ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Kinro Kansha No Hi: Is it Labor Day or Thanksgiving?

Updated on February 18, 2018
SgtCecil profile image

I am an expat living in Japan. Everyday is an adventure and a blessing. Here are some of my experiences

Japan's Labor Day

Rice field in Hiroshima during the summer
Rice field in Hiroshima during the summer | Source

Kinro Kansha No Hi is a Japanese national holiday honoring the work we've done all year. So, it's like Labor Day back home, right? Well, sort of...

On November 23, Japan takes the day off for Kinro Kansha No Hi. Ask anyone and they say it's Labor Day--a day to chill or go shopping. I can handle that. My girlfriend and I stay home. Relatives who live nearby sometimes visit for dinner which is always fun.

No festivals, no fireworks, it's very low-key and relaxed. But dig a little deeper and you see something more fascinating. But what can be more fascinating than a day off?

Niinamesai: a harvest festival

Rice fields in Hiroshima
Rice fields in Hiroshima | Source

This is the summer rice of Hiroshima Prefecture. Rice is harvested throughout the autumn season in many countries, including Japan.

OK, so what's this have to do with a November holiday? By the end of November, just about everything grown in the summer is harvested, especially rice.

Rice is sacred in Japan because it feeds millions of Japanese people each day. It has for thousands of years. Many Japanese people say that they can tell the difference between rice grown in Japan from rice grown in other countries. (I'm still a skeptic of this).

These days, Kinro Kansha no Hi is a modern holiday that replaced an ancient harvest festival called Niinamesai. Niinamesai included a special ritual where the Emperor of Japan offered the year's first freshly harvested rice to the gods.

Thanks to modern technology, it takes about six months for rice to be planted, grown and harvested--long before November's Kinro Kansha no Hi or Niinamesai. These days, by November, people all over Japan gather to harvest the year's freshly imported goods to prepare for another ancient holiday known as Christmas.

Praise be to the gods.

What about me? What about you?

If you're in Japan, you'll enjoy a day off. At the same time, if you're an American like myself, you'll be thinking of Thanksgiving back home. Thanksgiving is an American holiday. People in Japan know about it but nobody celebrates it. So what's an American to do?

My first Thanksgiving in Japan I was working. For dinner I went to McDonald's before I caught the train back to my place. I collapsed on my bed, exhausted. Expat friends did their best to simulate Thanksgiving by going to their local "Irish" pub and having fried chicken and beer together. My family was terrified but, looking back, it was funny.

An American skipping Thanksgiving or a Japanese holding their nose to rice abroad, that's the show. That's the experience of living abroad.

For more information about this special holiday, take a look at the video below. When you do, remember that the subtitles are your friend!

Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Holidays. Happy Kinro Kansha No Hi.

What do you have to be thankful for?

See results

What do you think? - What do you do on Labor Day

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • TransplantedSoul profile image

      TransplantedSoul 

      5 years ago

      What a great way to celebrate labour day - nice and low key.

    • casquid profile image

      casquid 

      5 years ago

      It is always interesting to find out about the "Oneness" in all of us. No one is left out. We all celebrate, just choose different times and other values to attach to the celebration. Thank you for opening eyes with this information.

      Also, thank you for visiting and liking another of my lenses.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)