Giri Choko

義理チョコ [ぎりチョコ] – Obligation Chocolate

  • 義 [ぎ] – justice; loyalty; honor
  • 理 [リ・ことわり] – logic; reason
  • チョコ – chocolate (abbr.)

As a compound, 義理 means a social obligation or courtesy, and plays heavily on a socially-trained sense of “honor.”  To get an idea of exactly what “obligation chocolate” is and how it’s used in Japan, let’s take a look at a paragraph from Wikipedia:


Obligation Chocolate is, in general, given by women on Valentine’s Day to men for whom they have no romantic feelings in order to express gratitude.  In addition, it can be given as a return gift to those who gave White Day* gifts and expect something in return.  This ritual is peculiar to Japanese culture.

*(White Day is celebrated a month after Valentine’s Day, and involves men giving women candies, marshmallows, even lingerie.)

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