1. Snarki, child of Loki says

    Best part about Xmas in Japan?
    …because it’s not really a holiday unless there are fireworks to celebrate, amirite?

  2. moarscienceplz says

    I tried to think how I would explain to that shopkeeper why they might get Americans in their shop yelling at them, and my brain almost melted. How could someone who hasn’t been marinated in 2000 years of Christianity ever understand?

  3. rblackadar says

    @3 robro — that’s probably right. So perhaps, we can infer that the caption is wrong, they really do understand Christmas.

  4. wzrd1 says

    moarscienceplz @ 4, either suggest a noose or that the cross be inverted.
    Crowned with a goat skull…

  5. robro says

    Rudy has filed for bankruptcy. Per the NYT email I got, “In the filing, Mr. Giuliani listed debts including big legal fees, unpaid taxes and the $148 million a jury ordered him to pay to two former Georgia election workers he defamed.“ Unpaid taxes! What a surprise.

  6. says

    Perhaps the shopkeeper or whoever designed the window display is a fan of the 1984 “metal hero” TV series Uchū Keiji Shaidā. commonly called Space Sheriff Shaider in English. In episode 39 Fuuma, the villains of the series, have one of their minions become Satan Claus, the Black Satan, in an attempt to corrupt Japanese children.(Which is pretty much what they tried to do every episode.) One scene has a group of children brought to a ceremony where there an upside down crucified Santa Claus above an altar. Of course Shaider saves the day.

    Space Sheriff Shaider is in general high weirdness that makes you wonder what drugs the writers were doing. For example Fuuma often make use of music as weapon, like when they send a group of music playing clowns to Earth. Then there’s Priest Poe, the gender ambiguous grandchild of Fuuma leader Emperor Kubilai.

  7. nomadiq says

    Only Santa can die for my sins. He is the only one who knows if I’ve been naughty or nice.

  8. says


    He’s probably been busy hiding his assets left and right. Let’s hope that the bankruptcy court will have none of that, and that his victims get priority.

  9. wzrd1 says

    Well, one upside is, bankruptcy can’t typically discharge awards from a court if filed in response to those awards.
    A certain Mr Jones has learned that one the hard way, after the jurist lectured him and his attorneys at great length and considerable volume.

    As for Santa, I beat the rush and simply put in my order for coal. Kind of a win here, as it’s a really good water filter once properly etched to give it a bit more surface area.
    And once backflushed, it’s some really, really clean coal! ;)

  10. whywhywhy says

    #13 Has Mr. Jones learned that? To my understanding, he has paid nothing and has no plans to pay anything.

  11. says

    Japan was flat-out conquered and occupied by US troops, and ruled by Americans before they handed it over to an America-friendly Japanese government. That was in 1945, and they’ve been very much in contact with American culture and values ever since. So we have no basis to assume the Japanese “don’t understand” any aspect of American culture. I can’t say whether this Christmas…thing…is being silly, serious, underhanded or ironic; but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t made in ignorance.

    Also, I’m not that well steeped in Japanese pop culture, but I’ve seen enough anime to know they can be really weird in some really unexpected ways, which often turn out to be…not really that far off the mark. And I’ll say the same about this display: It’s Santa Claus (probably representing the generic “Christmas Spirit” of giving, celebration, good cheer, etc.), crucified on a cross, possibly representing doctrinaire religious intolerance. At least that’s my reading of all this. I can’t assume the store owner intended to send that message, but I also can’t assume they had no clue what message they were sending either.

    Just two questions. First, are there nails in Santa’s hands? And second, does that little scroll thingie at the head of the cross have the letters “INRI” like “serious” depictions of the Crucifixion show? ‘Cuz having a crucified Santa described as “King of the Jews” would be REALLY weird…

  12. birgerjohansson says

    For a really weird, hostile Santa, see the Finland horror parody “Rare Exports”.

