February 11: 建国記念の日 (National Foundation Day)

National Foundation Day (建国記念の日) is a national holiday celebrated on February 11 that is meant for the Japanese people to remember their nation’s founding and promote national pride. It is believed that on this day in 660 BC the first Emperor of Japan, Jimmu, was crowned thus being the beginning of Japan. 

However, after World War Two, this holiday was abandoned by GHQ in 1948. After that, with the rise of the movement to revive the holiday, a bill to establish 建国記念日 was submitted but rejected by the Diet 9 times as scholars argued that it was based on myths and thus, it was unreliable. Moreover, some politicians saw it as a reactionary action of conservatives. Finally, the government added this day to national holidays in 1966 after revising its name from 建国記念日to 建国記念の日 so that it can be interpreted as the day to celebrate the fact that Japan was created without emphasizing the date itself.

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