Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Japan's National Foundation Day 2015

photo credits: Agence France-Presse/ Getty Images/ The Wall Street Journal
Today is Japan's Foundation Day. It's a holiday! So Yay!

In Japanese this day is  Kenkoku Kinen No Hi. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

This is believed to be the day when the first of emperor of Japan named Jimmu came into throne. This was supposed to coincide with the lunar New Year. But the Japanese followed the Gregorian calendar during the Meiji Era so the new year's date changed. The government then picked February 11th as the official National Foundation Day. Why they picked the 11th? Even historians has no definite answer. It was in 1873 when this day was officially proclaimed as a holiday. So today, Japan is celebrating 142 years.

However, there are really no big celebrations in Hamamatsu during this day. There are no parades or any festivities. The Prime Minister will deliver a speech in Tokyo. People will probably stay indoors and rest or maybe go to the mall. Schools and offices are closed- supposedly. I know some people who still planned to work today. (Oh well, carousel!) As for me, I'll just have ramen and go to karaoke with a friend later. That's how I'll celebrate today.

For more information on Japan's National Foundation Day, check out these wonderful blogs;

1. (Genkinahito's Blog) National Foundation Day in Japan

This post has a lot of colorful and interesting information about National Foundation Day.

''Today is National Foundation Day in Japan. The creation of the day uses elements that stem all the way back to Japan’s earliest history but the exact day, the eleventh of February, was decided during the Meiji period (1868-1912)
February 11th is a day that celebrates the foundation of Japan by Jimmu, the first Emperor of Japan and direct descendant of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu. Scholars are unsure of his origins but the original date was recorded in The Chronicles of Japan (Nihon Shoki).'' (Read More)
Another informative blog post that encapsulates the history of the National Foundation Day. 
''One day out of the year many nationalists groups and Shinto shrines throughout Japan celebrate a national holiday with parades and ceremonies, while the Japan Teachers Union and other groups assemble and rally in protest of the holiday.
That day is Kenkokukinen-no-Hi, or National Foundation Day, on Feb. 11. And its history and making are as complicated and controversial as the pastimes that now surround it.'' (Read more)
How about you, how do you celebrate National Holidays? 
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