Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 February 9 - 15  > Japan's 'National Foundation Day' has no historical grounds as it is based on mythology of fictitious emperor's enthronement
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2022 February 9 - 15 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan's 'National Foundation Day' has no historical grounds as it is based on mythology of fictitious emperor's enthronement

February 11, 2022

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

February 11 is set as the "National Foundation Day" of Japan based on the prewar "Empire Day" (Kigensetsu). The imperial Meiji government in 1873, in order to impose the emperor (Tenno)'s autocratic rule over the general public, invented the day as the date that Emperor Jimmu, a fictitious character in the mythology of establishing the nation written in the Chronicles of Japan "Nihonshoki", ascended the throne. The mythology, however, has neither scientific nor historical grounds.

During prewar and wartime, the imperial government took advantage of the Kigensetsu to have the public worship the emperor and mobilize them for the war of aggression, and the imperial government on February 11, 1889 promulgated the Constitution of the Empire of Japan.

After the war, Japan proclaimed a new constitution which stipulates popular sovereignty and the right to freedom of thought, study, and religion, and calls for lasting peace. Following the birth of the pacifist Constitution, the Kigensetsu was abolished in 1948. However, 18 years later, the then government led by Prime Minister Sato Eisaku revived the "Kigensetsu" by adversely revising the Act on National Holidays and established "National Foundation Day".

In order to accurately commemorate events of the past, it is important to utilize historical facts. In this regard, the present government of Prime Minister Kishida Fumio is called into question with its recommendation of the Sado gold mine (Niigata Pref.) for a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site.

The Japanese government in recent years refuses to acknowledge the negative aspects of Japan's past war of aggression and its colonial rule over the Korean Peninsula. This is because many politicians in the government are historical revisionists. If Japan really hopes that the Sado gold mine will be designated as a World Cultural Heritage site, it should acknowledge its use of forced labor of Koreans during the war at the gold mine.

Japan should squarely face up to historical facts and help to promote peace and democracy in Asia based on the war-renouncing Article 9 of the postwar Constitution.

Past related articles:
> JCP Miyamoto urges gov't to sincerely face historical fact of use of forced labor of Koreans at Sado gold mine [February 4, 2022]
> JCP Rightists and constitutional revisionists seek to impose 'national origin myth' in disregard of historical facts [February 11 & 12, 2020]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved