When you take a vacation and go on a trip, will you buy any souvenirs for your co-workers? You may buy some only for your familiar persons, I guess.
In Japan, there is a common custom to distribute souvenirs to person to person in the office even though whom you usually don’t have much time to talk to. I would say to my co-workers like this ” It is nothing, but thank you for your helping me to take my vacation.” and I would hand it to them. The co-worker would say to me like this, “No, no, don’t mind. How was your trip?” It is a kind of ritual.
It may look strange to you. Actually, many Japanese people especially young don’t like such token in these days. I also think such custom is too much of a bother. However, it is necessary to think about the others who support you and express to them your appreciations even if it looks artificial. The spirit of harmony has been one of the virtue in Japan for long time.
Anyway, do you know him?
His name is Mr.Toshihide Masukawa, and he is the Nobel prize physicist. He is now in Sweden for its award ceremony. The gossip about him was reported in Japan today!
He bought the souvenirs for his supporters in his lab.
He selected this chocolates shaped the golden medal for the Nobel prize. He bought…..600!!!
Don’t misunderstand that he is addicted to chocolates!