It is a Japanese custom to give shussan iwai (出産祝い) to the mother and father of a newborn child with whom one has a relationship, such as family, friends, etc. to celebrate the birth of the child. Shussan iwai can consist of cash only placed in an envelope specially made for that purpose called Goshuugibukuro (ご祝儀袋), a gift that the baby can use such as clothes and toys, or both. How much money is given or spent on gifts depends on the relationship of the giver with the couple. The couple is expected to give a gift back to the people from whom the gifts or money were received. This is called uchi iwai (内祝い) and its’ value depends on the value of the money or gift received from the giver. Examples are photo frames, fruits, small hand towels and sweets. Uchi iwai allow couples to share their joy with the givers and at the same time say thank you for any money or gifts received. Sending photos of the child and a thank you note with it is appropriate.
My Japanese wife Akemi and I have received plenty of shussan iwai for our daughter Tina who was born on August 18th of this year. You can read an earlier post that I wrote on Tina’s birth by clicking here. Some of the gifts which we received are in the photo. Gifts received included some from students of my English conversation school (英会話スクール), Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi (スミス英会話塚口校) in Tsukaguchi , Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture (兵庫県尼崎市塚口町). We are very thankful to all who kindly gave us something. I think that shussan iwai and uchi iwai in Japan are very nice. They help maintain good relationships, everybody can share in the joy of a baby’s birth and everybody gets a present! (^.^) I love Japan!
Smith’s School of English Tsukaguchi
Check out my school’s web site at http://www.smithweb.co.jp/school/tsukaguchi.shtml !!
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