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Monday, February 12, 2007

National Foundation Day

建国記念日の右翼

Watch a movie of right wingers blasting the crowds at Shinjuku Station, Tokyo.

Right wingers in front of Shinjuku Station, Tokyo.Today is a holiday in Japan: National Foundation Day, although the day itself was actually yesterday. It is brought over to Monday just to give the populace a day off.

Anyway, National Foundation Day, or Kenkoku Kinenbi, has its roots in Kigensetsu, or ‘Empire Day’, founded by the Meiji Emperor in 1873 to help cement the imperial foundations of recently modernized Japan’s new Western-style nation-state following the abolishment of the traditional Shogunate. Although done away with after World War II, Kigensetsu was subsequently revived in 1966 as National Foundation Day.

With its imperialist, Shinto-inspired past, National Foundation Day is not the massive celebration that Kigensetsu used to be. However, predictably, the Japanese right wing comes out in full force on this day.

Right wingers outside Shinjuku Station on National Foundation Day.Tokyo's busiest station, Shinjuku, played reluctant host to this faction of right wingers, as they ranted and hollered what was virtually abuse at the passing crowds. Dressed in sharp fascist black and waving oversized flags featuring a modified swastika on an old imperial Japanese flag, they completely dominated proceedings for as far as their massive loudspeakers could be heard.

The vociferousness and ear-splitting volume of the delivery cast a pall of unease over the entire area, the policemen in the nearby police box attempting to show particularly reassuring smiles to unnerved passers by.

Click the link at the top of the page to watch a faction of the Japanese right wing deliver a no-holds-barred harangue to the crowds around Tokyo’s Shinjuku station on National Foundation Day.

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