November 3 – Bunka No Hi in Japan

Posted on November 3, 2015

Today is Culture Day in Japan.

It's a day to promote the arts: music, painting, drama, dance, literature! It's a day to contemplate or enjoy other aspects of culture, as well – good food, traditional clothing, religious practices. 

It's also a day to reward those who have succeeded in the worlds of art, science, or scholarship.

Apparently, there are art exhibits, cultural festivals, parades, and award ceremonies.

It wasn't always Culture Day...

On this date in the late 1800s and early 1900s, starting in 1868, the people of Japan celebrated the birthday of the Meiji emperor. However, in 1912 the emperor died, and the nation got a new ruler with a different birthday; the holiday called “the Emperor's Birthday” was celebrated on that other date.

The Meiji emperor was considered so great, however, that his birthday was restored as a new holiday in 1927.

World War II was a time of horrible deeds and horrific losses. When the war was finally over, the post-war constitution was announced on this date in 1946. In 1948, the holiday celebrating the Meiji emperor was ended, and Culture Day was begun.

  • Japanese food is often as decorative
    as it is delicious!
    Explore the rich traditions of Japanese culture here or here.
  • There are many videos about this topic, as well. Here is just one.
  • In my family, perhaps the most important aspect of Japanese culture is the building-without-nails of Japanese carpentry, because my son-in-law learned the traditions of Japanese joinery and started a business of fine, hand-made furniture following in those traditions. Check out this video about Japanese carpentry...

...and check out my son-in-law's furniture.

  • Another aspect of Japanese culture of particular personal interest is anime and manga. I teach drawing and sometimes talk about these popular animated / comic drawing styles. Check out this tutorial.


For more on Japan's Culture Day, check out this earlier post

Also on this date:

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