Shōwa Day in Japan Date in the current year: April 29, 2016

Shōwa Day in Japan Shōwa Day is one of the public holidays in Japan, which commemorates the birth anniversary of the Shōwa Emperor, Hirohito, who reigned from 1926 until his death in 1989. The holiday is celebrated annually on April 29.

During the reign of Emperor Hirohito, April 29 was celebrated as the Emperor's Birthday. When his son Akihito ascended the throne following his father's death, the date remained a public holiday, but was renamed to Greenery Day. In 2005, Greenery day was moved to May 4, and April 29 was declared Shōwa Day.

The holiday focuses on encouraging public reflection on the 63-year period of Hirohito's reign rather that honoring the late Emperor himself. The years of his reign were turbulent. The Shōwa period included the rise of Japanese militarism, several attempted coups, the Second World War, the post-war Allied occupation of the country, and the Japanese post-war economic miracle.

Shōwa Day is the first day of the so-called Golden Week. It is the longest vacation period of the year in Japan, which contains four public holidays: Shōwa Day (April 29), Constitution Memorial Day (May 3), Greenery Day (May 4), and Children's Day (May 5). Many businesses stay closed for an entire week.

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Shōwa Day in Japan, holidays in Japan, public holiday, Emperor Hirohito, Golden Week