Japan Data

“Obondama”: Small Summer Pocket Money Giving Japanese Children Big Smiles!

Lifestyle Society

A custom of giving summer pocket money known as obondama is spreading in Japan.

As relatives are keen to see the happy faces of grandchildren or nieces and nephews, a new custom of giving children pocket money during the summer vacation is steadily spreading across Japan. At New Year, the tradition is to give a monetary gift known as otoshidama and now for summer there is obondama, taking its name from the major seasonal festival of Obon.   

In a survey targeting 4,812 people aged 20 and over, conducted by the paper products manufacturer Maruai, 27.8% of respondents said they knew about obondama. Awareness was higher among women, with 53.7% knowing about this new custom.

Do you know about obondama?

Among the respondents, 310 planned to give obondama this summer. When asked who they were going to gift money to, 221 said to their relatives’ children, 206 to their own children, and 199 to their grandchildren or great-grandchildren.

Regardless of whether the recipient was a child or an adult, the most common amount given was ¥5,000 or less, indicating they regarded this gifting as providing a bit of pocket money. However, where their own children were concerned, over 20% of respondents said they would give ¥10,000 or more, a slightly higher proportion compared to others giving that amount.

Who do you give obondama to and how much do you give?

(Translated from Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

obon summer