Happy National Day, Japan!

Of all national celebration days, the Japanese dates back the longest – if the measure is the day it is in Memorium of. 

I have read that only 1/3 of the Japanese know why February 11th is a national Celebration Day – great to have a day off; but why?  

WTN, as always, at your service; the story is a bit complicated though! 

Until 1945 the Emperor was believed to be of godly descendIn medieval Japan business was run by the Shogun; the Emperor was behind the scene and interfered little with Earthy business. 

At the end of the 19th century, Japan was under pressure. In 1854 Commodore Perry (US) had forced Japan to open the county, at least partially, to trade with foreign countries.  

Japan needed to upgrade technically. The swords of the Samurais were no match for the canons of the US Navy. But on the other hand; the ruling class wanted to keep the traditions and the social structures of “old-time Japan”. 1868 the old Shogun stepped down; a new government and Emperor took over.  

Japan modernized very fast; the Russian – Japanese war 1904 – 05 demonstrated, to the utmost surprise of Western countries, that Japan was now a serious power. 

Modernize yes, but keep the social structures! According to Japanese believes the first Emperor, Jammu, ascended to the throne on the first day of the first moon 660 BC. That day was, in order to remind all Japanese of their common origin, declared a national celebration day in 1874. Japan during that time changed to the Gregorian calendar; and February 11th became the National Day. 


A Bit of Background 


Japan has 126.4 million inhabitantsthe statistics say that the population density is 336 persons / square kilometer. That might be correct mathematically, but it is not a good description of the real situation. ¾ or the country is uninhabited mountains. So, the real situation is more like 1,350 (US 36, Florida 136, Germany 240). 91% of the population lives in cities. 

Japan has an old population; 26% were in 2014 above 65. That figure is estimated to go to 40% in 2060. 




Japan had in 2019 close to 32 million visitors (index 0.254; visitors / population)The largest contingents came from China 26%, Korea 24%, Taiwan 15%, and Hong Kong. With 1.5 million visitors the US counted for 4.7%; the UK 1%; Germany with 215,000 0.7% and France 0.6%. 

Out-bound Japan shipped 20.1 million tourists. The statistic for arrivals in the destinations is based on reports from the various countries; some countries have not reported – a number of visitors to African destinations would have been interesting. What we know is; Korea 15%, Taiwan 10%, US 7%, Germany 3% – Italy (number from 2017) 5%. The total number is from 2019; the distribution in destinations from 2018. 



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