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“Otoshidama”, the Japanese New Year’s gift2013.01.01

Every year, Japanese children are recieve pocket money called “Otoshidama” from parents and relatives, so children are looking forward to get much pocket money every year .

However, “Otoshidama” is not a gift of pocket money in the old days. It was a rice cake!
Because rice cake was thought to symbolize the God’s spirit.
In Japan, comprises a rice cake every year on the altar which enshrines “New year’s God”.
It is thought that the soul of God dwells in this rice cake, so people ate rice cake called “Otoshidama” which means “God’s spirit” in order to get God’s power.

Money was began to take place of rice cake in the Edo period (about 410 years ago).

When children was a baby, adults give them sweets, but as their age increases, the price also goes up.
5000 yen ~10000 yen are average price of “Otoshidama” for teenagers.

When children grown up and become a full-fledged member of society, they turns to give “Otoshidama” for their kids.

"Otoshidama", the Japanese New Year's gift

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