Gift Ideas for Japanese Respect for the Aged Day (KEIROU HO HI)




Japanese celebrate and honor elderly people in September.

It is called Respect for the Aged Day or Keirou no Hi (敬老の日)

It used to be September the 15th, but since 2003

it changed to the third Monday of September.


This year, 2016, it is the 19th of September.





What is Respect for the Aged Day?


Respect for the Aged Day was initially set up in Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県多可郡野間谷村) to make their village energetic in 1947.

The chief of village and the fellows appreciated great knowledge of the elderly.
They believed such knowledge would be functional to make energetic village.


Then other areas of Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県) also set up Respect for the Aged Day.

In 1963, it officially became a national holiday.

This is an unique holiday that no other countries have such holidays.


When I was a kid, Respect for the Aged Day meant “Respect Grandma and Grandpa Day.”

I didn’t live with my grandparents, so I used to call them on that day.
I might have given small gifts but I don’t really remeber…



What do we do? What do we give?




Here are some gift ideas that you could use for Respect for the Aged Day.


1. Get a Gift Catalogue

Not only for the elderly but also for others, I usually have a hard time choosing a gift.
I would usually think something like

“What can I get?” ” Would they like this kind of things?”


If you cannot choose, just get a gift catalogue.

It contains different kinds of stuff including food,

cosmetics, bags, tickets for hot spring, etc…

Let the elderly to choose by themselves.

In that way, you don’t have to think and worry about gifts.
They would choose whatever they like or they need.


2. Give Gift Certificates

This is another great idea as a gift.
It is very useful and easy to use gift certificates in Japan.

In addition, gift certificates usually don’t expire.
The elderly can take their time and use them whenever they need.



3. Create a Photo Book
My grandma liked photos a lot! So if your grandparents or the elderly like photos,
it is an awesome idea to give them a photo book.

You pick photos and organize them into the book.

When they miss you they see your photos so that you don’t have to visit them everyday.

They would enjoy the photos whenever they want to.



4. Go See Them
This is probably the best gift for grandparents.
Nothing is better than seeing grandchildren.

It might be even better if you write letters to grandparents.
Just appreciate of being your grandchildren and wish their health and happiness.



Let’s respect the elderly on Respect for the Aged Day (敬老の日)!

And do so all the time.



 - National Holidays