2024/03/04 13:22

Real Meaning of Foundation Day of Japan as a Nation

LIFE

Real Meaning of  Foundation Day  of Japan as a Nation

In February, there is National Foundation Day in Japan. Do you know what marks the foundation of Japan? Surprisingly, many people are not aware of this fact. When I ask this question in my lectures, emphasizing that "Japanese people surprisingly don't know much about Japan," over 80% of the audience cannot answer. Even if they attempt an answer, it often relates to the Meiji era or post-war period, showing a misunderstanding. Indeed, a majority of Japanese are unfamiliar with the fundamental establishment of their nation. However, not knowing the foundation of one's country is considered unusual on a global scale.

National Foundation Day in Japan, also known as Kigen Setsu, commemorates the enthronement of the first Emperor, Emperor Jimmu. In terms of the foundation year, this year marks the 2,671st year, making it the oldest continuous national foundation in the world. Denmark, the next oldest, has a history of about 1,100 years, followed by approximately 900 years for the United Kingdom. Some may point out the ancient history of China or Egypt, but this is not about the length of history; it specifically refers to the age of the national foundation. Japan's imperial system, with the Emperor as the national symbol and the unifying force, has been passed down through an imperial genealogy for 125 generations.

This is like a living myth, and Japan's imperial system has garnered immense respect globally. The imperial family in Japan is highly esteemed by royal families and nations worldwide, and their value is recognized more outside Japan than by the Japanese themselves. Therefore, answering "the world's oldest country" when asked about Japan becomes a logically clear statement. Celebrating this historical continuity, Japanese people observe National Foundation Day.

 

(Shrine Person Operator, Representative of Culture J, Ltd., Hidetoshi Tojo)

Hidetoshi Tojo was born in 1972 in Saitama Prefecture and is the representative director of Culture J, Ltd. He is the direct descendant of Hideki Tojo and the 18th head of the family. Exploring a unique social welfare model in Japan, he turned his attention to the presence of shrines and Shinto. Advocating for cultural tourism through shrines, he aims to revitalize new local communities and cultural entertainment.

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