All posts tagged: history

Japan Diaries: Greenery Day (Golden Week)

Happy Greenery Day! Also known as Midori No Hi. Today is centred on nature and showing appreciation for its blessings, but also has a pretty cool history behind it, Originally this day was celebrated on April 29th, the birthday of Emperor Hirohito (or Emperor Showa) who died in 1989. After his death, the holiday was transformed into a more national celebration of nature and in 2007 was given its current date of May 4. Greenery Day was established to honour the Emperor’s love for nature, and Japanese people take this day very seriously. Hirohito was a vastly popular leader and was also the author of approximately 14 books on biology. He was the first “human” emperor of Japan, ending the belief that emperors were divine beings. Source, Planet Tokyo Things to do: Visit a tea room and sample some of the BEST green tea in celebration of all things green. Tokyo tower is one of the most popular places to visit. The tower is lit up with bright colours to represent flows and natural beauty associated …

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 …

Japan Diaries: Showa Day (Golden Week)

Golden Week is a national Japanese holiday which starts today! What is it? A collection of four (days) within a week. Instead of just giving people those four holidays off, many offices end up closing for about 7-10 days, giving their employees a full week of freedom. Even if they’re not given the whole week, many employees will just take time off anyway. The holiday week starts on April 29th and goes through May 5th. Source, Tofugu Dates: April 29th, Showa Day / May 3rd, Constitution Day / May 4th,  Greenery Day / May 5th,  Children’s Day Today marks the celebration of late Emperor Hirohito, the Shōwa Emperor who sat the Chrysanthemum throne from 1926 until 1989. It is intended to be a time to reflect upon the events of Emperor Hirohito’s 63 year rule, the most significant of which are the putting down of the Taisho Democracy, two military coups d’états, World War II, the post-War occupation and dismantling of Imperial rule, and Japan’s rise to economic power. Source, Gaijinpot Things to do: Many …

Pretty In Pink, Sakura

Tis the season tourists always hope to witness, Sakura! Until last year I had no idea that the States also had cherry blossoms, I know silly right BUT I think that’s because it’s not really celebrated in the same way the Japanese do. In Japan, cherry blossoms also symbolize the transience of life, which is a major theme in Buddhism. The cherry-blossom tree is known for its short but brilliant blooming season, a natural process that metaphorically describes human life. Source Over here we also have a watch, which is basically a map that pinpoints when and where they’ll bloom. According to the watch today officially marks the beginning of the season for us. I went in search of some earlier today but haven’t seen any that have blossomed SO below a few photos I took last year. It’s a shame the occasion only lasts about a week before they fall and the ground looks like a candy floss machine exploded! We live near lots of trees and its lovely seeing a trail of pink. …