Tokyo, 12 February 2022 (TDI): February 11th of every year is being celebrated in Japan as an annual national holiday in commemoration of the foundation of Japan. The Kenkoku Kinen no Hi in Japanese is a mandatory celebration by the order of Japan’s cabinet since 1966.

National foundation day reminds the Japanese people of the foundation of their nation, which instigates their passion for patriotism.

According to the Prime Minister of Japan Fumio Kishida, the purpose of the Foundation Day is “recalling the founding of the nation and cultivating a mindset of the love of the nation.”

It is a national holiday on which every Japanese citizen reminisces the efforts of their forefathers in getting the country to where it is today, and refurbishes their passion for the country’s future progress.

How to Celebrate National Foundation Day in Japan
Every Japanese citizen reminisces the efforts of their forefathers and all the process through history to build up the country and culture.

The revisions of the Public Holiday Law in 1966 (Showa 41) introduced National Foundation Day as a national holiday, which was implemented on February 11, 1967 (Showa 42).

According to Article 2 of the Law Concerning National Holidays (Holiday Law, Law No. 178, July 20, 1948, the goal of National Foundation Day is to: “Nourish a love for the country by commemorating the establishment of the country”. 

History of Japan National Foundation Day

11th of Feb denotes the traditional date on which the legend Emperor Jimmu founded Japan in 660 BC. From January 1873, Japan moved from the old Japanese calendar – a lunar calendar based on the waxing and waning of the moon – to the Gregorian calendar.

Said the day was the day of the enthronement of Emperor Jimmu as the first Japanese emperor and later named Empire Day (Kigen-setsu). The 11th February 660 BC is in the Chronicles of Japan as the day of enthronement. The very first history of Japan compiles different imperial orders.

Celebration Details

Concerning the events linked with preceding Kigensetsu, National Foundation Day celebrations are incredible. During the postwar period and up to the year 2000, there were two contrary sentiments: a fear of ultra-nationalism and a desire to recover cultural traditions.

As a result, people rarely expressed their patriotism or nationalism in public. But as a public holiday, government offices, schools, banks, and many businesses don’t operate.

Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples conduct the festivals such as the “kenkoku-sai” on this day. Patriots wave the flags and carry the Mikoshi, known in English as Portable shrines to the nearby Meiji Jingu Shirine.

Albeit, there is no state-sponsored celebration but the “National Foundation Day Celebration Central Ceremony”. However, the Japanese government sponsor the “Japan’s National Foundation Day Celebration” every year since 2020.

There is also the presence of an ambassador. The “National Foundation Day Celebration” and the “Celebration Steering Committee” renamed themselves “Japan’s National Foundation Day Celebration” and held separate ceremonies.

In brief, the day attracts spectators from all around Japan. They come to pay their respects to the nation’s leader and recall the country’s past.