National Foundation Day

Japanese National Holiday: National Foundation Day

Posted by on February 9, 2017 – School News

The National Foundation Day, 建国記念けんこくきねん, is a Japanese national holiday celebrated on February 11. This day marks the founding of the nation and the accession of the first Emperor Jimmu!

According to the legend, the Emperor Jimmu is a descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu and Japan’s first ruler. His accession is traditionally dated as 660 BCE, on the first day of the first month following the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

National Foundation Day was originally called 紀元節 (Empire Day). Proclaimed by the Meiji government in 1872, Empire Day was likely created to unify the country under the Imperial family’s rule. The same year Japan decided to officially adopt the Gregorian calendar was the first time this day was observed on January 29th.

In 1873, Empire Day was moved to the 11th of February. Indeed, as many Japanese were still observing the Chinese calendar, the Empire Day was confused with the New Year celebrations. Empire Day was abolished after World War II and re-established as National Foundation Day in 1966.

The school will be closed on Saturday 11th! See you back on Monday!