Greenery Day is observed on May 4 every year in Japan. The national holiday encourages people to commune with nature to express their gratitude and appreciation for its benefits. Initially, the holiday was observed on April 29 to commemorate the birthday of Emperor Shōwa, the emperor of Japan from 1926 to 1989. But when Emperor Akihito took to the throne, the name of the holiday was changed from Birthday of the Emperor to Greenery Day in recognition of the wartime emperor’s love for greenery. The new holiday name also acquired a new date, May 4, while April 29 became Shōwa Day.
History of Greenery Day
Emperor Shōwa, born Hirohito, was the 124th emperor of Japan. Born in 1901, Hirohito ascended the throne in 1926 and reigned till his death in 1989. During his reign, he was referred to as “the Emperor” by Japanese citizens and “Emperor Hirohito” by foreigners. He was given the name Emperor Shōwa posthumously. Hirohito was the reigning monarch during the second Sino-Japanese War, which segued into the Second World War. Japan’s role as an Axis Power was demonstrated under Hirohito’s reign.
Hirohito’s role in Japan’s alliance with Italy and Germany during WWII remains unclear. The post-war narrative adopted in Japan was that Hirohito was a powerless figurehead forced into the pact. Certain historians later held that he may have had a more direct role than previously thought. Hirohito remained the emperor throughout the postwar rebuilding of Japan.
Also a marine biologist, Hirohito was known for his love for nature. When his successor and son, Emperor Akihito, ascended the throne after Hirohito’s death in 1989, he decreed that April 29 be celebrated as Greenery Day — to commemorate his father’s love for nature and greenery without referring to the controversies in which he was embroiled. In 2007, Akihito moved Greenery Day to May 4, earlier known as the National Day of Rest, and decreed April 29 to be Shōwa Day instead.
Greenery Day timeline
Hirohito is born to the Japanese royal family.
Hirohito begins his reign as the Emperor of Japan.
Emperor Akihito declares the first Greenery Day.
May 4 is announced as the new Greenery Day.
Greenery Day FAQs
Why is Greenery Day celebrated in Japan?
The day is celebrated to appreciate and express gratitude and appreciation for Nature and its matchless beauty.
What countries celebrate Greenery Day?
Japan is the only country that celebrates Greenery Day.
What happens on Greenery Day?
On Greenery Day, people appreciate nature and all the good it brings us.
How to Observe Greenery Day
Spend some time in nature
The point of Greenery Day is to appreciate nature. Spend the day surrounded by some form of nature.
Get a plant for yourself
Get a plant for yourself to spruce up your surroundings. Growing a garden, some research has proved, has a lot of psychological benefits.
Donate to a foundation
If you can, donate to a foundation working to preserve nature and biodiversity. Green Dreamers and Rainforest Alliance are among environmental organizations working to protect biodiversity.
5 Interesting Facts About Nature
Trees vs. stars
Scientists estimate that there are 200 to 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, but at least one trillion trees on Earth!
Before you let another fruit of pineapple go to waste, know that the plant takes two whole years to grow and bear fruits.
One more weird thing about owls
Owls don’t have eyelids.
Heat is the deadliest weather condition
In a year, tornadoes cause an average of 70 deaths and flooding causes 81, but no fewer than 130 people die of heat-related ailments every year.
Humans can only eat about 200 types of plants.
Why Greenery Day is Important
Nature is important
Nature is essential to our existence. Greenery Day reminds us of this critical fact.
It’s an excuse to bask in nature
There is nothing quite like surrounding yourself with nature and its peaceful serenity. Greenery Day is an excuse to interact more deeply with nature.
We are reminded to preserve nature
Because our existence is literally tied to nature, it’s upon us to manage and preserve it with utter care. Greenery Day reminds us to not only preserve Nature but also appreciate its gifts.
Greenery Day dates