manners in japan
Alphabetical order
chugen Chugen
-(or Ochugen)
-(Midyear present)
funeral Funeral
miai Miai
-(or Omiai)
-(Meeting for marriage)
nakoudo Nakoudo
seibo Seibo
-(or Oseibo)
-(Year-end gift)
wedding Wedding
chugen (or ochugen)

What is "Chugen (or Ochugen)"?
The word of "Chugen" is from Taoism.
In the Taoism, there are three events in one year.
1st is called "Jogen". 2nd is called "Chugen". 3rd is called "Kagen".
  The "Chugen" was performed around 15th July (on the lunar calendar). Originally, "chugen" was an event praying to the god to expiate people's sin. People gave a votive offering and prayed god.
July 15 (on the lunar calendar) is also the day of Bon Festival (Urabone) of the Buddhism . The event in the taoism on July 15 spread to Japan, and was mixed with the event of Buddhism.
  People came to distribute the gift to the vicinity and the close relative. (That present was originally the one offered to the dead at Bon Festival.)
  Afterwards, in Japan, "the chugen ceremony" has changed into the custom of doing the present to an indebted person. The package like this image is used for the present of "Chugen".

We call this package "noshi" or "noshigami" in Japanese.
The title of Ochugen

is written on upper half of this package. And, a presenter's name is written on lower half of this one.

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To whom is the Ochugen presented?
  Generally, we send Ochugen (Midyear present) to the following list.
  (1)The relative. (2)The Nakoudo (matchmaker). (3)The physicians or doctor in charge. (4)The teacher at each learning. (5)The superior and the customer in the company etc. .
  If you judge from your idea you were not especially indebted from them, it is not necessary to present Ochugen to the superior in the company and the teacher at the school.
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When is the Ochugen presented?
  In modern days, most people do not present Ochugen on 15th July of the old calendar.
The greater part of people will present Ochugen by July 1st to July 15th on the solar calendar.
  That gift becomes a name of "Shochumimai" or "Shochuoukagai" between about July 16 and about August 8. This name means that we prays for other party's health in the hot season. August 8 is the beginning day of autumn in the traditional Japanese calendar.
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What goods are presented to the Ochugen(Midyear present)?
  Today, it is popular to present the Sanchokuhin. Do you know the word of sanchokuhin? It is the word meaning "Commodity or goods that will be sent directly from the producer or production's shop or production's factory". We call "sanchokuhin" or "sanchichokusouhin" about them.
  In sanchokuhin, we select the commodity with the local speciality, or goods with something special and wonderful charm.
In other ideas, it seems that a preference beverage such as the beer, beverage and coffee and practical goods such as the seasoning, the washing detergent and soap are good.
  Please decide the present in consideration of other party's favor and family structure.
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How much is the budget of this present?
  There is a gift of the rank (2000,3000,5000, 10000, and 20000 yen) around about 3000 yen. The budget of Ochugen is decided according to the level of association with the other party.
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