Kyujitsu (pronounced "queue-jeet-sue") means "holiday" in Japanese, the kyu meaning "rest" or "time off" and the jitsu meaning "day". At present there are 17 of them per year. For the vast majority of Japanese, these are supplemented by no more than a week of personal holidays, meaning that few people get more than a total of about three weeks off work per year.
For all its temperateness and beauty, fall is, for many people, somehow a rather tiring season as the weather cools down and the effects of summer's constant battle with the heat start to make themselves really felt. And, sure enough, the season features four days off as if in recognition of this.
21 September is Keiro no Hi, or Respect for the Aged Day. 23 September is Shubun no Hi, or the Autumnal Equinox. 12 October is Taiiku no Hi, or Sports Day. And 3 November, i.e. this Monday just past, is Bunka no Hi, or Culture Day.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, or, in the Japanese vernacular, quite simply "Study hard, play hard" – Yoku manabi, yoku asobe.
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Wednesday, November 05, 2008