数え年 – kazoedoshi – Eastern Age

In Japan and other Far East countries, a person’s age increments on New Year’s Day, and on their actual birthday, but only for the current year. This way of calculating age is called 数え年kazoedoshi.

How to find your kazoedoshi?

Before your birthday, add 2 years. After your birthday, add 1 year.

If your birthday has not come yet this year, add 2 to your actual age.

If your birthday has already come this year, add 1 to your actual age.

Once you add your age on your birthday, you won’t add 1 until next New Year’s Day.

Kazoedoshi calculator link. (Japanese language only, use your browser’s translator).


In Shinto, most ceremonies related a person’s age use the Eastern Age, therefore Westerners need to add one to their age to get the Eastern Age. Example ceremonies where age is used: Yakuyoke/Yakubarai and the Hitogata used in Toshikoshi-no-Ōharae.

On Setsubun, our Shrine has the custom for people who are having yakudoshi (critical year), request to have gokitō held, such as yakubarai Gokitō ceremony. Request yours at here.

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