Eins zurück, zwei vor – Feiertage in Japan
Why is May 6 defined as a holiday in 2008 and 2009? By this initial question, the reader is introduced to the topic of this short article: the system of public holidays in Japan and its regulation in the Public Holiday Law (Shukujitsu-hô). The Public Holiday Law is characterized by some specific features, which are particularly interesting when compared to German law. After a short introduction to the various public holidays with their individual functions, the article highlights several provisions of the Shukujitsu-hô, such as the “transfer holidays” (furikae kyūjitsu) and their social meaning in context of Japanese labour law or the pragmatic approach towards the “clash of holidays”. Furthermore, some recent amendments are discussed, such as the controversial decision to establish a “Shôwa-Day” or the efforts to preserve the well-known “golden week”. Finally, the article describes some characteristics of the German state laws concerning public holidays which differ according to the predominant religious denomination in the particular state.