March 20, 2007
There are nice holidays in May in Japan. We call this Golden Week. It happens that some national holidays fall during that week: Constitution Day, a former Emperor’s Birthday, Children’s Day and National Day. When a holiday falls on Sunday, Monday becomes the national holiday. The former Emperor’s Birthday falls on Sunday this year. If we only took two extra days for the holiday, we could make it last eight days this year. Golden Week is not same number of days every year.
Golden Week is different from other Japanese holidays. Other holidays relate in some way to a religion. There are two holidays in August. One is Bon where many people return to their hometowns with a view to worship their ancestors. The other is the summer holiday, but most companies combine it with the Bon holiday. It is difficult for us to distinguish between the Bon and the summer holidays, and this holiday is about ten days longer. It is different for each company. Generally speaking, big companies take a longer holiday than small companies. The New Year holiday is like the Bon holiday.
Our company has dealings with a Swedish company. I have often heard that they take the summer holiday for more than thirty days. I do not understand how they can take such a long holiday. Even so we take the holiday one a third of the year. It may have something to do with their way of taking the holiday. If we could take the long holiday, we would not use the time effectively. We started a five-day week not so long ago, twenty or thirty years ago. A five-day school week began five or six years ago. I once heard that a long holiday is a barometer of the maturity of society. It seems that our society has not yet reached maturity by this barometer.
Even if Golden Week is not very long, I am looking forward to the coming holiday. My family is making plans to go to Kyoto in order to eat u-tofu. Red azaleas will be in full bloom in a temple garden in Kyoto during Golden Week. We will be able to really feel spring coming at that time.
Mr. Moroe just completed his second Aaron Coaches course; this time he took Intermediate Culture Writing, ICW. Notice how he connects Golden Week with a number of other themes: his company, the five-day work week, his family holiday. Notice how his writing comes full circle. He starts and ends with Golden Week. In the middle he discusses Golden Week and holidays from a variety of perspectives. For readers who know little about Japan, Mr. Moroe has presented a good explanation of holidays and details connected with holidays. He demonstrates his writing skill in his connecting all the pieces and combining them to create a good piece of writing.