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2010/2/15

Valentine’s Day is a big giri event in Japan. As suggested in Monday’s comic, giri (as in “giri chocolate”) means roughly “obligation.” At its most mundane, the giri feeling rears its head in the plate of holiday cookies you give to the neighbor you hardly ever see, or the jar of macadamia nuts you bring back to the office from your trip to Hawaii, all because you don’t want to be that guy. The feeling of unspoken expectation is so integral to life in Japan that they make stage shows about it. Mobsters lose fingers over it. And somewhere, on Valentine’s Day, captains of the chocolate and gift industry twiddle their fingers and cackle insidiously.

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