Japan’s Ocean Day to be observed July 22


Japan’s Ocean Day to be observed July 22

by Takahiro Takiguchi
Stripes Japan

Japan’s Umi-no-hi, or Ocean Day, will be held July 22 this year. This national holiday is the unofficial start of the summer season for students, but there are not official celebrations.

This interesting holiday was officially recognized in 1995 to commemorate the Meiji Emperor’s 50-day excursion from Aomori to Yokohama on July 20, 1876. In modern times, Japan’s Maritime Self-Defense Force fully dress their ships with flags and banners to mark the occasion.

Japan’s National Holiday Act defines Ocean Day as a holiday to give thanks for the blessings of the ocean, to reflect upon the importance of the ocean, and to hope and pray for the nation’s maritime success.

The holiday is usually observed on the third Monday of July, but this year the holiday was moved from July 19 to July 22 to accommodate the eve of Olympic Games’ opening ceremony.

A couple other national holidays were also moved because of the Olympics. Sports Day, originally scheduled for Oct. 11 moves to July 23, the day of opening ceremony of the Olympics, while Mountain Day was moved from Aug. 11 moves to Aug. 8 to celebrate the Games’ closing ceremony.

Happy Ocean Day!

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