Shōwa Day

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Shōwa Day
Observed by Japan
Type National
Significance honors the birthday of the Shōwa Emperor (Hirohito), the reigning Emperor from 1926 to 1989
Date April 29
Related to The Emperor's Birthday

Shōwa Day (昭和の日 Shōwa no Hi?) is a Japanese annual holiday held on April 29. It honors the birthday of the Shōwa Emperor (Hirohito), the reigning emperor from 1926 to 1989.[1] The purpose of the holiday is to encourage public reflection on the turbulent 63 years of Hirohito's reign.

Coincidentally, Showa day happens in the same date that in 1946 the AlliesInternational Military Tribunal for the Far East condemned key officials of the Imperial Hirohito government during World War II to death, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.

History[edit]

Emperor Hirohito died on January 7, 1989. April 29 was subsequently no longer celebrated as The Emperor's Birthday but instead as Greenery Day, part of Japan's Golden Week. After a series of failed legislative attempts beginning in 2000[citation needed], the April 29 holiday was finally renamed Shōwa Day in May 2005, and Greenery Day was moved from April 29 to May 4.

According to the then-main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (which backed the bill for the first time after many years of refusal), the holiday encourages public reflection on the turbulent 63 years of Hirohito's reign rather than glorifying the emperor himself.[2] Hirohito's reign saw, among other things, the end of Taishō Democracy, the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria, a period of 'government by assassination' including the attempted coups of May 15 1932 and February 26 1936, the rise of the totalitarian Taisei Yokusankai, World War II, the post-war occupation, and the Japanese post-war economic miracle.

Years April 29 May 4
before 1985 The Emperor's Birthday Non-holiday
1985–1988 The Emperor's Birthday National day of rest
1989–2006 Greenery Day National day of rest
2007–present Shōwa Day Greenery Day

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Golden Week". Japan-guide.com. 2009-05-13. Retrieved 2010-02-05. 
  2. ^ BBC news report Japan names day after Hirohito (BBC News, May 13, 2005).