What is Otoshidama Anyways?

Hi there. It’s Mr. Wada back on duty. I would like to introduce about otoshidama this time.

What is Otoshidama Anyways?

Otoshidama (お年玉) is a new year’s gift that grownups give children in your family or relatives during the new year holiday. It is normally a great opportunity for kids to get this amount of money so they can  purchase something they usually can’t afford (video games, etc). Naturally, the more uncles and aunts you get, the more you are expected to get otoshidama. (However it didn’t apply to me…)


How Much to Give for Otoshidama?

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It really depends on the family or person and also how old the kids are. Usually it starts from a small number like 500 yen or 1000 yen when a kid is still small, and raises slowly. You wouldn’t want to give too much first and kids would expect more every year like there’s no turning back. I myself didn’t have many uncles or aunts so instead my uncle used to give me quite a lot (like 10,000 yen) every time I saw him during the holiday. It was always a bonus for me. Heh heh.

Here is some reference.

Younger kid 1,000 – 2,000 yen
Elementary school student 1,000 – 4,000 yen
Jr. high school student 3,000 – 5,000 yen
High school student 5,000 – 10,000 yen
University student 10,000 yen

How Do Kids Spend Otoshidama?

Many kids go buy toys, etc. with the money but smart parents keep it in his/her savings as the academic fund. I would keep it in my pocket…but some went to the fund, I think.


How do you find it? You may or may not need to do it but it’s always good to learn different cultures, isn’t it?

See you around!

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