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Let’s Have Some Respect for the Aged

Did you know that the world’s oldest man, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is Tomoji Tanabe, from Miyakonojo, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan?  He will be 113 on his birthday next week.

Today was  Respect for the Aged Day, Keiro no Hi, in Japan and it is a national holiday.  The holiday is relatively new, designated in 1966, and there aren’t many customs surrounding the day that originated back in 1951 when it was know as Toshiyori no Hi, or old people’s day. But Keiro no Hi is sure to gain significance as Japan struggles with an ageing population that includes over 36,000 people that will be 100 or older by the end of this month.

I am not a social anthropologist, but I surmise that the celebration of Keiro no Hi stems partially from the Buddhist belief that the sacrifices, wisdom and traditions of our ancestors should be honored and not forgotten. Whether you practice Buddhism, or not, Keiro no Hi is a nice reminder to make some time for the older members of our communities and families.

Source:  Japan Times, Centenarians expected to rise to record 36,276
Image Credit:  Flickr, Old couple in a rickshaw