Greenery Day is based upon Emperor Hirohito birthday, April 29th, although apparently it is most often celebrated on May 4th in Japan. It was established in 1989 after Emperor Showa (The line of Emperors, same guy) died on Jan.7th. So I’m a little confused about his holiday, it came after his death, may or may not be on April 29th his birthday, and he has two names.
Hirohito was Emperor during World War 2. From what I have read he was basically opposed to the war but as the leader of the Japanese people he was not really able to prevent it. Huh? However they could not end the war without his permission, which he gave after two atomic bombs had been dropped, his navy destroyed and his people suffering beyond belief.
So why do they celebrate it as Greenery Day? I have absolutely no idea other than beautiful gardens have always been a part of the Japanese culture. They are certainly green and I am sure that while the rest of his country was burning, he had beautiful gardens to walk through.
Now I am not blaming him for the war, and I am not denying that Japan does have some of the most beautiful gardens anywhere. The two things together are a bit odd though. However I do have to admit I am not all that versed in Hirohito’s life so maybe greenery was a huge part of his life.
I do know this… if more of the world was green maybe we all would be calmer, gentler people. It’s hard to be violent when surrounded by natures natural beauty.
How to celebrate – Enjoy your own garden, or your neighbors today. (Just don’t get caught tromping through your neighbors garden.) Plant something today. Go for a walk in a forest.