How Much Money to Give as a Gift (Goshigi) ?

how to prepare shugi bukuro

Hi there. It’s Mrs. Wada, back on duty. I would like to share how much money to give as a gift (goshugi) in Japan.

How Much Money to Give as a Gift (Goshigi) ?

Japanese often give money as a gift for celebrating. If you are not sure how much you should give, here is some reference.

*Note that it would be actually better to give something practical (ex; stationary for students, etc.)  than giving cash. It really depends so you should consider the relationship between you and the person.

Wedding Gift (結婚祝い)

Friend 30,000 – 50,000 yen
Work Related Boss 30,000 – 50,000 yen
Colleague About 30,000 yen
Junior 20,000 – 30,000 yen
Client About 30,000 yen
Relative 30,000 – 100,000 yen
Family 20,000 – 100,000 yen

Baby-birth Gift(出産祝い)

Friend/colleague 3,000 – 10,000 yen
Sibling 5,000 – 30,000 yen
One’s own child 30,000 – 50,000 yen
Relative 5,000 – 20,000 yen
Acquaintance 1,000 – 3,000 yen

Shichi-go-san (七五三)

If you don’t know what Shichi-go-san is, here is some reference.

Grand child 10,000 – 30,000 yen
Relative 5,000  – 10,000 yen
Friends’ child 3,000 – 5,000 yen

Admission to School / Graduating from School (入学祝い/卒業祝い)

Admission to School

Grand child Kindergarten About 10,000 yen
Elementary school About 20,000 yen
Jr. High school About 30,000 yen
Nephew/niece About 10,000 yen
Friend’s child Kindergarten 3,000 – 5,000 yen
Older 5,000 ~ 10,000 yen


Graduating from School

Grand child 10,000 – 50,000 yen
Nephew/niece About 10,000 yen
Friend’s child 3,000 – 5,000 yen

Coming age celebration (成人)

One’s own child 10,000 – 50,000 yen
Grand child 10,000 – 100,000 yen
Younger sibling 3,000  – 10,000 yen
Acquaintance 5,000 – 10,000 yen

Celebrate for getting a job (就職祝い)

Relative 10,000 – 20,000 yen
Friend/junior 5,000 – 10,000 yen

Housewarming Gift (新築祝い/引越し祝い)

Friend/co-league 5,000 – 10,000 yen
Sibling/relative 10,000 – 30,000 yen

Return Gift during one’s recovery (快気祝い・退院祝い)

For those who did nice to you or gave you something while you are sick, you should return something worth 1/2 – 1/3 of what you got. It should be consumable items since reusable things may sound bad luck (‘it may happen over again’).


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How to Prepare Kouden (Condolence Money) for Japanese Funeral

Life events occur now and then and unfortunately it happens to be a funeral sometime. This time though in case there is a funeral around you while in Japan, here is one thing you should know about which is called kouden.

What is Kouden?

Kouden (香典) or Okouden (お香典) is condolence money just like weddings (not for celebrating though) and there are some rules for kouden as well. You don’t have to follow every single Japanese custom but if you don’t plan on being rude, at least you should be aware of it.

How much should Kouden be?

This is always the first question that may come up. It is totally up to you but here is some reference that may give you some idea. You could consider based on this so it wouldn’t be either too much or too little.

Colleagues, friends, acquaintances
Around 20 years old 3,000 – 5,000 yen
Over 30 years old 10,000 – 50,000 yen
Parents, family member, or relatives
Around 20 years old 50,000 yen
Over 30 years old 50,000 – 100,000 yen


How to Prepare Kouden

There is a type of envelope for kouden which is white with a faced-up black-and-white ribbon. Just make sure NOT to get one in red & white which is for celebration.  It’s available at convenience stores, 100 yen shops, book stores, pretty much everywhere.

The envelope for kouden comes with another envelope inside. Write down an amount of money you put in the front and your address & name in the back like below.

The amount should be written in kanji like ‘金 xxxxx 圓’ but no worries, refer to the table below. So the number written above (参萬圓) make it 3 man yen (30,000 yen). No problem in Arabic as well if you are not Japanese.

Numbers Numbers in Kanji
5 伍 or 五
Yen 圓 or 円

Now put the envelope with money in kouden and close it.

As a manner, kouden should be covered by a cloth called fukusa to protect it from dirt, etc. until given at the funeral reception. You could use a regular handkerchief instead as well. Here is a reference how to fold fukusa (image below is for celebration. Ideally dark color should be appropriate for condolences).

What is Kouden-Gaeshi?

If you are an attendant, you may get a gift called Kouden-gaeshi from the organizer another day which is worth about a half of the kouden you give. (e.g. something worth 5,000 yen for a 10,000-yen kouden). Koden-gaeshi would be ideally consumable like soap, food, etc.


Alright. That’s all for today.


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See you around!