Shōwa Day (昭和の日 Shōwa no Hi) is a Japanese annual holiday held on April 29. It honors the birthday of Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito), the reigning emperor from 1926 to 1989. Shō (昭) means “shining” or “bright”, and wa (和) means “peace”, signifying the "enlightened peace" that citizens receive. According to the now defunct Democratic Party of Japan, the purpose of the holiday is to encourage public reflection on the turbulent 63 years of Hirohito's reign.
|Significance||Honors the birthday of Emperor Shōwa (Hirohito), the reigning Emperor from 1926 to 1989|
|Related to||The Emperor's Birthday|
Coincidentally, Shōwa Day happens on the same date that in 1948 the Allies' International Military Tribunal for the Far East condemned key officials of the Imperial government during World War II to death, including former Prime Minister Hideki Tojo.
Emperor Hirohito died on January 7, 1989. April 29 was subsequently no longer celebrated as The Emperor's Birthday but instead as Greenery Day, part of Japan's Golden Week. After a series of failed legislative attempts beginning in 2000, the April 29 holiday was finally renamed Shōwa Day in 2007, and Greenery Day was moved from April 29 to May 4.
According to the then-main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan (which backed the bill for the first time after many years of refusal), the holiday encourages public reflection on the turbulent 63 years of Hirohito's reign rather than glorifying the emperor himself. Hirohito's reign saw, among other things, the end of the Taishō Democracy, the 1931 Japanese invasion of Manchuria, a period of "government by assassination" including the attempted coups of May 15, 1932 and February 26, 1936, the rise of the totalitarian Taisei Yokusankai, World War II, the post-war occupation, the 1964 Summer Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo, the North Korean abductions of Japanese citizens, and the Japanese post-war economic miracle.
|Years||April 29||May 4|
|before 1985||The Emperor's Birthday||Non-holiday|
|1985–1988||The Emperor's Birthday||National day of rest|
|1989–2006||Greenery Day||National day of rest|
|2007–present||Shōwa Day||Greenery Day|