Tag Archives: 建国記念の日

Anniversary of Japan’s Foundation

11 Feb

Today is 建国記念日 (Kenkoku-kinenbi). In English, “Anniversary of Japan’s Foundation” or “National Foundation Day”.

kenkoku-kinenbi

In theory, people are meant to reflect on their love of country and what it means to be “Japanese”.
In reality though, hardly anyone does anything special on this day. Many generations ago, it may have been different…but today, it’s just seen as “a day off” to most people.

You can see Japanese flag hung from street lights and also on the front grill of city buses…but that’s not particular to this holiday—that’s done on every national holiday in Japan.

建国記念日

11 Feb

Today is a Japanese national holiday…so we all have the day off.

It’s called 建国記念日 (National Foundation Day).

I have a short FAQ about this holiday on my main website. (Click here to see it.)

This holiday used to be called 起源説 (Empire Day) and celebrated the “divinity” of the Emperor of Japan.

After Japan’s surrender at the end of World War II, the American Occupying Forces abolished 起源説 (Empire Day) and declared the Emperor of Japan was a mortal.

At that point the holiday was renamed 建国記念日 (National Foundation Day) and is a day to commemorate the founding of Japan as a country with the ascension of the first Emperor on February 11, 660 B.C.

If you’re in Japan on a national holiday, you will notice 日の丸 (Japanese flags) on the front of city buses and on the front of 交番 (Koban Police Boxes). This is a custom in Japan on holidays…but especially on 建国記念日 (National Foundation Day).