June 30, 2016
  • Rakuten Research, Inc.

Rakuten Research Releases Results of Survey on Mountain Day and the O-Bon Vacation

- More Than 70% of People Know about Mountain Day, and One in Five People Will Visit Their Ancestors’ Graves during This Year’s O-Bon Vacation -

Tokyo, June 30, 2016 – Rakuten Research carried out an online survey on Mountain Day (Yama no Hi) and the O-Bon vacation. 1,000 men and women from around Japan aged 20 to 69 were selected from among monitors registered with Rakuten Research (around 2.3 million people) to complete the survey, which was conducted over a two-day period from Friday, June 17 to Saturday, June 18, 2016.

Overview of Survey Results

More than 70% of people know about Mountain Day, which was established as a new public holiday starting this year, but less than 10% of people intend to go to the mountains on Mountain Day

When respondents were asked whether they knew of the existence of Mountain Day, which was established as a new public holiday starting this year, the most prevalent response (43.7%) was “I have only heard the name,” followed by “I know the exact date of Mountain Day” (30.1%), meaning that more than 70% (73.8%) of respondents were aware that Mountain Day had been newly established starting this year.

Although the results revealed a high degree of awareness of Mountain Day, when asked if they were happy that this public holiday had been established, around half of the respondents said they were “neither happy nor unhappy” (48.6%). A total of 36.6% of respondents replied that they were “happy / very happy” compared to a total of 14.8% who replied that they were “not happy / not very happy,” meaning more people felt happy about the new holiday.

When asked if they actually wanted to go to the mountains on Mountain Day, around half of the respondents (49.4%) said they “do not want to go,” compared to 8.9% who said they “want to go,” a 40.5 percentage point gap. Additionally, when looked at by gender, 12.0% of males and 5.8% of females said they “want to go,” or roughly twice as many men as women, and when looked at by age group the ratios were somewhat higher for people in their 20s (13.4%) and 30s (13.1%) than for other age groups.

The most common plan for this year’s O-Bon vacation is to “spend it at home.” One in five people plan to “visit ancestors' graves”

When asked what their plans were for this year’s O-Bon vacation, the most common answer from the respondents (32.6%) was “spend it at home.” Among those respondents planning to go out, the leading response (20.2%) was “visit their ancestors’ graves,” followed by “return to the family home” (15.6%), revealing that one in five people will visit their ancestors’ graves during the O-Bon vacation. Looked at by age group, a higher ratio of people in their 60s said they planned to “visit ancestors’ graves” (30.9% of people in their 60s compared to an average of 17.3% for other age groups). Additionally, as the age group rose, so too did the ratio of people planning to “spend it at home” (people in their 20s: 22.9%; people

Also, when asked if the new Mountain Day public holiday would affect their plans for the O-Bon vacation in any way, more than 60% (65.9%) said it “will have no impact” on their O-Bon vacation, revealing that many people’s plans will not be affected by having an extra day off. 

The reason for visiting
ancestors’ graves is to “hold memorial services.” Around 70% of people have visited their ancestors’ graves once or more in the past year.

When people who said they were planning to “visit ancestors’ graves” during the O-Bon vacation were asked the reason why, 74.3% said it was “to hold memorial services,” 61.4% said “because it is an annual custom,” followed by 42.1% who said it was “to clean the graves.” Among people in their 20s, around one in five (19.4%) said that when they visit their ancestors’ graves they “will ask my ancestors for something.” Additionally, when people who conversely said they were not planning to visit their ancestors’ graves were asked the reason why, 27.8% replied “because I visit my ancestors’ graves at a time other than the O-Bon vacation,” followed by 13.2% who replied “the graves are located too far away for me to travel to them” and 12.0% who replied “I do not customarily visit my ancestors’ graves.”

When asked how many times they had visited their ancestors’ graves over the past year, the most prevalent answer (24.9%) was “not even once,” but among those who had, the most prevalent answer was “once” (20.8%), followed by “twice” (19.3%), and “three times” (9.8%). 4.9% replied “10 times or more.” The survey revealed that just under 70% (68.9%) had visited their ancestors’ graves once or more over the past year.

Survey Overview
Area: Japan
Survey target: Men and women aged 20-69
Samples returned: 1,000
*Tallied in line with the Population Estimate for Japan’s population as of October 1, 2014, which was announced by the Statistics Bureau, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on April 17, 2015
Survey period: June 17 to 18, 2016
Organization conducting survey: Rakuten Research

*Please note that the information contained in press releases is current as of the date of release.

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