Japan Now Has Black Friday, For Some Reason 

Japan Now Has Black Friday, For Some Reason 

And that reason is money.

[GIF via AEON]

Like Australia, Japan doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving, and Christmas stuff starts going up as soon as Halloween finishes, which, I guess, now also happens in the US. Japan isn’t the only country to recently latch on the American sales bonanza Black Friday, but in 2016, the day was more noticeable than ever before.

See? People are noticing!

Aeon released an ad that explains that Black Friday “major sales” started in the US. The shopping centre chain’s Black Friday sales are three days long and stretch into Cyber Monday.

Aeon Mall, Japan largest shopping centre chain, kicked off Black Friday sales across the country.

As did other stores, such as Toys “R” Us.

The deals and crowds don’t reach the fever pitch that they do in the States. Yet.

Many people in Japan, however, seemed unsure what exactly “Black Friday” meant.

In US English, of course, “Black Friday” refers to retail instantly making a profit — being in the black. In Japanese, there is a similar expression, “kuroji” (黒字). Not sure if that helps Black Friday’s chances in Japan, but there you go.

Gap kicked off a huge Black Friday event last year, while Toys “R” Us Japan began Black Friday sales back in 2014.

This year’s Gap events drew lines, which people hoping to score a limited number of sweaters for 100 yen (around $1).

Japan has bigger sales drawing much longer lines during the New Year’s holidays, which already has an established sales tradition with items like “lucky bags“. Retailers, it seems, no doubt hope that Black Friday will give a seasonal sales bump to their bottom line.

As previously mentioned, there is no Thanksgiving (Halloween, however, is celebrated), so Black Friday obviously doesn’t mark the official start of holiday shopping.

Not that such matters much these days.


  • It’s nice to see people from all around the world united in their common desire to give money to massive corporations for s**t they don’t need.

  • I don’t even see how Black Friday is good for retailers. Seems like they go through a lot of effort, sometimes enduring damage to store shelves and stuff (from some of the videos I’ve seen), just to peddle their stuff at barely profitable prices.
    I’ve found only one article about this that seems to agree with my estimation, but ends inconclusively.
    If having low prices is so good for business, why not do it all the time?

    • Because you see, it is not actually a sale sometimes. It is more about clearing dead stock at cost/loss so that they can write it off and procure New stock. More precise it is stocktake sale. Murica doesnt have that.

      There are usually a few hot items in limited quantity and at the same time old stock atblow Price. Just like our boxing Day sales is not actually a sale but major stock clearance.

    • Exactly this. I spent the week leading up to it, telling fellow Aussies about it so they could take advantage of online shopping… and then we all got spammed by Australian retailers going on about Black Friday.

      Unlike Halloween, which has been celebrated for at least the 38 years I’ve been alive, and likely much longer given its UK Origin, Black Friday has never been a thing over here until this year.

      I wonder if they’ll keep the Boxing Day sales, since the US doesn’t have them?

        • Everything I know about the reason for Thanksgiving I learnt from Terrence & Phillip and Addams Family Values (despite living over there a couple of years)

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