Tag Archives: 建国記念日

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.

昨日は・・・

12 Feb

Yesterday, February 11th, was the anniversary of a few things…not all of them good.

For one, February 11th is a holiday in Japan. 「建国記念日」 (“National Founding Day”). (Click here for my short FAQ about it.)

It was kind of a waste that February 11 was on a Saturday this year because most people already had the day off and the holiday wasn’t observed on another day. If it was a Sunday, then tomorrow (Monday) would have been a day off.
Oh well.

February 11th also happens to be my father-in-law’s birthday.

Those two are the “happy” anniversaries of February 11th. The following two are more somber ones:

Yesterday, February 11 (2012), was the eleven-month anniversary of the 2011 March 11 earthquake / tsunami in north-eastern Japan.

The other sad event happened exactly twenty-four years ago yesterday. On 1988 February 11. At my high school in Florida.
It was many years until I was finally able to talk about this. Maybe it was post-traumatic shock.
But at lunch time on 1988 February 11, I was a senior-year high school student (in the final year of high school) and when I went into the lunch room I witnessed two students in a struggle with some teachers and then suddenly one of the boys drew a gun and shot the assistant principal Richard Allen fatally in the head!
All of the students in the lunch room began screaming and running but I suppose I was in shock because I just stood there staring. Everyone seemed to be running past me in slow-motion.
The memory no longer wakes me in nightmare but I will never forget that day.

A memorial photo of Richard Allen at my former high school in Florida (Pinellas Park HS).

If you click here, you can read a newspaper article about the tragic shooting at my former high school that was written four years ago on the twentieth anniversary.

Richard Allen, R.I.P.

アキラ

12 Feb

Yesterday was a holiday here in Japan. Called 「建国記念日」 (“National Foundation Day“).
(Click here to see my short FAQ about it.)

My wife, kids and I went to a カラオケボックス (Karaoke Box) and had lunch there.
After that we stopped by the DVD rental shop and picked up a couple more episodes of the American TV series “Prison Break“.
We’ve been watching a few episodes every month since last November.
We’re enjoying it.
We’re up to episode eight of season two….don’t tell me how it ends. 😉

We also rented a DVD that I wanted to watch…「毎日どっきりvs出川」.
It a show in which a celebrity here in Japan is chosen and the cast of the show play elaborate practical jokes on that celebrity every day for a month.
It was a funny DVD…but not as good as I expected.

Also, this post is titled 「アキラ」 (“Akira“) because I heard that America plans to make a live action movie remake of the Japanese anime titled 「アキラ」 (“Akira“).

The anime is about a motorcycle gang in Tokyo in the future.

Hollywood doesn’t really have a good track record of remaking Japanese anime into movies.
So, I wonder how this one will turn out.
(Click here to see the post about Japanese movies remade by Hollywood…some done well and others not.)

By the way, if you’re in Tokyo now, it’s forecast to snow tonight and tomorrow. So be careful if you go out tomorrow. (If it snows, it’ll probably only be a little bit though).

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).