Japanese Flag information you should know

Referring to the national flag of Japan (Japanese Flag), surely everyone knows it is a flag with a white background and a red circle in the middle. You probably already know that the red circle represents the sun, but specifically, what does the sun have to do with Japan? When was this design born and officially became the national flag of Japan? Is red and white the only choice in history?

Have you ever felt curious about the origin of the Japanese flag? Where did this national flag with an extremely simple but outstanding design come from? And why is this the symbol of the land of the rising sun? In this article, we not only explain why the sun image appears on the Japanese flag, but also explain in detail when this image appeared along with other variations of the Japanese flag.

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Origin of the Japanese flag

According to Japanese legend, the goddess Amaterasu shaped Japan 2700 years ago. They also believe that she is the ancestor of the first Japanese Emperor. This is also the reason that later the emperors were called the Son of Heaven and Japan became the land of the rising sun.

Records from ancient books show that the first flag symbolizing the rising sun was used by Emperor Van Vu himself in a public road in 701. Especially, in confrontations with the army. During the invasion of Mongolia, Japanese generals in the 13th century used this Hinomaru flag when going to battle. The Japanese flag Hinomaru was first officially recognized in 1870. At this time, the flag appeared as the flag of merchants, merchant ships of the land of mourning. In the period from 1870 to 1855, this flag officially became the first national flag.

When did the Japanese flag appear?

In the historical documents of Japan, it is recorded that Emperor Van Vu opened his trial in 701 (Asuka period), on the road a flag with a circle in the center was hung as a symbol of the emperor. sun. It was the first appearance of this flag in history books and at that time it was called Hinomaru (日の丸), meaning “circle of the sun”.

The document does not clearly describe the color of that flag, but it seems that it is not a white background with a red circle, but a red background with a yellow circle. Looking back at world history, it seems that before that, few people used red to represent the sun, but most people used yellow or gold. Besides, Japanese historical documents also say that from the end of the Heian period (794-1185) and earlier, they all used golden color to represent the sun.

History of the National Flag of Japan

The Japanese flag has been associated with the sun symbol since ancient times. So what is the history of this flag? Stay tuned for the next content to learn more about you!

Japanese Flag before 1990

The flag of Japan originally used by the Shogun in the 13th century was the flag of the sun. This was the time when the Japanese were resisting the Mongol invasion. At this time, Hinomaru was officially recognized in 1870 as a merchant chess. And the Hinomaru was also the first Japanese flag used and passed in the years 1870 – 1885.

However, after World War II, the use of the Japanese flag was greatly restricted during the Japanese occupation. Until 1947, this restriction was lifted. And in 1999, a law was passed, the Hinomaru flag of Japan was officially recognized as the national flag. At this time, the image of the Japanese flag has many different variations from the present: there is an image of rays of light around the sun.

Image of the Japanese flag after 1990

The Japanese national flag was widely used during Japan’s development into an empire. This is considered a tool of the Japanese empire in Southeast Asia during the second world war. Japan forced the colonists to use the Japanese national flag and sing the Japanese national anthem during the flag raising ceremony. After World War II, the symbolism of the Japanese flag changed from a patriotic feeling to a peaceful, anti-militarist Japanese feeling. With this sudden change, the Japanese flag is rarely used.

On August 13, 1999, Hinomaru was recognized as the official national flag of Japan. Bringing the image of Japan through the flag with friends from five continents. Currently, the National Flag of Japan with a red circle symbol on a white background brings many important meanings, typical for the culture of the country of the rising sun.

Design of the National Flag of Japan

The national flag of Japan is a flag designed in a rectangular shape, with a large circle in the middle in red with a white background around it. The meaning of the Japanese flag can be understood through the image of the flag:

+ Red circle: Symbolizes the sun, because Japan is located in the East of Asia, from the side of the rising sun.
+ The white background of the flag: Symbolizes the honesty and uprightness of the people of Japan.
The Japanese flag is designed in a 2:3 ratio (previously 7:10), meaning that the red circle takes up 3/5 of the center of the flag.


– Japanese flag color:

The national flag of each country will have distinct meanings that through the flag can express the national pride but the cultural identity and representation of the people of that country. As for the Japanese flag, although it is designed quite simply as a round dot on a white background, it has great and important meaning for the people here. The white background of the flag represents the purity and integrity of the Japanese way of life, and the red represents the sincerity and enthusiasm of the people of the land of the rising sun. In addition, this white color also represents the solemnity of a flag representing an entire nation.

– The red dot sun symbol on the Japanese flag:

The red dot is one of the special highlights that makes it easy for many people to recognize that it is the Japanese flag. Although it is just a simple red dot, it has great meanings to the Japanese. The red dot is the embodiment of the sun and that is also the meaning of the name of the country of the rising sun.

– Flags related to the Japanese flag:

Besides the main flag, there are other flags in Japan such as the military flag used by the Japan Self-Defense Forces and the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force with eight outward red sun rays and a border. yellow is located around the edge of the flag. Besides, there is also the flag of the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force with the image of 16 rays of the sun facing out.

The origin of the image of the Sun in the National Flag of Japan

The sun plays an important role in Japanese mythology and religion, with the emperor believed to be a direct descendant of the sun goddess Amaterasu, the head god of Shinto.

The ancient Japanese history book Shoku Nihongi records that Emperor Monmu used a flag representing the sun in his court in 701, and this was also the first time a flag with a face motif was used. Heaven is used in Japan. Japan’s oldest flag preserved in Unpō Shrine, Kōshū, Yamanashi, dates back to before the 16th century, an ancient legend states that the flag was given to the temple by Emperor Go-Reizei in the 11th century .

Perspective from history

During the Asuka period (592 – 710), Crown Prince Thanh Duc of Japan sent a messenger to bring a letter of greeting to Emperor Sui Yang – the second king of the Sui dynasty in China. The letter opens with the greeting “日出處天子致書日沒處天子無恙云云”, which translates to “Greetings to the king of the waters of the rising sun, to the king of the waters of the setting sun”. This greeting made Sui Duong De angry because he thought that Crown Prince Thanh Duc was too arrogant.

The Japanese think that perhaps this prince just wanted to refer to Japan in the East, and the territory of the Sui Dynasty in the West, so the greeting only means the king of the country in the East greets the king of the country in the West. . But for Emperor Sui, perhaps the image of the setting sun creates a gloomy and dark feeling, making him feel that Prince Thanh Duc is looking down on him. After knowing that, Crown Prince Thanh Duc wrote a letter with the content that he lived in a rural country, not familiar with foreign etiquette to apologize to Emperor Sui Yang.

Thus, from the legend of the Sun Goddess along with this greeting letter event, the Japanese have formed the idea that their country is protected by the Sun Goddess, and their territory is located in the East. , the direction of the sunrise, so Japan is the country where the sun rises.

Perspective from the legend

In the Kojiki – a record of the origin of Japan written in the 8th century, there are stories about the gods, and these stories have more or less influenced the history of Japan. worship rituals in Shinto religion – a belief of the Japanese people. Among the gods mentioned in the Ancient Chronicles, there is a god known as the Sun Goddess – Amaterasu. This deity is considered the ancestor of the Japanese Imperial line. Perhaps that’s why the Japanese always see the sun as the symbol of the country, and that is also said to be one of the reasons why they chose the red circle symbol representing the sun to attach to their national flag.

Above is all the information you need to know about the image of the Japanese flag that we have shared. Hope the above information will help you have more understanding in life.

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