For Japanese Men, Expressing Love via Shout-Outs

How do you express your love on Valentine’s Day? For most Americans, giving loved ones chocolates and flowers symbolize their affection, but for some in Japan, they express it quite differently; they shout it out.

Every year, at the end of January, hundreds of Japanese men line up in a public space and profess their love for their wives by screaming it out. In addition, these vocal declarations of love are televised for the public to see. Why do they do this? Does it work?

This annual love shout-out was originated by Kiyotaka Yamana, founder of a wife-appreciation society. He created this event as a way of giving Japanese men a chance to express their love for their wives publicly, which isn’t the norm. It may not happen on Valentine’s Day, but it seems to be working. According to Japanese writer Kaori Shoji, Japanese people are successful academically & professionally due to years of self-control. But such self-control takes a toll on relationships they want to develop or enhance.

For Yamana, this event allows Japanese men to loosen up and express their love for their wives in a huge and endearing way. Success in academia and business have always been highly prioritized while relationships were less so, but it is changing with the help of this annual love shout-out. While this may be an unusual way of displaying affection to us, it has caught the attention of  many Japanese men.

I decided to write about this topic because it made me realize that no matter where you’re from, or however you choose to show your affections, the end result is letting your loved one know how much they mean to you. Here’s hoping that your Valentine’s Day is filled with hearts, flowers and love shout-outs. That’s my view on this, what’s yours?

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