chugen

What is Ochugen?

The Chugen (or Ochugen) is midyear present.
In Japan, there is a custom of presenting the gift to the indebted person in July and December.
The one of July is called ''Ochugen''. And the other one of December is called ''Oseibo''.
This ''O'' is a prefix applied when the word is politely paraphased.
On around 15 July, we send the ''Ochugen'' to an indebted person.
CONTENTS
1. What is the meaning of the''Chugen'' or ''Ochugen''?
2. To whom is the Ochugen presented?
3. When is the Ochugen presented?
4. What gifts are presented to the Ochugen (Midyear present)?
5. How much is the budget of this present?
HOME

1. What is the meaning of the''Chugen'' or ''Ochugen''?

The Chugen (or Ochugen) is midyear present.
In Japan, there is a custom of presenting the gift to the indebted person in July and December. The one of July is called ''Ochugen''. And the other one of December is called ''Oseibo''.

The word ''Chugen'' has come from Taoism.
On the lunar calender, July 15 is ceremonial day of Taoism.
This day is also the day of Bon Festival (Ura-bon) of the Buddhism .

The Taoism was gradually mixed with the Buddhism, and people came to distribute the gift to the vicinity and the close relative.
That present was originally the one offered to the dead at Bon Festival.
Afterwards, in Japan, ''the chugen ceremony'' has changed into the custom of doing the present to an indebted person.
Thus, the ''Ochugen'' has been established as the ''gift presented on around 15 July''.

chugen


The package like this image is used for the present of ''Chugen''.

We call this package ''noshi'' or ''noshigami'' in Japanese.

The title of Ochugen is written on upper half of this package. And, a presenter's name is written on lower half of this one.

2. To whom is the Ochugen presented?

Generally, we send Ochugen (Midyear present) to the following list.
(1)The relative. (2)The Nakoudo (matchmaker). (3)The physicians or doctor in charge. (4)The teacher at each learning. (5)The superior and the customer in the company etc. .
If you judge from your idea you were not especially indebted from them, it is not necessary to present Ochugen to the superior in the company and the teacher at the school.

3. When is the Ochugen presented?

In modern days, most people do not present Ochugen on 15th July of the old calendar.
The greater part of people will present Ochugen by July 1st to July 15th on the solar calendar.
That gift becomes a name of ''Shochumimai'' or ''Shochuoukagai'' between about July 16 and about August 8.
This name means that we prays for other party's health in the hot season.
August 8 is the beginning day of autumn in the traditional Japanese calendar.

4. What gifts are presented to the Ochugen (Midyear present)?

Today, it is popular to present the Sanchokuhin.
The''sanchokuhin'' is the word meaning ''Commodity or goods that will be sent directly from the producer or production's shop or production's factory''.
We call ''sanchokuhin'' or ''sanchichokusouhin'' about them.
When ''sanchokuhin'' is not chosen, we present a preference beverage pleased in the summer such as the beers and the juices. In other ideas, it seems that practical goods such as the seasoning, the washing detergent and soap are good.
Please decide the present in consideration of other party's favor and family structure.

5. How much is the budget of this present?

The budget of Ochugen is decided according to the level of association with the person who receive it.
The present is chosen by the budget (2,000 yen, 3,000 yen, 4,000 yen, 5,000 yen, 10,000 yen, 20,000 yen, 30,000 yen, 50,000 yen, 100,000 yen) centering on 3,000 yen.