How present-day Japanese view New Year

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Just in time for the New Year, here is a survey from @nifty into New Year, looking at a few aspects of how Japanese really pass the New Year, rather than the usual rather fanciful reporting one often sees around these holiday.

We buy in most of ours, but I find most of it rather bland and uninteresting. I could just eat black beans and egg rolls all holidays, but unfortunately I have to endure bland and often cold foods for about a week or more.

Here’s some home-made Osechi that is rather heavy on the vegetable side, not that that is a problem:

Mimi's osechi

Research results

Q1: Do you make your own Osechi? (Sample size=2,876)

  Unmarried Married
Make it all myself 3.5% 4.9%
Make most of it myself, but buy some in 10.8% 21.0%
Make some of it myself, but buy most in 22.0% 36.7%
Buy it all 26.6% 19.9%
Don’t each Osechi 33.1% 14.0%
Other 4.0% 3.5%

Q2: What Osechi dishes do you like? (Sample size=2,876, multiple answer)

Rank Male Percentage Female Percentage
1 Kazunoko (herring roe) 43.6% Kurikinton (chestnut in sweet paste) 51.6%
2 Black beans 42.3% Black beans 48.6%
3 Kurikinton (chestnut in sweet paste) 41.6% Datemaki (sweet rolled omelette) 37.1%
4 Datemaki (sweet rolled omelette) 40.9% Chikuzenni (simmered chicken and vegetables) 36.5%
5 Roast beef, roast pork 40.1% Kazunoko (herring roe) 33.3%
6 Red and white kamaboko (fish paste) 34.1% Roast beef, roast pork 31.9%
7 Kombu maki (seaweed wrap) 33.7% Namasu (pickled carrot and radish) 31.4%

Q3: What do you feel like eating when you get bored with Osechi? (Sample size=2,876, multiple answer)

Rank   Percentage
1 Ramen 40.1%
2 Curry rice 39.4%
3 Soba, udon noodles 33.9%
4 Sushi, sashimi 29.6%
5 Nabe (hotpot) 19.2%
6 Yakiniku (grilled beef), steak 17.6%
7 White rice, rice steeped in green tea 17.2%
8 Pizza, pasta 16.7%
9 Bread, sandwich 13.7%
10 Miso soup, other soups 13.7%

Q4: How do you plan to spend the New Year? (Sample size=2,876, multiple answer)

  Male Female
Watching television 50.2% 49.3%
Visiting a temple, shrine 45.5% 45.4%
Checking, writing New Year postcards 40.7% 48.2%
Visit parents, relatives 29.8% 38.2%
Pass Otoshidama (money gifts for children) 10.8% 13.6%
Watch a movie 8.0% 8.1%
Sleep in 7.5% 8.7%
Visit graves 6.6% 9.1%
Go to the sales, buy a lucky bag 5.7% 10.6%
Work 6.3% 7.9%
Watch the first sunrise of the year 6.6% 4.0%
Meet with friends 4.1% 4.7%
Go on a trip 3.7% 4.7%
Think about resolutions, objectives for the year 3.3% 5.5%
Other 2.9% 8.3%
Nothing in particular 17.6% 13.8%

Q5: What do you hate about the New Year? (Sample size=2,876, multiple answer)

  Male Female
Shops, leisure facilities are packed 39.9% 35.0%
Television is boring 36.8% 34.0%
Overeat, put on weight 31.1% 42.3%
Spend lots of money 30.9% 35.3%
Traffic jams 30.0% 23.4%
Hospitals, etc, are shut 28.6% 26.7%
Travel costs are high 26.0% 25.1%
Cannot stick to normal schedule 12.3% 15.7%
Painful memories on New Year’s Eve (from unaccomplished objectives, etc) 7.3% 7.6%
Don’t like meeting relatives 6.0% 12.9%
Have to work even though everyone else is on holiday 4.7% 6.0%
Too much free time 2.8% 3.4%
Partner is around the house the whole time 0.8% 7.4%
Cannot meet up with friends 0.7% 2.1%
Other 2.2% 5.5%
Nothing in particular 14.6% 11.2%

Q6: How much do you usually put into the offering box when visiting temples on New Year? (Sample size=2,876, top ten answers)

Rank   Percentage
1 100 yen 30.5%
2 5 yen 24.2%
3 10 yen 10.2%
4 500 yen 4.2%
5 55 yen 4.0%
6 50 yen 4.0%
7 25 yen 2.6%
8 115 yen 2.1%
9 1,000 yen 1.4%
10 300 yen 0.4%

Older people tended to offer 100 yen, younger 5 yen.

Demographics

Between the 16th and 22nd of December 2016 2,876 members of the Nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given, although looking at the results there was perhaps just a nominal number of those in their twenties.

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