Labor Thanksgiving Day

Today is Labor Thanksgiving Day, a national holiday in Japan. It is the last of 16 holidays in a year. This day is designated as “a day to hold labor being precious, celebrate production and for people to appreciate each other.”

Before this day was established by law, November 23rd was the day to give thanks for the year’s newly harvested rice. While keeping alive the ancient custom of harvest thanksgiving, a modern-day meaning of “thanksgiving for each other’s hard work” was added.

A report at the time of the enactment of the National Holiday Law explained the “thanksgiving” of this day as follows: The people are able to continue their daily lives because they help each other. Therefore, gratitude here means that everyone should be thankful to each other for all production and all work. This attitude of gratitude is most necessary in times of adversity such as today, but it is always important even when the world has settled down.

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