  13. imthegenieicandoanything says

    This is either a fake or a copycat – the sort of joke, less well-played to the wonderful Northern Exposure joke about attempting to procreate during an aurora borealis or Borat’s revision of Xmas celebrations in Kazakhstan (but, how much I wish he’d made up a fake nation!), that is so ridiculous is gains verisimilitude.

  14. JimB says

    birgerjohansson @16 You’re into weird movies. Have you watched “The Mean One”? My son sent me the trailer. I was “Meh”. He was “Watch it again. Look at the lady!!”. I watched it again, I was like “Oh shit! It’s Krystal”. I know her. What a trip. IMDb has it as a movie so bad it’s almost good. I still have to watch more than the trailer.

  15. wzrd1 says

    I dunno, Violent Night was interesting. Santa originally in the film being a Viking raider, going back to old habits to save a family using a borrowed sledgehammer.
    Mel Gibson in Fat Man. Complete with the Battle of the North Pole at his workshop.

    I’m fully expecting next to see a trailer for The Battle of the Bulge, a Love Story.

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    The great cartoonist (& Star Wars FX guru) R. Cobb did a fine Santa-in-the-Manger scene back when such sacrilege was just geting (re-)started; this only carries the same theme a step or two further (imagine Santa walking on water, Santa animating zombie Lazarus, Santa before Pilate, …).

    Sometime in the past century, I saw a short article about a (I think) Tokyo railway system poster reminding commuters not to leave their umbrellas on the train, featuring a sorrowful Jesus over a table of abandoned polychrome bumbershoots. Prob’ly foreign tourists rather than local Christians started the fuss that got the story on the wires – I might even take a guess at their nationality.

  17. Kagehi says

    @17 imthegenieicandoanything

    Thing with Borat though is that his whole concept of comedy was to show just how utterly clueless people actually are, and thus some combination of a) what stupid shit they already believe, that they willingly go along with his madness, and b) how utterly oblivious they are that someone, who is using their own prejudices and ignorance against them, is actually making fun of them, not “celebrating along with them”. So.. Odds are that some of those revisions are things that at least the specific Kazakhstani that he found to involve in the skit had no idea was wrong, and played directly into some of their own prejudices (given that literally no one else in the movies, by design knew they where playing a part in the movies, they where just normal people that he got to say, and do, things that they never questioned the insanity of).

    Much like the stuff that he did in the US, 90% of the country might have been rightly appalled by it, but.. it was the other 10% he was highlighting.

  18. unclefrogy says

    the spirit of christmas crucified by commercialism, spending spending spending!
    the murder santa in , Futurama
    the big shootout at “the north poll” on all american dad are pretty out there

  19. Walter Solomon says

    I’m sure the average Japanese knows more about Christmas than the average American, myself included, knows about the intricacies of Buddhism and Shinto.

    That said, the biggest problem here is that Christmas is about Christ’s birth not his death. They obviously should’ve crucified the Easter Bunny and had Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the reindeer around a manger containing an elf wrapped in swaddling in the place of the Baby Jesus.

  20. wzrd1 says

    Couldn’t crucify the Easter Bunny, he went into my soup pot.
    Still, don’t forget, Amy Pond was praying to Santa to get rid of the crack in her wall.

  21. brightmoon says

    If I saw that for real I’d probably just laugh . Other people’s misconceptions can be amusing sometimes. I once had a Jewish man ask me why Christians use fake trees . I had wished him Happy Hanukkah and I pronounced it correctly. He was shocked to learn that Christmas trees are an old pagan custom that Christians just borrowed and that i use fake trees because I’d rather kill one “polyester” than several real trees.

  22. StevoR says

    @ ^ brightmoon : The local bushcare group I belong to made very good Xmas trees out of a weedy, invasive conifer species – Aleppo Pine ( ) – that we took out of Belair National Park, a few years ago. Sold them to as Xmas trees to raise funds which worked well at keeping them under control and prevented from out-competing and harming the local native vegetation here too. So, kinda depends on the species..