National Foundation Day

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National Foundation Day
National Foundation Day
National Foundation Day parade with a mikoshi in a street of Tokyo
Observed by Japan
TypeNational holiday
SignificanceCelebrates the founding of the nation
DateFebruary 11

National Foundation Day (建国記念の日, Kenkoku Kinen no Hi) is a national holiday in Japan celebrated annually on 11 February. It celebrates the legendary foundation of Japan, and the accession of its first emperor, Emperor Jimmu, at Kashihara gū.[1]

History[change | change source]

According to Shinto tradition, Emperor Jimmu ascended the throne in 660 BC. During the Meiji period, historians said this was 11 February 660 BC.[2]

The holiday was celebrated for the first time in 1873 AD. They called it the National Empire Day. Historians believe that the Meiji government did this to make the Meiji Emperor look like a successor of Emperor Jimmu. The Meiji-era constitution was announced on February 11 1889.[2]

After the occupation ended, nationalist groups in Japan tried to convince the government to bring back the holiday. After a few years, they did. They called it National Foundation Day instead of National Empire Day and removed most of the imperial imagery.[2]

Today, some groups in Japan like National Foundation Day and other groups protest it because they think it is too close to the actions that led up to World War II.[2]

Related pages[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "8 out of 10 Japanese didn't know February 11 was National Foundation Day". 15 February 2015. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 "Japanese Holiday on 11 February marks national controversy". Stripes Japan. Retrieved February 4, 2021.