Japanese Calendar (日本の暦)

Japanese calendar covers Japanese own subjects relating to calendars.

Other names of the months

1 (ichi) gatsu, Mutsuki (the month of harmony)
2 (ni) gatsu, Kisaragi (the month of wearing extra layers of clothes
3 (san) gatsu, Yayoi (the month of growth)
4 (shi) gatsu, Uzuki (the month of deutzias)
5 (go) gatsu, Satsuki (the month of planting rice sprouts)
6 (roku) gatsu, Minazuki (the month of no water)
7 (shichi) gatsu, Fumitsuki (the month of letters)
8 (hachi) gatsu, Hazuki (the month of leaves)
9 (ku) gatsu, Nagatsuki (the month of long nights)
10 (ju) gatsu, Kannazuki (the month of the absence of gods), or Kamiarizuki (the month of gods) in Izumo region
11(juichi) gatsu, Shimotsuki (the month of frost)
12 (juni) gatsu, Shiwasu (lit. teachers or priests run)

Originally the old calendar (the lunar calendar) gave the name to each month. When the solar calendar is used, the meanings of the months don't synchronize with the seasons. Shiwasu, another name of December, is still frequently in use today to describe busy time at the end of the year.

National public holidays

The National Holidays Act establishes national holidays.

January 1
Ganjitsu (New Year's Day), established in 1948

The second Monday of January (since 2000)

Seijin no Hi (Coming of Age Day)
From 1948 to 1999, Seijin no Hi was set on January 15.

February 11
Kenkoku kinen no Hi (National Foundation Day), established in 1966

Around March 21

Shunbun no Hi (Vernal Equinox Day), established in 1948
April 29
Showa no Hi (Showa Day), since 2007
From 1989 to 2006, April 29 was set as Midori no Hi (Greenery Day).
Before 1989 (from 1948 to 1988) it was known as Tenno Tanjo Bi (The Emperor's Birthday)

May 3
Kenpo Kinen Bi (Constitution Memorial Day), established in 1948
May 4
Midori no Hi (Greenery Day), since 2007
May 5
Kodomo no Hi (Children's Day), established in 1948

The third Monday of July (since 2003)

Umi no Hi (Marine Day)
From 1995 to 2002, Umi no Hi was set on July 20.

The third Monday of September, since 2003

Keiro no Hi (Respect for the Aged Day)
From 1966 to 2002, Keiro no Hi was set on September 15.

Around September 23

Shubun no Hi (Autumnal Equinox Day), established in 1948

The second Monday of October (since 2000)

Taiiku no Hi (Health and Sports Day), established in 1966
From 1966 to 1999, Taiiku no Hi was set on October 10.

November 3
Bunka no Hi (Culture Day), established in 1948
November 23
Kinrokansha no Hi (Labor Thanksgiving Day), established in 1948
December 23
Tenno Tanjo Bi (The Emperor's Birthday), established in 1989

The vernal and autumnal equinox days are found in the official gazette in the previous February.


(Until 2006) If a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following day becomes a holiday.
This holiday is called furikae kyujitsu (a substitute holiday)

(Since 2007) If a national holiday falls on a Sunday, the following "non-holiday" becomes a holiday.
This holiday is called furikae kyujitsu (a substitute holiday)
For example, if May 3, May 4, or May 5 falls a Sunday, May 6 becomes a holiday.

If the day between two other national holidays is not a Sunday or a national holiday, that day becomes a holiday.
This holiday is called kokumin no kyujitsu (holiday for a Nation)
According to the above provision, only May 4 could be kokumin no kyujitsu until 2002. In 2003, when the National Holiday Act was amended, depending on the year, there would be another holiday between Keiro no Hi and Shunbun no Hi.

Nijushi Sekki, or 24 Sekki (the traditional Asian Calendar divides a year into 24 solar terms), Zassetsu (standard days signifying the changing of the seasons) and others.

Depending on the year, the date of Sekki is movable except Chugen and Obon.

January 5, Kan no iri (the beginning of the coldest period)

January 5, Sho kan (lit. small coldness)

January 17. Fuyu no Doyo (18 days before Risshun)

January 20, Dai kan (lit. big coldness, the coldest period in the year)

February 3, Setsubun (the day before Risshun)

February 4, Risshun (the beginning of spring)

February 19, Usui (lit. rainwater)

March 6, Keichitsu (awakening of hibernating insects)

March 16, Haru no Shanichi (the land god festival in spring)

March 18, Haru Higan (Buddhist ritual at the vernal equinox)

March 21, Shunbun (the vernal equinox day)

April 5, Seimei (lit. pure and bright)

April 17, Haru no Doyo (18 days before Rikka)

April 20, Koku (lit. grain rain)

May 2, Hachiju hachiya (lit. the 88th day (from Risshun))

May 6. Rikka (the beginning of summer)

May 21, Shoman (lit. grain full)

June 6, Boshu (time of planting grains)

June 11, Nyubai (entering the rainy season)

June 21, Geshi (the summer solstice)

July 2, Hangesho (the 11th day after the summer solstice)

July 7, Shosho (lit. small heat)

July 15, Chugen (lit. middle origin)

July 15, Obon (returning ancestral spirits)

July 20, Natsu no Doyo (18 days before Risshu)

July 23, Taisho (lit. big heat, blistering heat)

August 6, Risshu (the beginning of autumn)

August 23, Shosho (the beginning of bearable hot weather)

September 1, Nihyaku To Ka (lit. the 210th day)

September 8, Hakuro (lit. white dews)

September 11, Nihyaku Hatsu Ka (lit. the 220th day)

September 20, Aki Higan (Buddhist ritual at the autumnal equinox)

September 22, Aki no Shanichi (the land god festival in autumn)

September 23, Shubun (the autumnal equinox day)

October 3, Kanro (lit. cold dews)

October 20, Aki no Doyo (18 days before Ritto)

October 23, Soko (lit. frosting)

November 7, Ritto (the beginning of winter)

November 22, Shosetsu (lit. light snow)

December 7, Taisetsu (lit. heavy snow)

December 22, Toji (the winter solstice)

Sekku (five seasonal festivals)

January 7
Jinjitsu (January 7 of lunar calendar), Nanakusa (lit. seven spring herbs)
March 3
Joshi/Jomi (lit. top serpent), Momo no Sekku (lit. the peach blossom festival, Girl's day)
May 5
Tango (May 5 of lunar calendar), Tango no Sekku (Boy's day)
July 7
Shichiseki/Tanabata (the star festival)
September 9
Choyo (September 9 of lunar calendar), Kiku no Sekku (the chrysanthemum festival)

Rokuyo (a series of six days, indicating lucky days and unlucky days)

Sensho (good luck in the morning, bad luck in the afternoon)

Tomobiki (a friend pulling day, the day on which one's luck affects that of one's friends).

Senpu (bad luck in the morning, good luck in the afternoon)

Butsumetsu (lit. Buddha's death; the unluckiest day in the six-day cycle)

Taian (the most auspicious day)

Shakko (bad luck all day, except at noon)

[Original Japanese]