A. In previous post, I explained about reason #1 so let’s move onto #2 in this post.
Reason #2 Japan’s mentality to accept everything and Japanize it.
As many of you noticed when you were in Japan, Japan is very good at taking something foreign in and Japanize it. But why ? Japan is not a single tribe country. When Japan was still part of Eurasia continent, many tribes from different part of the continent moved to where japan is now. Even after Japan became islands, people from continent island-hopped to Japan. Japan is a very small country already and on top of that, 70% of the land is mountainous leaving only 30% suitable to live so different tribes had to live right next to each other. They cooperated, interacted and mix bred and in this process, distinct border between tribes disappeared and they became one nation. So from the very beginning, even before Japan became Japan, culture here was like one big flexible net or patchwork, different tribes and cultures loosely woven together. And this is why Japan is open to something foreign and good at making it to fit its culture as a part of the patchwork. Now, why so many variations ? There are mainly two streams in flavor, seasonal and regional. Japanese people love seasonal food. Traditionally, people consider seasonal food is blessing of nature and good for health so people SERIOUSLY embrace seasonal foods. Nestle took the concept in Kitkat and do many seasonal flavor such as watermelon one in summer. You can also find many regional flavors. Purple potato one in Okinawa for example. Long time ago, regional products (can be foods or crafts) were used as currency and culture to eagerly produce their specialities grew in each region. So there has been always appreciation for regional specialities. And again, Nestle took the concept into Kitkat. The tradition to embrace and celebrate seasonal and regional items is still existing in Japanese mentality even though everything is available anytime of year or wherever you live days. And this is why seasonal or regional Kitkat are well accepted by Japanese market and Nestle is launching one after another !