How present-day Japanese view New Year


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)

Make it all myself3.5%4.9%
Make most of it myself, but buy some in10.8%21.0%
Make some of it myself, but buy most in22.0%36.7%
Buy it all26.6%19.9%
Don’t each Osechi33.1%14.0%

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

1Kazunoko (herring roe)43.6%Kurikinton (chestnut in sweet paste)51.6%
2Black beans42.3%Black beans48.6%
3Kurikinton (chestnut in sweet paste)41.6%Datemaki (sweet rolled omelette)37.1%
4Datemaki (sweet rolled omelette)40.9%Chikuzenni (simmered chicken and vegetables)36.5%
5Roast beef, roast pork40.1%Kazunoko (herring roe)33.3%
6Red and white kamaboko (fish paste)34.1%Roast beef, roast pork31.9%
7Kombu 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
2Curry rice39.4%
3Soba, udon noodles33.9%
4Sushi, sashimi29.6%
5Nabe (hotpot)19.2%
6Yakiniku (grilled beef), steak17.6%
7White rice, rice steeped in green tea17.2%
8Pizza, pasta16.7%
9Bread, sandwich13.7%
10Miso soup, other soups13.7%

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

Watching television50.2%49.3%
Visiting a temple, shrine45.5%45.4%
Checking, writing New Year postcards40.7%48.2%
Visit parents, relatives29.8%38.2%
Pass Otoshidama (money gifts for children)10.8%13.6%
Watch a movie8.0%8.1%
Sleep in7.5%8.7%
Visit graves6.6%9.1%
Go to the sales, buy a lucky bag5.7%10.6%
Watch the first sunrise of the year6.6%4.0%
Meet with friends4.1%4.7%
Go on a trip3.7%4.7%
Think about resolutions, objectives for the year3.3%5.5%
Nothing in particular17.6%13.8%

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

Shops, leisure facilities are packed39.9%35.0%
Television is boring36.8%34.0%
Overeat, put on weight31.1%42.3%
Spend lots of money30.9%35.3%
Traffic jams30.0%23.4%
Hospitals, etc, are shut28.6%26.7%
Travel costs are high26.0%25.1%
Cannot stick to normal schedule12.3%15.7%
Painful memories on New Year’s Eve (from unaccomplished objectives, etc)7.3%7.6%
Don’t like meeting relatives6.0%12.9%
Have to work even though everyone else is on holiday4.7%6.0%
Too much free time2.8%3.4%
Partner is around the house the whole time0.8%7.4%
Cannot meet up with friends0.7%2.1%
Nothing in particular14.6%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
1100 yen30.5%
25 yen24.2%
310 yen10.2%
4500 yen4.2%
555 yen4.0%
650 yen4.0%
725 yen2.6%
8115 yen2.1%
91,000 yen1.4%
10300 yen0.4%

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


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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