Japanese Culture Day – November 3rd

Japan’s Culture Day (文化の日 Bunka no Hi) is a national holiday observed annually on November 3 for the purpose of celebrating and promoting culture, the arts, and academic achievements. This national holiday encourages the residents to visit local art exhibitions and attend local parades.

On this day, the Japanese Imperial family awards distinguished artists and academics for their contribution in advancing Japanese culture in categories such as art, literature, science, technology, and anything related to culture in general. The Japanese order, Order of Culture (文化勲章 Bunka kunshō), is bestowed by the Emperor of Japan in person on this day each year at the Japanese Imperial Palace in Tokyo.

A common practice for schools is to hold cultural festivals (文化祭 Bunkasai) at or around Culture Day, normally on the weekend. These school festivals are not only for students of that school but are usually open to the public so that they too can enjoy the fun event. Typical activities at these festivals include student-run food stalls and musical or theatrical performances by various school clubs. These festivals are also a great way for the public and students from other schools to see how things are in other schools.

If you ever find yourself in Japan during Culture Day and would like to immerse yourself in Japanese culture, try attending a local parade, tuning in to the annual award ceremony, or even going to a school’s cultural festival. There will be plenty to see as each city and prefecture will have its own way of celebrating their local culture.