(サンタさん .) He said they also have a Japanese equivalent of Santa Claus. It is Hoteiosho, a Buddhist monk who gives presents to well behaved children on Christmas morning. (Later I found pictures.)
(サンタクロース ) in Japanese.)
Many people in the US might complain that is is not right for the Japanese to celebrate Christmas in a non-Christian way. Well, millions of people in the West celebrate Christmas in a non-religious way as well; they see it as a more cultural event than a religious one. It is really a winter festival that predates many faiths. It is about family, friendship, charity, gift giving, kindness, happiness and joy. Why can't it be shared? We share the earth, the sea, the rivers and mountains, the trees and wild animals, the sky, sun and stars, even a sunset (such as the one below on Christmas Day from my daughter's window,) so why can't we share a holiday if it makes everyone happy? It does not take away from those who celebrate it in a religious manner. We should all be able to share the Yuletide for peace and goodwill to all.
And since we are just a few days to the end of the year, I wish each of you a Happy and Prosperous New Year!