Why celebrate Christmas with a turkey when you can have Santa sushi?
Even if you don’t recognize the name Taro Hakase, you’ve probably heard his world-renowned violin music before. Ever flown All Nippon Airlines (ANA)? Then you’ve heard him. Ever been put on hold? You’ve heard him. Every played Final Fantasy, watched anime, or heard of Celine Dion or Ariana Grande? Yep, you’ve heard him.
But this time around it’s not one of Taro’s masterpieces, but instead one made by his eight-year-old son Mantaro, that’s getting people excited online.
In the mining town of Gällivare, located in the Swedish section of Lapland, the contestants have gathered. These men and women gritted their teeth as they walked through the streets in their heavy boots on the morning of 22 November with the frosty wind biting at their quickly reddening cheeks.
Red cheeks would serve them well, however. As would eyes that twinkle and a round belly that shakes when they laugh like a bowlful of jelly, for these world warriors were here to determine who was the World’s Best Santa.
And so, when the blood was mopped up and visions of sugar plums danced through the heads of little ones, it was Japan’s very own Kohei Yamashita who emerged victorious bringing his nation its first ever World’s Best Santa title.
Over a century ago, eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon wrote a letter to the New York paper The Sun asking if the rumors she heard regarding Santa Claus were true. Editor Francis Church’s now legendary response is still widely read today, as even 117 years later, it holds up pretty well. At least to me, anyway.
For today’s youth, on the other hand, coming up in an age of unprecedented surveillance and information it’s got to be even harder to maintain belief in a magical man with flying reindeer sneaking into their homes at night to deliver presents.
And so history repeats itself, but this time with newspapers on the decline, a sixth-grade child using the handle tikuwa_0913 turned to Yahoo! Japan Answers for more information on Jolly old Saint Nick.
You might claim that you’ve seen Santa fly through the air on Christmas Eve night, but have you ever seen Santa swim with the fishes? The Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo hosts a special event during the month of December allowing patrons to witness the big man himself feed sharks, sunfish, and a turtle.
Christmas is just around the corner, and ’tis the season to be giving! While some of us have yet to even start on our Christmas shopping, an anonymous Santa has already presented three schools in Hokkaido, Japan, with a whopping gift of over 3,000 books in total!
Located in a remote section of a remote prefecture of Japan, Kumamoto’s Amakusa City faces the same problem a lot of rural towns do: its population is dwindling as children born there generally have to leave to pursue an education or career, and few move back.
As part of an effort to boost the remaining residents’ spirits, as well as hopefully garner a little tourism publicity, Amakusa recently held a World Santa Congress.
Our reporter was walking through downtown Tokyo on Christmas Eve (alone, of course) when suddenly from behind a large posse of Santas on motorcycles came riding up from behind, filling the streets with the sound of roaring engines and holiday cheer.
This year seems to have seen a spike in older cross-dressing males, in Japan at least. According to some, the trend has steadily been on the rise in urban centers like Tokyo. Even in China, a grandfather set the modeling world on fire with the way he shows off his daughter’s merchandise.
As the year comes to a close one more elderly man has openly joined the ranks of bearded dress wearers: Santa Claus!
With just seven days to go, children the world over are without a doubt already finding it hard to sleep at night. Will Santa (or Father Christmas as I grew up calling him) arrive? Have I been good enough this year? Does he know about the things I did with Jane Steepleton in her tree house during the summer?
Let’s hope that we’ve all been good boys and girls and that the big man in red will pay us all a visit, unlike one unfortunate individual who found himself giftless on Christmas day one year and took to Japan’s Chiebukuro Yahoo! Answers forums to ask the nation simply: “Where is Santa!?”