|Significance||honors the birthday of the Shōwa Emperor (Hirohito), the reigning Emperor from 1926 to 1989|
|Next time||29 April 2014|
|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. 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 Allies’ International 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.
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, 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. Hirohito's reign saw, among other things, the end of Taishō Democracy, the May 15 Incident, the February 26 Incident, the rise of Fascism, World War II, the post-war occupation,and the rise of Japan as an industrial and economic power.
|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|