Tuesday, 13 August 2019


After affirmation in both houses of the Diet a few days prior, Japan’s Act on National Flag and Anthem became enforceable and binding on this day in 1999. Having unofficially represented the kingdom and empire since the late 1800s, the flag—known commonly as the hinomaru (日の丸, circle of the sun) and national hymn, Kimigayo (君が代, His Majesty’s Reign) —both severely restricted after World War II under American occupation though later relaxed, were accorded legal status as symbols not without controversy, as many felt that they harkened back to the country’s militaristic past. Proponents of the bill’s ratification, whom ultimately prevailed, argued that the symbols would be restorative and a source of cultural pride.