Survey breaks down amounts of honmei, tomo, and kazoku chocolate.

Valentine’s Day cards may not be a thing in Japan, but Valentine’s Day chocolate very much is, with the local tradition being for girls to give chocolate to boys they like. So naturally Japanese confectionery maker Yuraku Seika is curious to hear about people’s Valentine’s Day memories, and so they recently conducted a survey of 500 people (250 men and 250 women) between the ages of 20 and 59, asking them to think back to their student days and recall their sweet memories of February 14 sweets.

Starting with the women, 94.4 percent said that they’d given someone Valentine’s Day chocolate during their schoolgirl days. On the other side of the exchange, 84.4 percent of the guys said they’d received chocolate. That doesn’t mean that almost everyone was giving/getting chocolate every year, though. 58.8 percent of the women said that there was at least one year when they didn’t give chocolate to anyone, and 62 percent of the guys had at least one choco-less Valentine’s Day when they didn’t receive even a single piece.

Still, the high percentages of people who’d been part of a chocolate exchange suggests there’s some basis in reality for all those anime episodes revolving around them. But what of another common anime trope: The super-popular guy who gets chocolate from a gaggle of female admirers?

26.4 percent of the male survey participants described themselves as having been “popular with girls” during their student days, and out of that group, the average for the most chocolate they received on a single Valentine’s Day was 8.3 pieces. That’s notably higher than the 5.8 pieces average for most single-year chocolate among the male participants as a whole, and 8 percent of the participants said they received 13.2 pieces or more in their biggest Valentine’s Day haul.

However, that doesn’t mean that the average boy, on his best day, had his pick between five or six potential new girlfriends. That best average of 5.8 pieces statistically consisted of just 1.7 pieces of honmei choco, as Valentine’s Day chocolate given to express romantic feelings is called. The rest of it was 2.7 pieces of tomo choco (chocolate from platonic friends), 0.9 pieces of kazoku choco (chocolate from family members), and 0.5 pieces of “other choco,” so the data suggests that most guys were getting chocolate from, at most, two romantic admirers.

As for the women, the average for most chocolate given in a single year was 13.1 pieces, divided into 0.8 pieces of honmei choco. 10.1 for tomo choco, 1.2 fr Kazoku choco, and 1.0 for other choco. Comparing that to the male responses, we see that honmei choco is pretty much given to, at most, only one guy per year. Also, the girls were giving out a lot more tomo chocolate than the guys were receiving, suggesting that gap is a result of an increasing trend of Japanese schoolgirls giving Valentine’s Day chocolate not only to male objects of affection and platonic friends, but also to their female pals.

While Valentine’s isn’t exclusively celebrated by teens in Japan, the country does strongly associate the day with middle school and high school students, and 57.4 percent of the survey’s participants said that Valentine’s Day was more fun when they were in school than it is as an adult. However, 60 percent of them also said that they’d be happy to receive Valentine’s Day chocolate even now, no matter what their age is, so hopefully their romantic partners, friends, and family will pick up on their chocolate aspirations and give them a sweet surprise this year.

Source: PR Times
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