There is a tradition in Japan of giving money to children at the New Year. The money comes from parents, grandparents and relatives – and is called “otoshidama.” Due to this money, most Japanese children are excited about New Years like children in the US get excited about Christmas. Most of the time the money is given in small, colorful envelopes and a typical gift for a junior or senior high school student would be 5000 to 10000 yen ($50 – $100) per relative. That means that the money can add up pretty fast.


Parents usually make the children save some of the money and they can spend some of it on things they like. I’m not sure how much traditions like this go toward teaching children to save, but Japan does have one of the highest savings rates in the world. It is a good opportunity to teach kids about saving and spending, but I really don’t know how much of this goes on. I’ll have to do some research and see if I can find out some more information on this…

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2 Responses to Otoshidama

  1. Caitlin says:

    Clearly everyone needs to save so that they have money to give all the kids at new year’s! LOL.

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