitles

Christmas Recipe (HidaMari Cooking)

So if you have a chance to come visit Japan in December, don’t miss the chance to enjoy fresh Christmas cake!

Today’s Unique Japanese Christmas Cakes

Beauty and the Beast

Christmas Cake of Beauty and the Beast

Source : 7-ELEVEN

Girls must love the cake!
Even I, man, was attracted!

The dress is delicately made!

It is made of lemon, cheese and strawberry.

It would make the happier Christmas!!

Hello Kitty

Christmas Cake of Hello Kitty

Source : Fujiya

This Christmas cake of Hello Kitty was sold in 2019, actually.

Hello Kitty is popular worldwide!
What a cute cake, it is!

I wonder if people can really eat when they have this cute cake in front, haha.

Demon Slayer

Christmas Cake of Demon Slayer

Source : LAWSON

Demon Slayer became Christmas cake!!

I can understand considering the popularity of it.

Looks like you can get 2 cake dishes of Demon Slayer if you order this Christmas cake.

Sold buy Japanese convenience store LAWSON!

Pocket Monster

Pocket Monster

Source : PREMIUM BANDAI

Pocket Monster must be one of the most famous games in the world.

It became a cute Christmas cake!

It comes with a toy of Monster Ball.

Pikachu on the top is cute, isn’t it.

Masked Rider

Christmas Cake of Masked Rider

Source : 7-ELEVEN

Every year this Christmas cake of masked rider series is sold with a new masked rider.

This 2021 is Masked Rider Revise!

Boys must pester their parents.
Yes, I would if I were a child.

It comes with a toy of Masked Rider Revise!

Vegan Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake of Vegan

Source : 7-ELEVEN

We have vegan Christmas cakes, too!

Just from vegetables, they are made.
No dairy products used.

Actually, character Christmas cakes including masked rider I introduced above also have vegan ver.

This year I could see a variety of vegan Christmas cakes.

This cake is made of rice flour and soy whipped cream.
Sold at the 7-Eleven!

Japanese Money

Christmas Cake of Japanese Money

Source : CAKE EXPRESS

Japanese paper money? Σ(゚Д゚)

People think up interesting idea, don’t they.

About $26200-worth bankroll inside.

If you eat it, maybe bring you a good luck?

Summary of Japanese Chirstmas Cake

So, this is the Japanese Christmas cake.

We just want to enjoy the cake, no special meaning.

The Christmas cakes made a special evolution in Japan.

30 years ago, when I was a little, I’ve never seen Christmas cake of anime characters nor vegan cakes.

That’s great today’s children have a wide variety of Christmas cakes!!




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