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Japan Diaries: Constitution Day (Golden Week)

Constitution day (also known as Kenpo Kinenbi) is a celebration of the end of war in Japan.

Held every year on the 3rd May to commemorate the promulgation in 1947 of Japan’s constitution. It was first celebrated in 1948 to reflect upon democracy and the role of the government. Source, Gaijinpot

The  new postwar constitution included: Human rights for everyone / End of War / No Japanese Army.

Unlike the Meiji Constitution that it replaced, the present Constitution declares that sovereignty lies with the people; the Emperor is “the symbol of the state and the unity of the people” who has no “powers related to government.” It asserts that people have fundamental human rights and renounces war. It is a very democratic document modelled on the American and British constitutions. Web Japan

For more on the history of this day, here.

Things to do:

  • Visit The National Diet Building
  • Attend public lectures.
  • Fly colourful streamers, in the shape of a fish which are called Koinobori. Which is also done during Showa and Children’s day.

Most people choose to spend this time with their family, whilst thinking about the past. Many people see the holiday as a time to appreciate the things that they may have taken for granted.

*Image source: Emma Wilson


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