Japanese present-giving culture has a deep tradition rooted in meticulous thoughtfulness and aesthetics. In this culture, the very act of choosing a present is considered an expression of respect and appreciation for the recipient. When looking for a 'present of Japan' in Singapore, it is important to understand the meaning and spirit behind it.
■The appeal of Japan's gift-giving culture
In Japan, there is a custom of exchanging presents with each other at the change of seasons and on special occasions. These include 'ochugoto' and 'otoshi gorette' to express gratitude, and 'mementos' given for personal celebrations. In this way, the Japanese culture of presenting is beautiful in all aspects of life, from casual everyday moments to important once-in-a-lifetime milestones.
■What is Ochugen?
Ochugen is a present sent during the summer months (mainly from July to August). The custom evolved from a way of giving thanks to the spirits of ancestors, but is now used to show gratitude to business associates, friends, relatives and others who have been a part of your life. Generally, it also includes the meaning of a summer greeting, and is often given in the form of beverages, food, daily necessities and other items suitable for summer.
■What is Oseibo?
Oseibo(Year-end presents) are sent at the end of the year (mainly in December) and are given to close friends and business associates as an expression of gratitude for the year. The custom was originally intended to express gratitude to the gods and ancestors in preparation for the New Year, but now it has become an important opportunity to strengthen bonds between people and to express gratitude. It is common practice to choose food, beverages, daily necessities and other items that will help the recipient welcome the New Year.
■Pay attention to the customs and manners peculiar to Japan.
1.Pay attention to the wrapping
It is important to wrap presents carefully. Wrapping is very important in Japan and is also a sign of respect for the recipient.
2.some numbers should be avoided
Numbers can be associated with good or bad luck. For example, 4 (associated with death) and 9 (associated with suffering) should be avoided.
3.consider the balance of the price
It is important that the price of the present is appropriate to the relationship with the recipient and the occasion. Avoid presents that are excessively expensive or too cheap.
■5 Japanese presents that can be found in Singapore
1.Japanese beauty products
High-quality Japanese skincare and cosmetics products are available in many department stores and speciality shops in Singapore. Japanese beauty products are known for their attention to detail and effectiveness.
2.Japanese sweets sets
Traditional Japanese wagashi can easily be found in Japanese food shops in Singapore. These beautiful seasonal wagashi make heart-warming presents.
Beautiful Japanese ceramics can be found in select shops and Japanese brand shops in Singapore. Dishes that evoke traditional Japanese craftsmanship add a touch of colour to everyday life.
High-quality, well-designed Japanese stationery can be found in Singapore stationery shops and Japanese brand specialty shops. These are great presents to enrich your daily studies and work.
5.Matcha and Japanese tea
Japanese teas are widely available in supermarkets and speciality shops in Singapore. Matcha and green tea make excellent health and relaxation presents.
These items allow you to experience the present-giving culture of Japan while in Singapore, and will help you find heart-warming presents from Japan. Show your loved ones how much you care and appreciate them through these presents.