Kinrokansha – A Japanese Thanksgiving

In just couple weeks it will be Thanksgiving here in the US. What began as a day to give thanks for the harvest has become a holiday for us all to give thanks for every blessing we have in our lives. Thanksgiving is not only celebrated here in the United States. Canada, Caribbean Islands, Liberia, and Japan all celebrate Thanksgiving.

Japan however, celebrates Thanksgiving for an entirely different reason than we do here in the US. Thanksgiving in Japan is known as Kinrokansha. It is a day to give thanks to the people who labor at their jobs each and every day. The Japanese take this day very seriously. School children have been known to create cards and give gifts to those for whom they are thankful too such as municipal workers, firefighters, and others in important positions.

This might come as a surprise to you, but a Japanese Thanksgiving dinner does not come with turkey. Our butter rich Thanksgiving foods are not the norm for the Japanese people. For Thanksgiving the Japanese meal consists of Fish, rice, and tea after the meal. A family trip to a park or attraction is sometimes included in the day’s events. As you can see the Japanese celebrate a lot different than we do. In many ways the Japanese Thanksgiving is more like the American Labor Day. To all those in Japan, KANSHASAI OMEDETOU (Happy Thanksgiving)


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