Sunday, November 20, 2011

My Favorite Cake Shop and First Christmas in Japan

Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
 Video from Smilebox

Now shops are getting ready for Christmas even here in Japan. 
Well, I've been to my favorite cake shop and found the Christmas Decoration and asked the owner if I could take pictures for my blog. I even showed my cellular-phone to explain.  She seemed a bit surprised with my abrupt asking a favor, haha. Thank God;  I am a familiar customer.  May not so different from the ones in Western country...  (it is a slide-show, and you can use the botton on the bottom-left corner)

First Christmas in Japan
In Japan, one of the top historically famous foreign person is Francisco de Xavier(1506-1552). He was the first missionary of Christianity to Japan performed missionary work in Yamaguchi-pref. in 1551.   Yey the prefecture I live!
And Japan's first Christmas Mass was held in Yamaguchi in 1552.  
I found two pages which gives me the ideas about how our Christmas started and what kind of man Francisco de Xavier was. I wouldn't have checked about these unless I tried to post about them. I found these pages really enlightening to me!
     The Christmas Archives     Francisco Xavier       ←links

<I'll quote some parts from Archives>
"Old Japanese Christmas and Samurai Santa"
Xavier taught Japanese Christianity about 400 years ago. The first recorded Christmas Mass was celebrated at Yamaguchi Church in 1552. In 1639 National Isolation was imposed upon Japan, and most Christians changed their religion at that time, but some, especially the KAKURE, kept Christmas in secret all through the persecution.
In 1854, American navy Commodore Perry (he is really popular in japan, too) opened National Isolation and Japan began to take to Western culture like a dry sponge to water.
But Christmas was not well known at that time. In 1875 in Harajo School in the Ginza area of Tokyo, Christmas was celebrated. It was strange and amusing because Santa Claus appeared dressed like a Samurai.

In Taisho period (1912-1926) a lot of Western countries began ordering Christmas decorations and toys from Japan in stead of from Germany. Japanese manufacturers made Christmas lights for the tree, and dolls of Santa Claus for ornamentation, some were made of celluloid. And Aluminium artificial Christmas Trees came from Japan also. These Christmas things were getting pretty common and easy to find in Western department stores and toy shops after WWII

I couldn't find the drawing or the picture of the first Santa.   However, I found this sketch and he sure looked different.  I am so sorry that there wasn't any mentioning of when or who drew this. 


  1. Hi Miyako san,
    I knew in japan that all we celebrated for Christmas for big things especially younger people that I can understand too:-)
    We are very much big influence from
    overseas for many years back...
    We all enjoyed that all the years.
    hope your favorite shops are doing very well this Christmas.
    I look the video they are nicely decorated in the shops that I likes very much.
    Have a great night,

  2. Dear Miyako: What an enlightening post you have prepared for us today. Such a lot of thought and effort you've put into it to make it so interesting and telling us about the history of Christmas in Japan! I had no idea. I loved visiting your favourite cake shop with you. What a wonderful looking place. I could have lots of fun in there, too. This was so much fun I'd love you to do some similar posts in the future :) Thank you for taking us along with you! I hope you're having a wonderful day :) Big hug xoxo

  3. Hello Orchid, thank you for the history on your Christmas in history ..and the Christmas shop was wonderful...I could get lost in there....all the wonderful sweets, and treats...I enjoyed your posting today. Have a most blessed day

  4. Lovely pics Orchid, and the history is fascinating. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Oh dear Orchid, always such fascinating posts. I learn so many new things from them and enjoy each and every one.

  6. Hi Orchid,
    Hope you are having a lovely Sunday.
    That is a lovely shop with lots of lovely decorations. And the cakes look delicious too :)) I love my cakes lol.
    This history of Christmas in Japan is very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Hi Orchid,
    I love any research into how the celebrations of different cultures have come about. Over the years I've read many accounts but have not read about how Christmas being celebrated in Japan came about. It was so good of you to do this research and post it for us. Thank you. Now, about the cake shop. I have such a sweet tooth and this was a treat. Have a wonderful week my dear friend. Hugs, Maddyrose

  8. Beautiful historical share, Miyako. I always love learning more about different cultures & histories. The artwork is wonderful.

    Thank you for sharing. I never thought to ask all my Japanese clients about this.

    Happy Thanksgiving.
    TTFN ~

  9. Miyako! (I hope it is OK if I call you that) :) I loved learning about the first Christmas in Japan. I think it is so special that it started in your prefecture. That shop is so beautiful, filled with lots and lots of goodies. The smilebox is very interesting. This is only the second one I have seen. xo

  10. Hallo dear Miyako. You did a good job with that little video of photos for us to look at! You are getting very good :) It certainly looks a lovely shop, and one that I would like to browse around. I also enjoyed the history lesson today. I always enjoy it when you tell us a little bit about life in Japan. Thank you my dear friend. Sending hugs to you x

  11. Dearest Miyako-san,
    i so enjoyed your Smilebox presentation!!! isn't it fun!!!
    the sweets looked so good..and the decorations are lovely.
    Thanks for sharing about the first Christmas in Japan. You always post such interesting things and I love learning from you.

  12. I loved the side show and you telling us a little about the history of Christmas in Japan it is so good to read about other countries, I have heard of Francisco de Xavierm. Santa has changed a lot over the years in most countries, he has to keep up with the

  13. what a great post! i love reading about the cutures of others. you always have such interesting things to share with us!

  14. The shop is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing the pictures. I found the history of Christmas in Japan very interesting. I also hope you have a wonderful Christmas this year!

  15. a beautiful post, thank you for sharing with us. Big Hugs!

  16. Dear Orchid,
    It is very interesting that "fun" aspects of the Christmas holiday are so much liked in Japan.

  17. Dear Orchid,
    Thank you for such an interesting post on the history of Christmas in Japan. I love learning about different cultures. I had a hard time trying to visualize Santa dressed as a Samurai! Enjoyed the cake shop pictures!

  18. Oh Orchid, I love your Smilebox photos. You did such a lovely job on these. Your favorite cake shop is wonderful and looks much like the things we see in American shops. I guess the festive beauty translates well in all languages around the world. Thank you so much for the Japanese history of Christmas. It is always fascinating to learn such information. Warm hugs to you, my dear friend.