Japanese Language Blog

Thanksgiving Day in Japan Posted by on Nov 26, 2015 in Culture, Grammar

Hi everyone. It’s been for a while since my last post. I realized, tomorrow is already Thanksgiving Holiday here in the U.S.!  In today’s post, I would like to introduce you to how Thanksgiving day is celebrated in Japan.

~Thanksgiving in Japan~

In Japan, Thanksgiving is a national holiday, called, ‘Labor Thanksgiving Day”. In Japanese, Kinro-kansha no hi (勤労感謝の日、きんろうかんしゃのひ) It is on November 23rd every year, and it’s the day to appreciate everyone’s hard work.  Historically, the idea came from Harvest Festival called Niiname sai (新嘗祭, にいなめさい).

Obviously, we don’t need to wait for November 23rd to appreciate for your parents or spouse who are working hard every day, but Kinro-kansha no hi is a special day to acknowledge their hard work.

In U.S., it is a day to get together with family and enjoy Turkey and all other yummy dishes including pumpkin pies, but in Japan, we don’t really have any traditional meal for this day.

With that said, perhaps this national holiday is not celebrated as glamorous in Japan as in the U.S., in my opinion, and that Thanksgiving Day in Japan is actually more closer to Labor Day in U.S., which is celebrated in September.

Along with learning Japanese, especially in the speaking aspect of learning, I found the following 3 minute-video that explains about this Labor Thanksgiving Day in Japan.  This video will help you get an idea on how the Kinro kansha no hi is celebrated in Japan.


Vocabulary on this video might sound a bit complicated where they might sound unfamiliar to you. Below are some of the words being mentioned as key words.  Enjoy!


Kanshasai (Thanksgiving Day)- 感謝祭、かんしゃさい

Kinro kansha no hi (Labor Thanksgiving Day) – 勤労感謝の日、きんろうかんしゃのひ

Nii name sai (Harvest Festival) -新嘗祭、にいなめさい

Ryo-shin (Parents) – 両親、りょうしん

Kazoku (Family) – 家族、かぞく

Kansha (to appreciate, to be thankful) – 感謝する、かんしゃする


Enjoy your Thanksgiving! I wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving Holiday!

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About the Author: keiko

Born and raised in Japan. She currently lives in U.S. with her husband and two kids.