Welcome to Shōwa no Hi, the first day of Japan’s much-anticipated Golden Week, a day dedicated to reflecting on the past. Shōwa Day in Japan, unlike other holiday celebrations, is a time to recall and reflect on Emperor Hirohito’s reign. Let’s take a look at the national holiday that has sparked debate, enlightenment, and controversy.

To begin, Shōwa Day is a national holiday in Japan commemorating Emperor Hirohito’s birthday. He was Japan’s 124th Emperor, reigning from 1926 until 1989. Emperor Hirohito was awarded the late name “Shōwa” after his death in 1989. The 63-year reign of Emperor Hirohito, which included the Second Sino-Japanese War and World War II, is known as Shōwa no Hi. The event is meant to be a commemoration of the past, not a celebration, but an opportunity for people to reflect and look back.

For a more in-depth look at the issues surrounding the Shōwa period, go to the National Shōwa Memorial Museum in Kudanminami, Chiyoda City, Tokyo. The museum’s library of books, periodicals, maps, and permanent display spaces provide access to the past’s rich and complicated history.