Quest For Japan Logo-Ver7

Keirou no Hi or Respect for the Aged Day

Date Published: Last Update:2015/05/13 Traditional Culture , ,

Today is a special day for the elderly in Japan. Special in the sense that the government really made a holiday to celebrate and pay homage to them. People across the country travel to their hometown to visit their parents and relatives. But what exactly is “Respect for the Aged Day”?

Keirō no Hi – Japan’s Grandparents’ Day

Keirō no Hi (敬老の日) or Respect for the Aged Day is a national holiday in Japan that is celebrated every third Monday of September. “It is a thoughtful and reasonable celebration, considering the longevity of the Japanese as well as the low birth rate in the country” (Motion Elements). It is like the “Grandparents’ Day” that is celebrated in other parts of the globe but far more serious and does not only limited to those who have grandchildren.

089975

Unlike the Grandparents’ Day, the Respect for the Aged Day is not only limited to those who have grandchildren. (Image from AC-Illust)

Holiday History

The holiday is first celebrated in a village called Nomatanimura (present-day Yachiyocho) in Hyogo Prefecture in September 15, 1947. The town mayor, Masao Kadowaki, gathered all senior citizens and declared that day as Toshiyori no Hi (年寄の日) or Old Folk’s Day with the greeting: “An elderly person is a treasure for every household and also for our village. Please share with me, a young village head, some of your wisdom.” From that year onwards, Nomatanimura hold events to pay respect for the elderly in the village. The gesture became popular and spread across the whole country. It was in 1966 that the government recognized it as a national holiday and gave it its present name. In 2003, due to the Happy Monday System, where many holidays were moved to Mondays to create a three-day weekend for people who work five days a week, the holiday was moved from September 15 to 3rd Monday of September every year.

Red Days are Happy Days

In Japan, holidays are called red days due to the fact that they are printed in red in calendars. Thus, Respect for the Aged Day is a red day. But more than that reason, the Japanese believed that when they turn 60, as they already complete their journey through the five cycles of the Sino-Japanese Zodiac, they are to be born again as a baby (aka-chan or literally translated as the “red one”). Traditionally, those who turn 60 will wear red and is presented with a red chanchanko (a padded sleeveless kimono jacket), a zukin (a Japanese cap), red fan, and is seated in a zabuton (flat floor cushion used when sitting or kneeling). These all represent returning to childhood. In modern days, people give anything red, which is usually a red tie or a red sweater, as gifts to the elderly.

018298

In Japanese, babies are called aka-chan or akanbou. Aka is red and some say it is because babies have red cheeks that is why. (Image from AC-Illust)

The Holiday in Modern Times

As Japanese people really give importance to the elderly, the essence of the celebration nowadays is not lost. The younger generation visit their elderly relatives and give them gifts that express their love and appreciation. Some also organize activities like going out or having picnic with them. Due to many people going back to their hometowns, the traffic is heavier than usual and the trains are crowded. Also during this day, the Japanese government and media highlight achievements and noteworthy acts of senior citizens in different fields.

In your country, how do you give importance to the elderly? Give us comments below.

References:

1. Respect for the Aged Day: Paying Homage to the Wise. Motion Elements.

The following two tabs change content below.

Sponsored Links

  • Pocket
  • 1 follow us in feedly

Related Article/s:

go_19x19

Let’s Play “Go”! – Terms and Strategies

In our previous posts about Go, we learned that Go is a game which originated in China (Go History) and we also learned its basic rules (Go Rules). In this post, we will learn about strategies and other terms in Go. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see […]

Read Article

Men_(kendo)

Kendo, The Way of the Sword – Kendo Equipment

In our previous post about kendo, we learned about its history. In this post, we will learn about the kendo equipment. As the All Japan Kendo Federation (AJKF) restored kendo and fight against the ban after the declaration of Japan’s independence, they then published “The Concept and Purpose of Kendo”. The Purpose of Kendo Its […]

Read Article

Konbini (7-eleven)

I Love Konbini: Awesome Konbini (Convenience Store) In Japan!

I love konbini (convenience store) in Japan and I often use it in different situations, for lunch, after work, family trips, and so on. What’s so awesome about it? Well, it’s amazingly convenient, food is delicious, and so much more! This time, I’ll be introducing some of them.   1. It’s Everywhere! As of August […]

Read Article

shogi

Shogi, The General’s Board Game – Board and Gameplay

In our previous posts about shogi, we learned its history and the pieces that make the game. In this post, we will learn more about the moves of each piece. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 […]

Read Article

10933010884_bef367e053_z

Kendo, The Way of The Sword – Kendo Techniques

Kendo techniques are divided into shikake-waza (to initiate a strike) and ōji-waza (a response to an attempted strike). Kendoka who wish to use such techniques during practice or competitions, often practice each technique with a motodachi. This is a process that requires patience. First practicing slowly and then as familiarity and confidence builds, the kendoka […]

Read Article

084646

The Princess Who Came From a Bamboo, Princess Kaguya

It was December last year when I had my first time in a Japanese movie theater. The movie we watched was Studio Ghibli’s Kaguya-hime no Monogatari. Though my Japanese is limited, the movie never failed to amazed me somehow. From The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter Kaguya-hime no Monogatari(かぐや姫の物語) or The Tale of Princess Kaguya […]

Read Article

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Kyoto: Night Illumination Kiyomizudera

After that nice city stroll, the hunt was on again – the hunt for autumn foliage that is. Earlier that day we started our hunt at northwest part of Kyoto (Kagamiishi Dori) where we found beautiful concentrations of momiji foliage. This time we were set to see one of the best night illuminations in one […]

Read Article

sumo

Sumo: More Than Just a Martial Art – Rules

In our last post about the Japanese traditional martial art sumo, we learned about its history. In this post, we will learn more about its rules and features. The following two tabs change content below.BioLatest Posts harorudo Latest posts by harorudo (see all) Kaomoji: Expressing Emotions Through Text 2 – June 3, 2015 Kaomoji: Expressing […]

Read Article

kana cards

Kotoba Asobi: Goroawase

Goroawase (語呂合わせ) is a form of Japanese wordplay whereby homophonous words are associated with a given series of letters, numbers or symbols, in order to associate a new meaning with that series. The new words can be used to express a superstition about certain letters or numbers. More commonly, however, goroawase is used as a […]

Read Article

Symphony No.9 in Hiroshima

New Year Holidays in Japan : Symphony No. 9 (Beethoven)

The Symphony No. 9, a.k.a. “Choral”, is probably one of the most famous and beloved classical music in Japan. I played the (probably shortened) 4th movement on accordion as a member of a band when I was an elementary school student. (Other music I remember we played are the school song, and theme from “Space […]

Read Article

Sponsored Links

Leave a Reply

Sponsored Links

  • Google+
    InstagramInstagram
PAGE TOP ↑