Respect for the Aged Day 2023: Our elders are our connection to the past, so what better way to commemorate them than on Respect for the Aged Day, which will be observed on September 18 this year? It is an annual Japanese festival held on the third Monday of September. People in Japan commemorate this national holiday by spending time with their elderly relatives and friends.
DAY’S HISTORY OF RESPECT FOR THE OLDER
After World War II, a small municipality in Japan’s Hygo Prefecture named Nomatanimura (now renamed Yachiyocho) decreed that September 15 would be known as ‘Old Folks’ Day’ or Toshiyori no Hi. After the chaos and hardship of the war, the mayor of that town, Masao Kadowaki, believed that people should turn to their elders (those 55 and older) for guidance.
Some legends say that the Yoro Falls in Japan miraculously cured the father of a young man around this time, while others say that a legendary regent named Prince Shotoku founded a home for the elderly, which was named after a god born on this date.
This local celebration grew in popularity throughout Japan, was renamed Keiro no Hi, and attained its zenith over two decades later when it was declared a national holiday. Japan instituted a system known as the Happy Monday System, which shifted the actual date for honoring the elderly. This was an attempt to provide more three-day weekends to Monday-Friday, 9-to-5 employees by shifting public holidays to Mondays. This holiday is currently observed on the third Monday of September.
5 FACTS REGARDING RESPECT FOR THE ELDERLY DAY
Unique presents for centenarians
On this occasion, Japanese citizens who turned 100 in the previous 12 months receive a special silver sake dish.
Numerous centenarians reside in Japan.
Since 1950, Japan’s elderly population has been on the rise and is anticipated to rise to 35.3% by 2040, as per a Japan Today report in 2020.
From silver to gilded silver
The rising population forced the Japanese government to transition from silver sake dishes to silver-plated sake dishes as a gifting option.
The current figures
There are currently 80,450 centenarians in Japan.
Their diets play a significant role.
A balanced diet is one reason for the high number of centenarians in Japan.
THE VALUE OF RESPECT FOR THE ELDERLY DAY
We gain access to their expertise.
We learn and gain self-awareness from the generations that came before us. Their actions have paved the path for us. Even basic conversations with a member of the previous generation provide us with incredible insights into our heritage, including firsthand accounts. These traditions enable us to use the actions, mistakes, and knowledge of the previous generation to create a better future.
It makes them feel valued
The majority of us have relocated, and as a result, we see our elders less frequently. This day is a welcome reminder to connect with the elderly in any way imaginable, letting them know they are valued and noticed.
Our past influences our sense of self-identity.
Our past is preserved in the memories of our ancestors. We as a generation have much to learn from them. We can use such occasions to comprehend how our pasts impact our futures and to learn responsibility for future generations.
RESPECT FOR THE AGED DAY DATES