By Steve Kovacs (Introduction by Chuck Gibson)

LOVELAND, OH (April 28, 2021) – In Issue 2021-81 of Steve Kovacs Fun with Maps, we celebrate a renamed historical holiday in Japan.

Showa Day

Renaming of holidays to reflect the sentiment of the day is nothing new. Here is a relatively recent example from Japan.

Today is Showa Day in Japan, roughly translating to bright [or enlightened] peace.  According to some, it is intended to reflect the turbulent years in Japan’s history during Emperor Hirohito’s reign from 1926 to 1989. 

Backing up a bit, April 29 is celebrated as Showa day only since 2007.  It was Greenery Day during 1989-2006.  On a side note, Greenery Day being deemed a reasonable holiday was moved to May 4 starting in 2007.  Prior to 1989, April 29 was celebrated as the Emperor’s Birthday.

There seems to be some unease in Japan with their history during the Japanese Imperialistic period between the late 1800s and the end of World War II.

Here is Seutter’s map of Japan from 1740.  At that time, the West had little knowledge of the then mostly closed society, and this somewhat inaccurate map reflects that.

Map of Japan – 1740 (Credit Steve Kovacs)

Steve Kovacs and his wife Theresa reside in Loveland, Ohio where they raised their two children. He is a passionate collector of antique maps.

Visit his antique map boutique world-on-paper online. Watch for his daily feature Steve Kovacs: Antique Maps & Fun Facts here on Loveland Beacon.