Why do the Japanese respect their seniors

Beware of Age Day - the Japanese Keirō no Hi 2021

Honor and respect old age. The third Monday in September in Japan is all about respect for the older generation. Because this flexible date has been celebrated in Nippon since 2003 as a national one Beware of Age Day (jap. 敬老 の 日Keirō no Hi - engl. Respect for the Aged Day). Reason enough for this occasion that 2021 on the September 20th falls, a separate post in the calendar of the strange holidays from all over the world to dedicate. What is it about?

Table of Contents

Goals and Intention: What is the Japanese Keirō no Hi about?

The name is of course to be understood here as being entirely programmatic. Because Keirō no Hi is primarily about honoring the elderly and the elderly in the country. This is certainly also due to the fact that in many Asian traditions there is a much higher appreciation for old age than in our latitudes.

In the last few decades Japan has been one of the countries with a population of 84.1 years, statistically speaking, one of the highest life expectancy in the world (see also the list of related links below).

How to celebrate Keirō no Hi and the thing with the silver commemorative sake cups

First of all, Keirō no Hi is an official national holiday on which the working population does not have to work. Even so, the occasion is taken very seriously, and the country's neighborhoods and communities are doing a great deal to honor their seniors. In this respect, this event can only be compared to a limited extent with some thematically related US-American events such as Gorgeous Grandma Day on July 23 or National Senior Citizen Day on August 21.

What is particularly noteworthy in this context is the fact that since 1963 the Japanese government has given all men and women in the country who have reached the age of 100 a silver commemorative sake cup.

While the cost of 153 silver cups was relatively low in 1963, the increasing number of 100-year-olds in the following years posed a real financial problem. For example, the decision was made in 2009 to purchase the cups at a unit price of around 58 euros In view of the number of 29,357 recipients in 2014, he seriously considered making the cups from a different material or just sending a letter. This is also against the background that around 39,000 potential recipients are expected for 2018.

In addition, this event is mainly used by the Japanese media landscape to report on the "state of affairs" in matters relating to senior citizens.

Who started the Japanese Seniors' Day?

The initiative for this nationwide Japanese honor day of the elderly goes back to the year 1947, in which the city of Taka-cho (Japanese Old (jap. Toshiyori no Hi) explained.

Over time, this event became increasingly popular, so that in 1966 the Japanese government decided to introduce Keirō no Hi as a state country throughout Japan. This originally fixed date remained in September until 2003.

When do the Japanese celebrate their National Respect for Old Age Day?

In contrast to many other strange world days, in the case of the Japanese Respect for Age Day there is a very specific reason for choosing the flexible date. And this goes back to the introduction of the so-called Happy Monday system (Japanese ハ ッ ピ ー マ ン デ ー 制度 - Happī Mandē Seido).

With this system, the Japanese legislature changed a number of dates in the country's holiday calendar in 1998 and 2001. In the sense that many occasions always fall on a flexible Monday and the working population gets a long weekend.

In the case of Keirō no Hi, this change was introduced in 2003 and celebrated for the first time in 2004. Accordingly, the following dates result for this Japanese holiday:

  • 2018: Monday 17th September
  • 2019: Monday, September 19
  • 2020: Monday, September 21
  • 2021: Monday, September 20th
  • 2022: Monday, September 19
  • 2023: Monday, September 18
  • 2024: Monday, September 23
  • 2025: Monday, September 22nd
  • 2026: Monday, September 21
  • 2027: Monday, September 20th
  • 2028: Monday, September 18
  • 2029: Monday, September 17th
  • 2030: Monday, September 19

With this in mind: Have a great Keirō no Hi-Fest to all of you. No matter whether in Japan, in Germany or anywhere else in the world. :)

Further information and resources on Beware of Old Age Day in Japan

Categories Flexible Holidays, SeptemberTags September 20th