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Old 11-04-2006, 06:03 AM   #1

Community Relations
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 406


Culture Day

Culture Day (Bunka-no-hi) is a national holiday held annually in Japan on November 3 for the purpose of promoting culture, the arts, and academic endeavour. Festivities typically include art exhibitions, parades, and award ceremonies for distinguished artists and scholars.


November 3 has been a national holiday in Japan since the Meiji Period. Originally celebrated as The Emperor's Birthday—the Meiji Emperor was born on November 3—it was changed to Culture Day upon the Meiji Emperor's death in 1912.

With the official announcement of the post-war Japanese constitution on November 3, 1946, Culture Day gained additional significance, and has become a day for people to promote the values espoused in the post-war constitution. The day the constitution was officially adopted has its own holiday as well.

Current Practice

As Culture Day exists to promote the arts and various fields of academic endeavor, local and prefectural governments typically choose this day to hold art exhibits, culture festivals, and parades. For example, Hakone in Kanagawa prefecture holds the annual Federal Lord's Parade (Hakone Daimyo Gyoretsu) to exhibit Edo Period clothing and costumes. It is common for universities to present new research and projects on Culture Day.

Since 1937, the award ceremony for the prestigious Order of Culture has been held on this day. Given by the Emperor himself to those who have significantly advanced science, the arts or culture, it is one of the highest honors bestowed by the Imperial Family. The prize is not restricted to Japanese citizens, and for instance was awarded to the Apollo 11 astronauts upon their successful return from the moon.

Curiously, Culture Day is statistically one of the finest days of the year. Between 1965 and 1996, there have only been three years with rain occurring in Tokyo on Culture Day.

You can learn more about Culture Day here.

Joel "Raijinn" Sasaki
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