A thought about Easter

Well, with the German Easter holidays approaching, I started to wonder why there never was an Easter special in the animes I saw (at least I don’t remember). There is a focus on every little day that I barely heard about (e.g. St. Whites day, St. Patricks Day) but I saw an anime covering Easter? Why could that be?

The first thing I thought about was that it is a Christian holiday, and thus not widespread in Japan. But thinking along those lines, you start wondering about why there is Christmas represented, right? I mean Easter is more important than Christmas (at least if I believe the fanatics in my family).

The next thing I considered was that Easter is more of a holiday for children, for the actual egg-searching part. Maybe that is why it is not represented, and thus often skipped in animes. But then it would perfectly fit childish characters, as the search is seen as childish (at least in Germany it is).

Another thing that came up is that there is no equivalent present. I mean every culture generate it’s own new years festivities, and since they did not always have accurate time measuring capabilities that would explain the differences in time. I hope you understand what I mean with equivalent festivities. In the Nordic culture, Christmas was at times pre celebrated as the night, were all life left the earth, and now prepared to return at the longest night (New years).

Then there is the lack of meaning for the audience. I mean what meaning does Easter actually have? It’s theme is rebirth, which was adapted by Christianity from all the small culture groups that warred each other at the end of the bronze-age. How would you implement that rebirth theme then? Some animes actually have that opportunity, but their theme is to serious as to actually apply Easter to it.

Another problem that comes to mind is, that the date is not fixed. I would actually believe that most script writers don’t want to fix themselves to a year, by choosing the dates beforehand. It might have some political implications that are not intended, although that could turn out funny. And the date is not as calculable as we think. I mean thinking back, the earthquake in Fukushima shortened our days by 13 ms. That might be a small difference, but if you know about the chaos theory (it sound weird, I know, but it is proven) then you also know about what that minor difference may cause. So even if he the author fixes on a date, it isn’t necessarily the correct one. I don’t think that makes this much of a difference, since I think it won’t ever be really considered as an option to input Easter into the kind of anime that I watch. (list, it’s missing a couple, but who cares).

All in all it makes no real sense to me that it is not implemented into animes. I think it could be used perfectly used in the comedy-harem type of anime. And there might be some other ways to utilize once one starts thinking about it. But then, who actually cares about things like that. I just thought it fits the season, and since I’m not here to post it on the appropriate date, I’ll post it earlier.

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11 Responses to A thought about Easter

  1. Kyrdua says:

    If you ask me. it’s really simple.

    basing solely on how you describe easter.
    it’s impossible to make an easter special that would be interesting for japanese audience.

    for one, as you have said, there are already other holidays (tanabata, for example) that could be used for animes.

    for another, you said something about christmas. what exactly do you do in easter? if it’s just hunting eggs, that’s not really something i’d call interesting to watch. besides, it’s a rather western thing to do, dominantly christian countries in asia don’t practice it. or at least, celebrate it differently.

    the main reason for christmas being used in anime is because it’s a convenient holiday to use as an excuse for the protagonists to have a date. or for them to get together or whatnot.

    as for the holiday’s theme. as you see in anime, christmas’s theme is not about celebrating the birth of a messiah in japan, it’s a holiday for bonding with people.

    wall of text aside, i’ve never really heard of easter being celebrated in japan. and that i think is reason enough. I didn’t learn much by googling “easter japan” either.

    —-

    lol, i never thought i could write walls of text too. XD

  2. Soryon says:

    Easter is mostly a Christian holiday, correct me if I am wrong but I think the Japanese population is only something like 2% Christian? No market for it, man. But you kinda make sense, Christmas is portrayed often, however just think of TV where you live. Do you see many Easter specials? I can think of tons of Christmas specials and movies from where I live but not a single Easter show comes to mind.

    Easter is just the bastard child of holiday specials, it would seem.

    • Hellfire says:

      Actually, around Easter there is an increase in movies that deal about easter (in germany easter has somewhat tradition from before the christianity existed). Also there is an increase in movies that deal about the story around jesus christ himself. And chronologically speaking, in pagan times, easter was the celebration of the first safe planting season (back then, winters were colder and harsher in europe). According to the Edda (a nordic book, dealing with norse mythology): children that were born around that time were considered lucky children). But after christianity took over, easter lost a lot of it’s meaning, since there were disputest about it’s date and meaning among the christians themselves)

      • Kyrdua says:

        Also there is an increase in movies that deal about the story around jesus christ himself.

        yep, this be true. in my side of the world we get heavy dramas featuring people getting closure with others all thanks to the almighty God ™.

        well, in a dominantly catholic country that’s not surprising.

      • Soryon says:

        True, I didnt say there was none, did I? I was saying that there are many more Christmas specials then Easter specials or atleast from what I have seen.

        Oh and btw, I was watching an anime the other day and there was an Easter special.

  3. surdumil says:

    As most Christian holidays are based on pre-Christian pagan holidays, Easter is no exception. What makes Easter a bit different is that its date of celebration is calculated by a set of rules that are pretty arbitrary. Solstice/Ostara dates are easy to figure out based on natural phenomena, but the date of Easter is bat-shit crazy.

    Also, the event that Easter celebrates is one of those things that makes absolutely no sense to someone who leans away from Christianity. To a non-Christian, the complicated anti-logic is, again, bat-shit crazy, with apologies to the devout followers.

    Apologies are necessary because it is, after all, about the holiest holiday in Christiandom. Not so popular outside of that, though.

    On the other hand, Christmas is regular, dependable, close enough to Winter Solstice, and a good enough excuse to take the day off, exchange gifts, have a feast, and keep the Christianity thing at a low simmer.

  4. newy says:

    Why Easter is not shown in anime/manga but Christmas is? Simple. The Japanese care about the religious background of Christmas as much as they care about yesterday’s meal. For the Japanese Christmas == consumption (similar as how industries try to use St. Valentine’s Day in wester society). They do not have holidays on the 25th and 26th. Those are normal days for them. They get up, go to work, come home, go to sleep.

    If Christmas has that societal status what is Easter supposed to have… Correct, nothing.

  5. shichiseiken says:

    In Asia, Christmas is nothing more than “Consumerist Holiday” -with all the crazy sales. What would you expect to a lesser known holiday? Only Christians celebrate them in Asia and it’s usually only done in churches.

    Winter solstice is an important festival in Asia -if not at least in Sinosphere- as a day to get together with the family.

    PS : Most people don’t know that Christmas is actually Winter Solstice in Roman Calendar.

  6. Hellfire says:

    I apologize for that picture being replaced, but I can’t edit it, so it appears that it has to stay there for a while^^ (the guys who can read it: go ahead and laugh at the normal german stupidity XD)

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