|Significance||Honors the blessings of the oceans and economic prosperity of maritime Japan|
|Date||Third Monday in July|
|2018 date||July 16|
|2019 date||July 15|
|2020 date||July 23|
|2021 date||July 19|
Marine Day (海の日 Umi no Hi), also known as "Ocean Day" or "Sea Day", is a Japanese national holiday usually celebrated on the third Monday in July. In 2020, the holiday will be observed on Thursday, July 23, the day prior to the opening of the Tokyo Olympics. The purpose of the holiday is to give thanks to the ocean's bounty and to consider the importance of the ocean to Japan as an island nation.
Many people take advantage of the holiday and summer weather to take a beach trip. Other ocean-related festivities are observed as well. The date roughly coincides with the end of the rainy season (梅雨 tsuyu) in much of the Japan mainland.
The day was known as Marine Memorial Day (海の記念日 umi no kinen bi) until 1996. Communications Minister Shozo Murata designated the day in 1941 to commemorate the Meiji Emperor and his 1876 voyage in the Meiji Maru, an iron steamship constructed in Scotland in 1874. The voyage included a trip around the Tōhoku region, embarking on a lighthouse boat in Aomori, and a brief stop in Hakodate before returning to Yokohama on July 20 of that year. However, it was not designated a national holiday until 1995, when it became the first holiday in the summer months.
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On this day, families visit the sea and swim, snorkel, surf, or dive. People may also participate in an event called ‘mud-ball throwing’. Mud-balls are composed of ‘Effective Micro-organisms" (EMs), which help break-down and eliminate sea grime. National aquariums also host special water-related events on this day.
- "東京五輪、開会式前後が４連休に 閉会式前後は３連休：朝日新聞デジタル". 朝日新聞デジタル (in Japanese). Retrieved July 14, 2019.
- 国民の祝日について (in Japanese). Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "Marine Day (Third Monday in July)". Cross Currents. University of Hawaii. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "The Meiji-maru". Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- Iida, Masao (June 2002). 橋から見た隅田川の歴史 (History of the Sumida River as seen from a bridge) (in Japanese). 文芸社. p. 52. ISBN 9784835538945. Retrieved July 17, 2012.
- "Marine Day (Third Monday of July)". JET Programme. Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Archived from the original on May 30, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2012.