This Month in Japan | September


Nagatsuki is the shortened form of Yonagazuki, meaning “long-night month” for what is today the month of September. Tsukimi or “Moon-viewing” parties are popular today but originally began in the Heian Era (794-1185 CE) to honor harvests and the beauty of the moon. At tsukimi celebrations, many feast on dumplings and celebrate the coming of autumn.

This month, two national holidays including Keiro no hi, or Respect for the Aged Day, and Autumnal Equinox Day are observed.


Respect for Aged day is celebrated on the 3rd Monday in September and is one of many Japan’s national holidays. It’s a holiday that is spent respecting, honoring, and giving gifts to the elders. It highlights the longevity of Japan’s elderly population.

“With improvements in healthcare, Japanese people are living longer than ever and the number of people over the age of 100 is expected to reach 32,000 next month.

One in five Japanese are aged 65 or older and Japanese women can expect to live to see their 85th birthday.” –


Autumnal Equinox Day usually falls on Sept 22 or 23. It is a period of time where Japanese people pay respects to their ancestors, elders, and important family members. Also, it marks the day that daylight will be getting shorter as winter approach.

“The Japanese have traditionally called the period around the autumnal and vernal (springtime) equinoxes higan. There’s a saying that goes, “both the heat and cold end with higan.Higan lasts for seven days – beginning three days prior to the equinox and ending three days after it. It occurs twice a year, once when the blustery winter temperatures give way to spring and again when the heat subsides and the cool, crisp air of autumn arrives.

Higan has Buddhist origins. It means the “other side of the river of death.” This side of the river is the world where we live, and the other side is the realm where the souls of those who have passed away dwell. To pray for the repose of deceased ancestors, visits are made to the family grave.” –

Introduction to Japanese Lifestyle


Have you ever wonder how other kinds of people live their life on a daily basis? It is a great way to explore and learn a bit more of what life is like from different perspectives. Today’s focus will be on the Japanese lifestyle.

  • Bowing is a prevalant custom in many Asian cultures that shows respect towards others. It is ingrain in people to do so for strangers, elderly, friends, families, and respected people.
  • Slurping while eating noodle dishes is a good sign and it is not considered rude like in other cultures. It shows that you are enjoying your meal.
  • Eating alone at home or at restaurants in Japan is very normal. Although some other people may see as odd, Japanese people see it as having alone time with yourself.
  • There are many Japanese holidays, but some of the most famous ones are Valentine’s Day, Children’s Day, Coming of Age, and Christmas. The Japanese culture has incorporated many influences into their cultures from other Asian and Western cultures.
  • Ever wonder why so much people in Japan wear masks while doing daily tasks? Due to health concerns such as allergy, people wear them to prevent them from getting sick.
  • Karaoke is a fun way to let people’s wall down, have food and drinks, and sing without trying to be a pro. The karaoke entertainment is widely available in many Asian countries because of it’s popularity. It is not uncommon that group of co-workers or friends go out together to karaoke together.
  • In Japan, it is very important to properly address someone based on their position as it is another custom of respect. It can also tell how superior or elderly someone is and how close they are to each other. This type of custom also exsist in other cultures.

These are just a few glimpse into the Japanese lifestyle. There are more customs, traditions, and holidays that the Japanese culture has. The more interested you are about another culture, the more you will learn from them.