National Foundation Day in Japan by Mariko Okamoto

Today is a National Holiday in Japan. Mariko gives a brief explanation of this event. English version follows below!


Japan’s “National Foundation Day” is “to commemorate the founding of and to promote patriotism in Japan”. Now a national holiday, the day is celebrated as a “Founding Festival” at shrines and temples around the country.

“National Foundation Day” dates from the Meiji era, at that time it was called “Kigensetsu”.

According to Japanese folklore Emperor Jimmu was the first emperor and he is thought to have been crowned in 660 BC. He was a descendant of the Sun goddess Amaterasu by her grandson Ninigi and the Storm god Susanu. Jimmu took an army from Nyagu in the south island of Kyushu to capture Yamato, modern day Nara Prefecture on the main island of Honshu and from here he ruled Japan.

February 11 was the date Emperor Jimmu was crowned, however there is no documentation to support the historical facts, so now the festival is generally known as “National Day” instead of the “National Foundation day.”

In 1948, following the second world war “Kigensetsu” was discontinued but in 1966 following popular appeal the National Assembly reinstated the festival.

London and UK Taxi Tours welcome all Japanese visitors to London and encourage you to enjoy a taxi tour. It’s the most efficient way to see London and England.