10 Interesting Facts about the Japanese Flag

10 Interesting Facts about the Japanese Flag

The Japanese flag is more than just a flag to the people of this island country! We’ve got 10 interesting facts about this national symbol for you guys:

1) Did you know that the Japanese flag has it’s own name!? It is called  Nisshōki or the sun-mark flag but a more commonly known today as Hinomaru or circle of the sun. Sounds beautiful right?

2) It isn’t Japanese if there isn’t a legend to go with it! The flag included. During the 13th century the Mongols threatened to invade Japan, and at the moment the Buddhist Priest Nichiren offered a solar disk which was believed to be a descendent of the Goddess of the Sun, Amaterasu to the Emperor of Japan.

3) The colors of Hinomaru is not just a simple red, but crimson and white!

flag japan

4) What profound meaning does the Japanese flag hold? The white represents purity and honesty and crimson is sincerity and passion.

5) The largest flag can be found in Izumo Shrine in Shimane Prefecture. It is a whopping 9 meters tall and 13.6 meters wide! And is also 47 meters in the air and weighs as much as a person at 108 Ibs!

6) Hinomaru became official on August 13th, 1999 with the instauration of a law designated “Kimi Ga Yo” as the National Anthem and the flag.

7) There was another flag with a red disc off centered with 16 sun rays that was used of the Japanese Navy from October 7th, 1889:

Source: Wikimedia

8) After the defeat of Japan and the end WWII, the treaty of San Francisco officially forbid the usage of the Navy Flag. However it is still used by Naval Self Defense Forces since June 30th 1954 and is used a lot by Japanese Nationalists.

9) When flying the flags of Japan next to another country at the same time the guest country is always placed at the right and at equal height and size.

10) The oldest Japanese Flag can be found in Yamanashi Prefecture, at Unpo-ji Temple in Koshu. It dates back to 16th Century and according to legend it was offered to the temple by the Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th Century.

If you’re interested in Japanese culture, check out our festival culture related articles about the Naked Festival, Setsubun or Onbashira Matsuri, the deadliest festival in Japan.

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