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!

建国記念の日・2月11日
「建国記念の日」は「建国をしのび、国を愛する心を養う」日として、国民の祝日に定められており、当日は全国各地の神社仏閣で「建国祭」が行われます。
「建国記念の日」は明治時代に制定され、当時は「紀元節」と呼ばれていました。戦後すぐに日本を占領し、新しい国作りを指導していたGHQによって、昭和23年(1948年)に「紀元節」は廃止されますが、国民の多くが望んだため1966年に国会承認を経て復活しました。2月11日は初代の天皇である神武天皇が即位した日とされていますが、歴史的な事実を裏付ける資料がなく信憑性にかけるため、現在ではあえて「建国記念日」ではなく「建国記念の日」とされています。

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.

Leave a Reply