February 23: National Day in Japan

Japan’s National Day is on Friday 23 February. Read about the traditional celebrations and find resources for Japanese networks and events in Denmark.

Emperor Naruhito was born on February 23 1960; this is celebrated as an annual public holiday in Japan.

Many citizens write letters to the emperor during the week leading up to his birthday.

On the emperor’s birthday, a public ceremony takes place at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, where the gates are opened. The palace is usually off-limits to the public without a permit, and only the surrounding park can be visited.

The emperor, empress and members of the imperial family appear on a palace balcony to acknowledge the birthday greetings.

In the evening, national television broadcasts a special during which the emperor addresses a few words of thanks to the country.

Celebrating the Emperor must not be confused with February 11th which is Japan’s National Foundation Day.

This day is a national holiday for Japanese people to remind themselves of the nation’s founding and foster their love for the nation. It marks the traditional date on which, according to the ancient texts Nihon Shoki and Kohjiki which comprise the oldest official history of the nation, Emperor Jimmu founded Japan in 660 BC.

Japanese social and cultural resources in Denmark:
Dansk-Japansk Venskabsforening: djvf.dk
Dansk-Japansk Selskab: www.dansk-japanskselskab.dk
Den Japanske Forening i Danmark: www.jdnet.dk
Japan Foreningen: https://www.facebook.com/japanskkultur (Danish only)