According to a Japanese New Year’s tradition, children receive money during the night between the years. They get Otoshidama, which means “New Year’s gift” and often consists of small, decorated envelopes filled with money from their parents, relatives and close friends. But how much are the children actually receiving? The Benesse Corporation conducted a survey of elementary school children to find out.
The survey included more than 600 parents of elementary school students from grades first through sixth. According to the results, the sum a child receives during New Year’s is based on the child’s grade. 1st – 2nd graders receive about Y1,000 ($11), with over 90% of respondents saying they give less than Y3,000 ($33) to first and second graders.
3rd – 4th graders receive about Y3,000 ($34), with around 10% of respondents saying they give Y5,000 ($57) to third and fourth graders, while 5th – 6th graders receive about Y3,000 ($33). Most of the parents said they wouldn’t go any higher than Y3,000 when giving otoshidama to their children.
How are these kids spending their money? Most of them, 57 percent, are saving their money, while 32 percent buy themselves toys. Other 32 percent buy game software, while only 29 percent give their money to parents.