Top Ten Strange Santas from Japan

5) Skeleton Santa is Ho Ho Horrible!

It's "The Nightmare Before Christmas" in reverse! Poor Santa Claus has succumbed to anorexia from the stress of delivering gifts to ALL the world's children on ONE night. (Santa Claus image via What Japan Thinks)



4) Dinosaur Santa Sports Jurassic Parka

Jurassic Parka!! I sleigh me... sorry, couldn't resist. Anyway, leave it to the folks at Microsoft, who should know better, to dress a dinosaur up in a Santa Claus suit. Why, we don't know. Dino-Santa isn't attracting many good reviews in Japan... then again, neither is Microsoft's Vista OS. (Santa Claus image via PingMag)



3) How the Kitty Stole Christmas

It was inevitable - having graced pretty much every product, service or promotion imaginable, Sanrio's Hello Kitty has now taken over Christmas in Japan. Sorry, Santa, you're just not cute enough in a land where cuteness is king... I mean queen. (Santa Claus image via eBay)



2) Mrs. Claus' Anime Makeover

Mrs. Claus never looked like this! Of course, this is Japan which explains a lot of things. Combine anime artists on all-night caffeine jags with deadline driven bosses charged with creating Christmas scenes and this is what you get. Mothers hide your children and Santa hide your elves! (Santa Claus image via Anime Horizon)



1) Santa Cross

The story goes that in 1945 (or 1950, or 1990 depending on which version), a big Japanese department store in Tokyo's ritzy Ginza district wanted to set up a big, American-style Christmas display. Not knowing much about the holiday, they applied what little knowledge they had and voila: a giant crucified Santa Claus!

This famous urban legend has been debunked by online myth-busters Snopes. Our featured depiction of "Santa Cross" is from a painting by American artist Robert Cenedella, commenting on the commercialization of Christmas. (Santa Claus image via WebAllStars)

Hope you enjoyed our Top Ten Strange Santas from Japan, and may the Santa who emerges from YOUR chimney Christmas Eve look nothing like ANY of them!

Steve Levenstein
Japanese Innovations Writer

Dec 3, 2007
by Коллекционер бизнес-идей (not verified)


Crucified Santa only can be a fancy's child of a crazy person.

Dec 3, 2007
by A Man In Japan (not verified)

Green Santa

Actually Santa originally wore a Green (and other colours) outfit, until Coca Cola brought out their red one

Dec 3, 2007
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Coked-up Santa?

Somehow i don't think the parade organizers who dressed Santa all in green were going for an authentic retro look - but thanks for the info anyway! Maybe those schools who are downplaying Santa because he makes the kids want to drink Coca-Cola aren't just taking PC to the extreme.

Dec 4, 2007
by chook (not verified)

green santa

i heard that rudolf is also part of cokes evil scheme to take over christmas. or is that cokemas, i get confused :\. good on the japanese for bringing back old school santa!

Dec 4, 2007
by Yuki (not verified)

The "Mrs. Claus" picture is

The "Mrs. Claus" picture is just a Christmas picture of Haruhi Suzumiya, from The Melancholy of Harumi Suzumiya.

Dec 4, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

Santa did originaly wear

Santa did originaly wear green clothes until a coco-cola advert many years ago and everyone thought he looked better in red =D

Dec 5, 2007
by Anonymous (not verified)

The anime mrs claus one is

The anime mrs claus one is haruchi from the meloncholy of suzumiys maruchi,she is not a santa claus T_T

Dec 23, 2007
by DLHall (not verified)

Actually, Rudplph was

Actually, Rudplph was created by an ad man/kids book writer named May. He developed the story of the red nosed reindeer as a coloring book for Mongomery Wards department stores back in 1939.