Marine Day

Japan National Holiday in Japan

Japanese Marine Day is celebrated on the third Monday in July.
Behind the Great Wave at Kanagawa by Hokusai

When is Marine Day ?

Year Day Date
2017 Monday July 17th
2016 Monday July 18th
2015 Monday July 20th
2014 Monday July 21st
2013 Monday July 15th
2012 Monday July 16th

Marine Day, also known as Ocean Day, Sea Day or 'Umi no hi' only became a nationally recognized holiday in Japan in 1996.

Since 2003, it has been celebrated on the third Monday in July.

Before 1996, it was known as Marine Memorial Day, and was not a national holiday.

History of the holiday

Marine Memorial Day was established in 1941 to mark the anniversary of the 1876 return of the Meiji Emperor to the Port of Yokohama, on the two-masted topsail schooner Meiji-Maru, from a tour of the Tohoku and Hokkaido regions.

Did you know?

Meiji-Maru was built in Scotland and is the oldest iron ship in Japan.

The day was also established as a holiday to express gratitude for the gifts of the sea, honour its importance, and pray for the prosperity of Japan as a maritime nation.

Originally the holiday was held on 20 July, but was changed as part of the 'Happy Monday' reforms to holidays that created long weekends from most public holidays in Japan.

How is this holiday celebrated?

As it is a modern holiday, there are no particular traditional ceremonies associated with the day.

However, in celebration of Marine Day all the national aquariums organize special events, water sports competitions, water shows, and cultural activities relating to the sea take place.

Many people take advantage of this summer holiday to have a rather fitting day out at the beach.

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