Tomorrow, May 4th, is Green Day in Japan. It has nothing to do with St. Patrick or one of my favorite bands...
The current Emperor's father was born on April 29th. April 29th used to be the national holiday "Emperor's Birthday" but after the Showa Emperor passed away the new Emperor's Birthday holiday changed to December 23rd. So, April 29th became Green Day...
THEN THEY CHANGED IT ALL AGAIN in 2007.... April 29th became Showa Day and they moved Green Day into the Golden Week so that there would be a longer vacation for (almost) everyone.
What is Showa?!
Each succession of Emperors brings a new "era" to Japan. The previous Emperor is known as the Showa Emperor because that is what the era of his time as Emperor was called. (There is some kind of meeting where they decide what to call the eras...)
After he passed away in 1989 (Showa 64 and also Heisei 1) the new era became Heisei. It is currently Heisei 21.
Both 2009 and Heisei 21 are used in Japan and it can be a bit confusing....especially with birth dates... when you are filling out official documents etc. I was born in Showa 46 also known as 1971.
Green Day is like a Japanese version of Earth Day. A day "to be grateful for nature's bounty and to cultivate a rich heart" as well.
To commemorate, I would like to share this very green photo that I took last year at a park in our city.
I found this park while walking to the unemployment office right after the company I had been working for went bankrupt.
I wouldn't have found this park if it weren't for such a "devastating" event.
The "bandages" on the tree seemed to represent me at the time and I realized how such a big event like loosing a job was actually a very small thing.
Happy Green Day!