JAPAN: HOLIDAY FOR HIROHITO Japanese lawmakers overwhelmingly voted to honor Emperor Hirohito by renaming a national holiday to be celebrated in his honor starting in 2007. Showa Day, as it will be called, will be held on Hirohito’s birthday, April 29, which is now a holiday called Green Day. Hirohito, whose rule lasted from 1926 until his death in 1989, is regarded by most Asians and some Japanese as a symbol of Japanese militarism and aggression in Asia, and he is still a revered figure for Japanese nationalists. But most Japanese now associate him with the postwar years of the Showa era, during which Japan rebuilt itself and became the world’s No. 2 economy. Two previous attempts to rename the holiday, in 2000 and 2002, were shelved in consideration of Asian sensitivities, but growing nationalism allowed the law’s enactment this time. The holiday had been known as Emperor’s Day before Hirohito’s death, but was changed to Green Day to avoid an Asian reaction and to honor the emperor’s interest in nature. Norimitsu Onishi (NYT)
Is this like renaming “President’s Day” something like “19th Century America Day?” “Progressive Era Day?” Or just “Carpetbaggers’ Day”? It’s already a celebration in honor of the Showa Emperor: it was his birthday, and it became an environmental holiday after his death in honor of his scholarly interests. Why didn’t they rename the other ones “Meiji Day” and “Taisho Day” while they’re at it?
Also at the New York Times, a discussion of early 20th century dramatists including Kishida Kunio.