Bebe Taian: Bunka no Hi: Culture Day

November 3, 2010

Bunka no Hi: Culture Day

With one hour left tonight, I write about Bunka no Hi. Technically, this was yesterday, I believe, because of the thirteen-hour time difference from Eastern time USA to Japanese time. Bunka no Hi, for those who don't know, is "Culture Day" in Japan. It is a national holiday, unlike many other holidays and festivals, which are often fragmented and regional. On this day, the Emperor may bestow an award to those who have made significant advances in science, arts, or culture. This award is not limited to Japanese citizens, and may be given to anyone!

Bunka no Hi is the best day for new projects in academics to debut, and it is also the day where art festivals, parades, and awards are given out for academic pursuits. The holiday was established in 1946 on November the 3rd to commemorate the signing of the Japanese Constitution, but the date historically has a much older significance than that! November 3rd is also the Meiji Emperor's birthday (1868-1912), and has been celebrated since 1868, when it was called 'Tenchou-setsu'. To some, "Culture Day" is considered to be an extension of Meiji-sama's birthday by way of re-naming. Otanjyoubi omedetou, Meiji-sama! Although, really, Tenchou-setsu was discontinued when Bunka no Hi was established, and the two holidays are completely unrelated.

What projects or cultural practices have you embraced today?

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