Showa Day (昭和の日, Showa no hi). After accession to the throne of the 124th
emperor of Japan named Hirohito April 29 was set as
a national holiday and was being celebrated as "The Emperor’s Birthday” right
up to his death in 1989. Hirohito’s reigning years have been called Showa
period. After Hirohito’s demise The Public Holiday Law was amended and this
holiday was renamed into the Greenery Day remaining the national public
But why did
April 29 become the Showa Day in 2007? First, Showa period is the longest one
in Japanese history marked with indeed turning points in the country’s life –
World War II that had brought defeat to militaristic Japan; rapid economical
postwar upturn and improvement in quality of life; the Olympic Games and many
other events and developments the 20th century was saturated with.
defeat in World War II emperor Hirohito declared that he "becomes human” i.e.
waiving divine origin. That was one of the key moments in the Japanese postwar
As time goes by many Japanese have forgotten the
initial meaning and significance of this holiday. But some of them still keep
their divine emperor in mind and honor him even after his death. Thus there
have been some activists who wished the name of the holiday went more
comprehensive and reminding of past Showa period. The Law was appropriately
amended and, as we mentioned above, since 2007 this holiday has grasped its
name – the Showa Day. This day signifies the start of the Golden Week.