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Feb 10

Japan’s National Foundation Day

Japanese flags in Tokyo Ginza

The National Foundation Day is a public holiday in Japan and is celebrated every year on February 11. The day is celebrated to commemorate the formation of the nation and also for the establishment of the imperial line by the first Japanese ruler, Jimmu.
The day originally coincided with New Year’s Day according to the Chinese calendar and it is believed that Emperor Jimmu took the throne on this day. According to the Gregorian calendar, the day fell on January 29, which is the date when the festival was originally celebrated. It was then called Empire Day. It was in 1873 that the Japanese Government decided to shift the day to February 11, in order to make people realize the importance of the Foundation Day.

The government did not disclose the exact calculations used but propagated this day as the day when Jimmu took to the throne.The National Flag is raised which is followed by a speech by the Prime Ministe

r of Japan. In the era before the Second World W

ar, this day was celebrated with a great passion. After the abolishment and the re-establishment of this day, there is no grandeur associated with the day. The schools and offices in Japan remain closed on this day.  No grand parades or ceremonies are organized on National Foundation Day of Japan. Although people can be seen waving Japanese flags, the day is largely seen as one with only political significance. It was on this day in 1946 that the model Japanese Constitution was approved by General McArthur.

 

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