Respect of the Aged Day

Public and national holidays in Japan National Holiday in Japan

Respect the Aged Day
Copyright: szefei / 123RF Stock Photo

When is Respect for the Aged Day ?

Year Day Date
2017 Monday September 18th
2016 Monday September 19th
2015 Monday September 21st
2014 Monday September 15th
2013 Monday September 16th
2012 Monday September 17th

This national holiday is celebrated on the Third Monday in September.

Also known as Seniors' Day, Respect of the Aged Day, or Keiro no Hi, was established as a national holiday in 1966 to express respect for the elders in the community, and to recognise and thank them for their contributions to society and last but not least, celebrate their long lives.

Until 2003, the holiday was observed on 15 September. Since 2004, Respect for the Aged Day has instead been observed on the third Monday of September.

To honour their elders, many communities throw parties and offer special gifts to bring even more longevity to their lives.

Did you know?

Japanese citizens who become 100 years old in the 12 months prior to the day, receive a silver sake dish on Respect the Aged Day. From 2016, the dishes will be silver-plated rather than pure siliver as the increasing number of centenarians made the silver dish too expensive a gift for the government to give to such a high number of people each year.

In 2015, life expectancy in Japan was 87.05 for women and 80.79 for men. One in five Japanese are aged 65 or older and Japanese women can expect to live to see their 85th birthday. The aging of the population in Japan is a major issue as it creates concerns over how the country will fund health care and social security payments in the future with a contracting work force

Japanese media often take the opportunity to feature the older generations, reporting on the population and highlighting the oldest people in the country.

Japan's centenarian population increased by 4,124 from a year ago to a record high of 65,692 in September, with women accounting for 87.6 percent of the total, the welfare ministry said Tuesday. The number of centenarians has continuously risen since 1971 and is projected to grow further mainly thanks to advancing medical treatment, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Nikkei Asian Review, 13 September 2016

The holiday traces its origins back to 1947, when Nomatanimura (now Yachiyocho), Hyōgo Prefecture proclaimed September 15 as 'Old Folks' Day'.

Its popularity started to spread nationwide, until in 1966 it reached its present name and status.

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