Today is the beginning of Golden Week in Japan.
April 29 Shōwa Day 昭和の日 Shōwa no hi. This is the birthday of the Emperor known in the west as Hirohito. Folks are supposed to remember the turmoil of the reign, which lasted from 1926 to 1989. I was in Japan in 1989 – I realized that the Emperor had died after a long illness because the Armed Forces Radio was playing somber music.
Many stores closed that day. Those that didn’t were hassled by rightists.
May 3 Constitution Memorial Day 憲法記念日 Kenpō kinenbi. This has been a holiday since 1947.
May 4 Greenery Day みどり(緑)の日 Midori no hi. This is kind of an Arbor Day, when people are supposed to reflect on the importance of ecology and the environment.
May 5 Children's Day 子供の日 Kodomo no hi. This holiday goes back to the 8th century.