"Ochugen aka summer gift giving" Top 5 Page for this destination Japan Local Custom Tip by cheesecake17

Japan Local Customs: 477 reviews and 616 photos

  oshugen gift
by cheesecake17

The Japanese love to give gifts. . Whether it is a formal occasion such as a birthdays and a weddings or just a casual visits to an acquaintances' place or often no particular reason at all....people give gifts.

Twice a year, in July and December, the traditional and major gift-giving seasons come around.

The one in July is called Ochugen. During this period people go crazy deciding what to give to their bosses, friends, relatives, teachers, customers or anyone they have become indebted to.

Many gift departments especially set up for the Ochugen season in department stores become jam- packed with people who have in their hands a list of people they are going to send gifts to.

The history behind it all

The word Ochugen is derived from the Chinese word for the 15th of the seventh month of the lunar calendar.

It fell on Obon and it was customary to distribute the Obon offerings to relatives and others. however, this custom has secularized over the years. So even though Ochugen season coincides with Obon season, Ochugen gifts are no longer offerings to the soul of the ancestors.

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  • Updated Jul 25, 2005
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