[Today’s Japanese word “Otoshi-dama”]

"Otoshi-dama" (A new year's monetary gift)

Today’s Japanese word “Otoshi-dama” (A new year’s monetary gift).

Japanese children like New Year’s season very much.
That’s because children can get “Otoshi-dama”.
“Otoshi-dama” is money to get from adults such as parents or the relative.
“Otoshi-dama” is in small envelope. That bag is called “Otoshi-dama bukuro” or “Pochi bukuro”.

By the way, why could children get “Otoshi-dama”?

It’s said that the etymology of “Otoshi-dama” is “New year’s soul”. “New year’s soul” is ” Toshi-gami-sama no tamashii” (New year god’s soul).

New Year’s holiday is the event to welcome new year’s God. Also, it is told that “Toshigami-sama” dwells in the “Kagami-mochi” during New Year holidays. By eating the “Kagami-mochi”, we can have the power from “Toshigami-sama”.

“Kagami-mochi” at New year’s God was distributed to children formerly from paterfamilias.
That changed from “Mochi” to money all too soon. And it became the customs to hand money like the present.

Some children buy toys with “Otoshi-dama”. Or some children save money.

Well, what would you like to use?

Some children buy toys with "Otoshi-dama".  Some children save money.