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!
Japanese Innovations Writer