Category: Media & Culture / January 29, 2013 3:23 PM EST
Valentine's Day is still around the corner, but Japanese men expressed love for their wives on Tuesday (January 29) in a very public way - by yelling "I love you" in a public park.
In a country where modesty and reticence are traditionally valued over outspokenness, expressing love can be difficult.
That's why dozens of Japanese men get together once a year in a Tokyo park to yell love messages for their wives in an attempt to show their appreciation for their loved ones.
Messages vary from a simple "I love you" to more literary sentences; like what 31-year-old businessman Yusuke Ishikawa said: "I can fly higher because you're with me. Please stand by me forever."
All participants need some nerve to get their messages delivered as the event - marking its 5th year - as it is broadcasted nationwide, and sometimes worldwide.
"Shouting in front of such a crowd really makes my heart thump with the adrenaline," said Ishikawa.
All the embarrassment, however, seems to reap rewards as husbands' heart-felt messages often send their wives weak at the knees.
"He's very fabulous and manly today. It just reminded me how macho he used to be; the fact that I've forgotten for last 8 years since I married him. My heart pounded," 33-year-old Yuko Todo said after watching her husband Takeshi's performance on the stage.
But the public professing of love doesn't always hit home, like the case of 38-year-old Kazuteru Tatsuhana who yelled "I'll hug you very tight tonight. Thank you for your love," for his wife Masumi.
"Well, he's hugging me tight pretty much every night, so I'm a bit worried that it's going to be even tighter tonight," Masumi said.
Kiyotaka Yamana, who started the event 5 years ago with a support from a local flower shop, is advocating more explicit ways for Japanese men to show their affection.
Yamana says the recent thaw of Japanese economy is positively affecting the conjugal relationships among Japanese families.
"The economy is getting better in Japan, and I see a lot of Japanese married couples are getting more active in deepening their relationships by challenging themselves to new hobbies or activities together," said Yamana who leads Japan Aisaika Organization.
The evening event ended with all participants shouting together "Ah-ee-shi-te-rhoo" or I love you."
(Video Source: Reuters)