Ochugen or chugen is a midyear gift.
This “”o”” is a prefix for a polite way of saying it.
Ochugen is basically a summer greeting to a boss or business partner who has been a great help to you on a daily basis, and is given around mid-July, and is done by individuals as well as companies. In the ancient Chinese calendar, there were three seasons of the year and offerings were made to the gods at the beginning of each season. This is the origin of the present-day gift-giving custom of “”Ochugen””. Strictly speaking, the word “”chugen”” comes from Taoism.
The 15th of July in the lunar calendar is the day of the Taoist rituals.
This day is also the Buddhist Obon day. Taoism gradually mingled with Buddhism and began to distribute gifts to close relatives and near relatives.
The gifts were originally offered to the dead on Obon.
Later, the “”Ochugen ceremony”” in Japan turned into a custom of giving gifts to those who were indebted to them.
In this way, Ochugen has become established as a gift to be given on or around July 15.
In general, the following people seem to be the most common recipients of Ochugen gifts
(1) A relative (2) A matchmaker (3) A doctor or physician in charge. (4) The teacher of each lesson. (5) Your boss or customer at work.
From your point of view, there is no need to send a mid-year gift to the boss of the company or the teacher of the lessons if you have decided that you have not been particularly good to them.
Today, very few people give Ochugen on the 15th of July in the lunar calendar.
Most people give their ochugen between July 1 and July 15 of the solar calendar.
That ochugen will be called Hot Summer Greeting or Hot Summer Visiting between about July 16 and August 8.
This name implies a wish for the recipient’s health during the hot season.
August 8 is the first day of autumn in the Japanese calendar.
Nowadays, it is common to give gifts of “”products from the country””.
The term “”Sanchokuhin”” means “”products or goods sent directly from the producer or producer’s shop or factory.
Gifts can be decided based on the recipient’s favors and family structure.
The budget for a mid-year gift is based on the degree of your relationship with the recipient.
Basically, a gift of about 3,000 yen is given as a gift. In addition to the mid-year harvest, there is also a year-end gift given in mid-December for the same purpose as the mid-year harvest. The word “”Seibo”” means “”the end of the year. Conveniently, both ochugen and year-end gifts are given twice a year during the bonus season, so many people have more money to spare. On the weekend before Ochugen, department stores are packed with people looking for Ochugen. The end of the year is one of the two traditional gift-giving seasons in Japan, along with the summer ochugen. Oseibo began with the custom of placing offerings on the graves of ancestors, giving out the necessary sake, mochi and fresh salmon. Later, it evolved into a common gift. Osseibo is a way of expressing gratitude to people who have been kind to you during the year. They are sometimes given to business partners, superiors at work, doctors, landlords, and other important people. Traditionally, oseibo is a consumable item, such as food, soap and other household items. In the olden days, giving oseibo was considered obligatory, but in recent years, the custom of giving oseibo is becoming less common. Many young Japanese seem to think of the year-end gift as something their parents do, or something their relatives in the countryside enjoy. The original meaning of “”thank you”” has been weakened, and many people think of exchanging oseibo as an unwelcome and burdensome duty instead. In fact, many urban Japanese under the age of 50 have never given or received an oseibo. This is partly due to changing corporate norms, and although customs vary from industry to industry, many Japanese companies today limit their year-end gifts to humble items such as calendars and notebooks. For many Japanese, the end of the year seems to have been replaced by the recently imported custom of exchanging Christmas gifts. Christmas gifts are usually given to family and close friends, not to business associates. In a way, Japanese marketers have cleverly taken the existing concept of giving gifts at the end of the year and reworked it into something more modern and personal.