Sunday, December 14, 2014

Christmas Display and History in Japan;

 (posted; Japanese culture page)

*My favorite cake shop's Christmas Display*
Haha, kind of became popular in my blog. Please just enjoy the pictures;

*This Santa is my Dear Friend's one of the embroidery works*
I posted one of her works here and will show you other ones in near future.

This is from my post in 2011, the year when I stated writing blog. Wished to introduce this history again :-)

First Christmas in Japan
For Japanese people, 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. 

         Linking this post to, "Our World Tuesday", 

Thank you very much for stopping by;

We are having colder Dec. in Japan. I hope you (will) have a wonderful Sunday♪ House of Representatives election is held today, hope the low turn up rate of young people will go up.


  1. a samurai santa would be neat. :) i like your cake shop, too.

  2. I love all the photos of the decorations. It's always interesting to me to see how Christmas is celebrated in other countries. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Miyako, this is such a fascinating post...and your photos are beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing.

  4. Que lindo tudo por aí! Que o Natal seja lindo! bjs, chica

  5. Nice story and what a candy...I love special the train -I love that kind I have also one chrismas train .I show later on mine blog to ...Fine day ,Joan

  6. Hi Miyako San!
    Your posted from 2011 when you started writing blog and Japan first Christmas man was hold in Yamaguchi in 1552 in the in Osaka? I still remenber one of same name was Yamaguchi ha ha
    You has a lots of introtuce from in japanese country.
    Have a nice day Otosanto ne!

  7. Hello Miyako, what a wonderful store, so many yummy treats..Thank you for sharing how Christmas was introduced to Japan.. Great post and photos. Have a happy new week!

  8. So many cute goodie baskets, and toys, they look like lots of fun for the kids. The history of Christmas in Japan was interesting. I hope the weather warms up for you, dear Miyako. Hugs from the PNW.

  9. I'm pretty sure Christianity was introduced in Japan before it was introduced in Canada. Hmmm. Maybe I should check that out. :)

  10. If I could, I'd still be in that cake shop! What a festive and lovely, so very charming post, brings so much magic and cheer to all! Thanks so much!

  11. Now I want something sweet :))
    Thank you for the history of Japans Christmas.
    I think there is nothing wrong with a Santa
    dressed like a samurai. Santas look should
    fit into the culture and not look like an alien :D
    The way Santa looks today has no long history,
    it's made by CocaCola :))
    Wish you a wonderful time!

  12. I always enjoy the display of your cake shop. And your friend's embroidery work is so pretty!
    It was very interesting to read about history of Christmas in Japan. I didn't know it has such a long history. How cool it started in your prefecture :-) Made me giggle to know Santa at Christmas celebration in Ginza appeared dressed like samurai. Haha.
    Opposite to Japan, we are having warmer December here (so far.) Please take care and have a wonderful new week xoxo

  13. Dearest Miyako,
    History is always interesting and yes, for a brief period there was some Christianity in Japan, till it got banned.
    On Christie's I also found some interesting info:
    Even though they did not have any antique Japanese Santa prints either...
    Here you also can read about the early Christian influences on Japan:
    Interesting post from your area!
    Sending you warm, sunny greetings from the heart of Georgia/USA,

  14. This was all so fascinating, Miyako. I loved reading about the history of Christianity and of Christmas in Japan. I knew Commodore Perry helped open Japan up to the larger world. I lived at the U.S. Naval Academy as a teen...on Perry Circle. :-) I love history too, and all of this was so fascinating. Loved all the wonderful Christmas decorations at the shop as well. Have a wonderful week! Your American friend...Marie

  15. such festive pictures! christmas is my favorite :)

  16. Beautiful post about Xmas ~ you seem to be close to the holiday in your country while I am ' moving more towards' Taoism and it is very intriguing me ~ xoxoxox

    Happy Week to you,
    artmusedog and carol

  17. It is just wonderful to hear about your country and celebrations that you have there.

  18. The Santa image we see most often here in the USA was really just created by an advertising agency .(for cocaCola) so I think the one you show is better probably. I am surprised every time you show how your country has embraced "western" holidays and am not sure if it makes me happy or sad!

    The bake shop definitely makes me happy! As does your talented friend's embroidery.

  19. It's interesting to hear and see how different cultures around the world celebrate Christmas and the start of winter. - Margy