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Japan

Japan

Capital

Tokyo

Language

Japanese

Population

127,630,000 (September 2011)

National Flower

Cherry, chrysanthemum

Religion

Shinto, Buddhism

Currency

Yen

Location

Located outside the northeastern side of Asian continent. All the islands spread as a arc, narrow and long from north to south, stretching about 3000 km.

History

Japan claimed its statehood for over 2600 years so far.

Through the Meiji Restoration and the battless of Sino-Japanese and Rosso-Japanese, it became one of the powerful countries and launched second World War till the defeat. After the defeat, the Allied forces occupied it shortly. The constitutions were re-established under the guidance of General Command of the Allied forces, expressed “sovereignty among people, abandon wars”.

After the outbreak of Korean War in 1950, The economic power became stronger and stronger under the support of United States. It has became one of eight advanced countries (G8) and played an important role internationally.

Major
Festivals

  • January 1st:New Year (shogatsu)

This is the most important holiday in Japan. Although the national holiday is only on January 1st, many companies and business firms will have days off till January 3rd.

  • Second Monday in February: Coming of Age Day (seijin no hi)

Men and Women who will soon be 20-year-old adults attend the ceremony on this national holiday.

  • February 3rd:setsubun

Setsubun is not a national holiday, but celebrated in shrines and temples all over the country.

  • February 11th (National holiday):National Foundation Day (kenkoku kinenbi)

According to the early Japanese history, the first emperor became the King on this day in 660 BC

  • February 14th : Valentine’s Day, Japanese women give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day.
  • March 3rd: Girl’s Festival ((hina matsuri), also known as Girl’s Day.
  • March 14th: White Day

A holiday corresponding to the Valentine’s Day. Men give cakes or chocolates to women.

  • March 20th: Vernal Equinox(shunbun no hi), sweep the tombs (ohigan) during the week of Vernal Equinox.
  • April 29th : Showa Day(Showa no hi)

The birthday of former Showa Emperor. Before 2007, April 29 was the Greenery Day (now celebrate on May 4th.) Showa Day is part of the Golden Week.

  • May 3rd: Constitution Day (kenpo kinenbi)

The holiday is in the memory of the implementation of new constitution after the war.

  • May 4th: Greenery Day

Before 2006, Greenery Day was celebrated on April 29th at the birthday of former Emperor Showa. Because the Emperor loved plants and the nature. But now it is celebrated on May 4th as a part of Golden Week.

  • May 5th: Children’s Day (kodomo no hi), also known as the Boy’s Day.
  • July 7th: Chinese lover’s day (tanabata), Tanabata is a festival rather than a national holiday.
  • The third Monday of July: Sailing Day (umi no hi)

The recently announced national holiday. The purpose is to celebrate the sea. This day is the day Emperor Meiji sailed back to Hokkaido from the voyage in 1876.

  • August 15th: Obon Festival, it is to commemorate the past ancestors.

The third Monday of September: Respect for the Aged Day (keiro no hi), the national holiday to respect the elders and celebrate the longevity.

  • September 23rd: Autumnal Equinox (shubun no hi), sweeping the tombs (ohigan) in the week of Autumnal Equinox.
  • Second Monday of October: Sports Day (taiiku no hi), Tokyo Olympics Games opened on this day 1964.
  • November 3rd: Culture Day (bunka no hi)

It is the day aimed at promoting equality and freedom. In Culture Day, the schools and governments will present awards to people who contribute special achievements in cultural activities.

  • November 15th: Japanese Children’s Day (shichigosan),the children rite of Japanese Children’s Day, (Seven-Five-Three Day) is not a national holiday.

 

  • November 23rd: Labor Thanksgiving Day (kinro kansha no hi), this national holiday is aimed at paying respect to the labors.
  • December 23rd : Emperor's Birthday (tenno no tanjobi), the birthday of the current Emperor is the national holiday. If the regime changes, this national holiday will be changed to the new emperor’s birthday.
  • December 24-25th: Christmas.

Christmas is not a national holiday, but more and more Japanese celebrate it.

  • December 31st : New Year's Eve (omisoka)


Sources: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of China
(http://www.mofa.gov.tw/Official/Regions/)