The Emperor’s Birthday for the year 2023 is celebrated/observed on Thursday, February 23rd. There are until the next observance.

In Japan, the Emperor’s Birthday is observed on February 23 and only varies when a new emperor is crowned. We are excited to commemorate this historic day with Japanese flare and elegance. Japan boasts the world’s oldest monarchy. Since the founding of Japan, there have been 126 emperors, all descended from the first emperor and founder of what is now Japan.

📆 When is The Emperor’s Birthday?

This year, The Emperor’s Birthday is on February 23rd. It is the 4th Thursday in February; in 2024, it is on Friday.

Countdown to The Emperor’s Birthday

Did you know: The Japanese Emperor is still Head of State, but most of what he does is symbolic and for show.

You can also discover all cool things you didn’t know about and facts about February 23, 2023.

📜 History of The Emperor’s Birthday

The history of Japanese emperors and their authority in the country is rich and vigorous, and the imperial dynasty is perhaps the world’s longest-lasting royal family, having reigned for more than 1,500 years. According to legend, Emperor Jimmu was Japan’s first emperor and established the royal dynasty. He was a direct descendant of both Amaterasu, the Sun Goddess, and Susanoo, the Storm God, according to Japanese mythology.

In Japan’s long history, there have been many changes caused by power struggles that reduced monarchs to mostly symbolic and ceremonial roles, but every emperor has come from the same line as Emperor Jimmu.

Prior to the conclusion of WWII, the Emperor’s Birthday was usually referred to as “Tenchosetsu,” which means “the sky and the earth, the universe is forever.” This was a message of optimism that the monarch would reign forever. However, after WWII, when the imperial family abandoned all political authority, the name was altered to “Tenno Tanjobi,” a more colloquial phrase.

The Emperor’s Birthday holiday in Japan is commemorated on the day the incumbent emperor was born and varies with the installation of a new emperor. The current emperor of Japan, Naruhito, was born on February 23, 1960, hence the holiday is named after him.

☑️ The Emperor’s Birthday facts

Longest lasting Royal Family
The Japanese imperial family dates back more than 1,500 years and is supposed to be descended from the first emperor, Jimmu.

Children of the gods
Because the first emperor was described in Japanese mythology as the son of Amaterasu, the sun goddess, his descendants and succeeding emperors were always referred to as “Tenno,” which means celestial ruler.

The Chrysanthemum Throne
Because chrysanthemum flowers were especially treasured by the imperial family, they were chosen to represent the throne and the Emperor’s role in Japanese history.

Things to do on The Emperor’s Birthday

Stream the event
The Emperor’s Birthday celebration is often conducted at the Tokyo Imperial Palace, with the emperor and members of the royal family appearing on the balcony to greet well-wishers. You can watch the ceremony online and listen to the emperor’s speech to mark this important event.

Get your Japanese flag
During this festival, the Japanese people come to the streets in large numbers, waving the Japanese flag. Get yours, too, and record a video of yourself to share on social media as part of the celebration.

Listen to the Holiday song
Go ahead and listen to the official holiday song, “Emperor’s Birthday.” Mayori Kurokawa wrote the text, and Yoshida Oku created the music, which was acknowledged in 1893.

📅 The Emperor’s Birthday Observances

2023 February 23 Thursday
2024 February 23 Friday
2025 February 23 Sunday
2026 February 23 Monday
2027 February 23 Tuesday

You can view all February holidays, including Federal and other Cultural holidays.

We will continue to update this page with new information and must-know facts about The Emperor’s Birthday. So be sure to check back soon.