Japan’s Showa Day: April 30
Showa Day is a public holiday in Japan.
Showa Day is celebrated in Japan to commemorate the birth date of Emperor Showa or Hirohito, the emperor of pre and post-World war II. Showa Day is a national holiday and part of the Golden Week which includes other notable Japanese holidays such as the Constitution Day (Kenpo kinenbi) on May 3, Greenery Day (Midori no hi) on May 4, and Children’s Day (Kodomo no hi) on May 5.
Showa is a posthumous name given to Emperor Hirohito after his death in 1989. Greenery Day was used to occupy the holiday on April 29th but was later scheduled on May 4.
History of Japan’s Showa Day
Before 1985, Emperor Hirohito’s birthday is celebrated on the 29th of April; however, upon his death in 1989, April 29 was designated as the Greenery Day, a day dedicated to nature and the environment. Emperor Hirohito is a lover of nature and an enthusiast in the field of marine biology. In fact, the Imperial Palace during his time has a laboratory dedicated to sea animals particularly to saltwater animal belonging to a class of sea animals known as Hydrozoans.
However, in 2007, a bill to put back Emperor’s Day to April 29 was passed. The bill however states that public celebration should encourage the public to reflect on the emperor’s troubled administration and Japan’s challenging recovery after the end of World War II.
Japan’s Showa Day: Traditions, Customs and Activities
The imperial palace and the government of Japan encourage the public to collectively reflect on the current condition of Japan and its future. It is also a time for Japan to commemorate the lives lost during World War II and acknowledge the efforts made when Japan is under economic and social recovery during the Showa the period.
Hotel accommodation rates and spike up during the Golden Week; this means that visiting tourists should request for reservation in advance to save on accommodation fees. As part of Japanese tradition, people visit Hirohito’s tomb in Hachiōji during the holiday.