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Culture Day, 文化の日 (bunka no hi)

Culture Day, 文化の日 (ぶんかのひ・bunka no hi), is a national holiday held annually in Japan on November 3 for the purpose of promoting culture, the arts, and academic endeavor. Festivities typically include art exhibitions, parades, and award ceremonies for distinguished artists and scholars. Many colleges and universities announce or present new research projects and many elementary and junior high schools have art exhibitions or culture festivals to mark the occasion.

ShodoNovember 3rd was first celebrated as a holiday in 1868 which was the Meiji Emperor’s birthday. After his death in 1912, it ceased to be a holiday until 1927 when it was rebranded in honor of the late Meiji Emperor.

After the promulgation of the post-War constitution in 1947, it was rebranded as Culture Day, or 文化の日, a day for the promotion of arts and academic endeavor.

The town of Hakone in Kanagawa Prefecture holds one of the most famous such events known as the 大名行列 (daimei gyoretsu) or Feudal Lords Parade, which exhibits the clothing, costumes and traditions of Edo-era Japan.

obi-2007-10The most prestigious of all 文化の日 events is the Order of Culture award ceremony presided over by The Emperor himself. Order of Culture awards are given out to anyone who has significantly advanced sciences or arts or culture, and is one of the highest honors awarded by the emperor.

Source: Gaijinpot.com
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Yamamoto

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